Common defects in traditional steel windows usually arise from rusty frames, and deterioration or loss of putty or sealant to hold the glass panels.
Aluminum windows have been widely used in new developments and as replacement of steel windows in existing buildings. Aluminum window system involves assembly of a certain number of components by rivets, screws, hinges and fixing anchors. These accessories are prone to failure.
Without the required servicing and maintenance, hinges may become too tight to operate, rivets may loosen up and screws may be corroded that shorten their life-span. When excessive forces are applied to operate such windows or when they are subject to wind load, distortion or dislodgement of the window sashes or even the frame may result, causing fatal or serious injuries to the public.
How to handle?
Any broken or cracked glass panes should be replaced at once with the same type and thickness of glass.
Steel windows are subject to rusting and should be regularly re-painted with primers and re-finished. Putty for holding glass panes should be maintained. Hinges should be regularly lubricated and replaced if necessary to avoid dislodgement of sashes.
Aluminum window system should be regularly checked for any loose fixings, deformation, cleared of dust and dirt and lightly lubricated to avoid friction causing undue load on fixing. Should any of the aluminum angle for securing the glass panes be found missing, replacment must be done at once to avoid falling of glass panes.
In the processing of replacing fixing components such as screws and rivets, measures against bi-metallic action leading to corrosion must be taken to avoid direct contact between two incompatible materials. A common example of bi-metallic action is between aluminum and stainless steel.
Buildings Ordinance (Chapter 123) - Buildings Department (BD)
- MWIS Notices (Section 30C) (Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme)
These statutory notices are issued to owners/OCs of buildings aged 10 years or above. Owners/OCs shall engage a qualified person for the prescribed inspection of all windows of the building. Any prescribed repair works deemed necessary shall be carried out by a registered contractor engaged by the owners under the supervision of the qualified person.