In order to ensure that your conservatory provides you with many years of service it is important that it is maintained properly as with any other area of your home.
Most of the maintenance work can be carried out periodically by yourself although you may wish to entrust some of the work, such as requires the use of ladders to a suitable specialist conservatory cleaning company if you are not comfortable doing this yourself.
Where repairs are necessary they should be completed as soon as is reasonably practical since problems will normally only get worse with time and the cost of repairs increase as they do, along with the impact on your enjoyment of your conservatory.
Some frame manufacturers, such a Rehau, will often supply a ‘care kit’ with new installations containing everything you need to keep your new frame and glazing looking great and the doors and windows operating smoothly.
As such a large percentage of your conservatory is glass, the most obvious way to keep your conservatory looking clean and attractive is to keep the glazing clean, internally and externally. The external surfaces of your conservatory glazing units can be cleaned as you would clean any other windows in your home – with commonplace proprietary cleaning products available from supermarkets and DIY shops.
If you wish to do this regularly it may be wise to consider purchasing one of the many extending pole cleaning systems that will allow you to reach the higher areas of your conservatory including the roof glazing. An added bonus is that you will also be able to use this to clean the other windows in your home, potentially paying for itself very quickly taking into account the cost of regular professional window cleaning.
Examples of these products can be found here.
If you have your windows cleaned regularly by a window cleaner you may be able to entrust this to them and incorporate your conservatory cleaning into your regular scheduled window-cleaning.
Depending on which direction your conservatory faces and the amount of sunlight it receives it may be more prone to green algae on the roof glazing and regular cleaning will remove this and prevent an unsightly build-up. Polycarbonate conservatory glazing seems slightly more prone to this than conventional glass products.
Self-cleaning glazing units can be incorporated in your conservatory design or even retro-fitted into existing conservatory frames in order to keep maintenance to a bare minimum. Such products typically only require hosing down after lengthy periods of dry weather under normal circumstances and will otherwise take care of themselves.
Internal glazing surfaces should also be cleaned regularly, particularly if you smoke in your home or conservatory – again, the conservatory glazing should be treated as per any normal domestic glazing units in this regard though care should be taken to ensure that any special solar or thermal coatings are not damaged by any cleaning product used on them – check with your conservatory installer or conservatory glazing manufacturer if you are unsure.
The type and frequency of maintenance that your conservatory frame requires will vary depending on the materials used in its construction. PVCu (uPVC) and aluminium frames are likely to require the least maintenance in use and this is likely to be limited to being periodically wiped down with soapy water or frame cleaning solutions in order to keep your conservatory looking bright and fresh – internally and externally. PVCu frames can also be polished using suitable products, to improve their appearance.
Aluminium conservatory frames may oxidise over time and form a white powdery finish (aluminium oxide) and can be polished and resealed to restore their appearance.
Again, if you smoke inside your conservatory or it is in close proximity to a cooking area, your conservatory frame is likely to require more regular internal cleaning in order to maintain its appearance.
Timber framed conservatories are likely to require considerably more care and maintenance than other types and depending on finish they will require periodic re-painting or re-staining – if this is not carried out the timber may suffer as a result and any damage the timber frame sustains externally is likely to translate into leaks which may damage your conservatory furnishings and conservatory flooring and furniture. Many wood stains and paints will fade or yellow over time respectively and so refinishing will help to keep your timber conservatory frame looking its best as well as protecting it from the elements.
Conservatory Windows and Doors
Maintenance of your conservatory windows and doors is likely to be limited to lubricating hinges, locks and catches in order to keep them running smoothly and prolong their life. One of the better products to use for this is a PTFE-based maintenance spray as it is transparent, waterproof, generally non-staining and an excellent lubricant. Regular use of a product of this nature will help to ensure that your conservatory windows and doors operate smoothly and with the minimum of force.
In areas such as conservatories where the windows and doors and their associated locks, fixtures and fittings may not be used as regularly as elsewhere in the home is it possible for them to become stiff and problematic but this is very easily avoided with periodic maintenance.
Rubber seals around doors and windows should be wiped with a damp cloth to ensure a tight weatherproof seal is maintained and that airborne pollutants do not build up around them.
Your conservatory roof will need to be looked after in much the same way as per the information for the conservatory frame and conservatory glazing. As they are likely to receive more exposure to UV rays and rainwater they may require more cleaning and maintenance than other areas. Any leaks in your roof or in the lead flashing where the conservatory meets your property should be addressed as soon as they become evident as the situation will only get worse over time and require increased remedial work at increasing cost!
It is essential that your conservatory gutters and drains be checked and cleaned regularly as a build-up of leaves and debris can cause blockages that may result in leaks and water entering your conservatory or excessive water noise in bad weather. Cleaning the guttering is simply a case of visually inspecting them from the top and removing any accumulated debris.
It is a good idea to remove or cover cushions from conservatory furniture when not in use as the intensity of the sunlight entering the conservatory can lead to fading and permanent damage. Conservatory blinds can help prevent this – particularly conservatory roof blinds. Timber furniture is likely to require re-staining or re-painting every few years while wicker, cane and rattan are likely to require little more than dusting unless they become soiled when a damp cloth with usually suffice.
Carpets should be vacuumed regularly and can be cleaned if they become stained or heavily soiled. Stain-resistant coatings can be used or carpets with anti-stain properties chosen to ensure a longer life and reduce soiling.
Wooden floors should be swept regularly to prevent damage and scratching from grit and small stones that may find their way in from the garden, and should be mopped using as little water as possible when they become soiled. Certain types of hardwood flooring may require oiling in order to protect them and preserve their appearance and durability.
Stone floors, such as slate or certain types of stone tiles may require periodic sealing depending on the material – the re-application of anti-slip coatings may also be desirable to keep the area safe as well as preserving and protecting your conservatory floor.
Your conservatory blinds will require cleaning once in a while and many blinds can be cleaned in-situ. Due to the wide range of blinds available it would be advisable to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning advice or entrust cleaning to a specialist, though gentle, careful vacuum cleaning can often revitalise your blinds to some extent. If you have cheaper blinds in place it may be easier and more cost-effective to simply replace them as they begin to look aged or worn.
Choosing a conservatory - next stepsAfter having perused our comprehensive conservatories section, it is likely that you will want to start evaluating conservatory prices and the various styles available so you can make a more considered decision.
The best way to get started is to select around 3 different FENSA registered specialists and arrange for them to come to your home and show you the range available, and advise you on how best to make use of the space in which you are planning to erect your conservatory – they may be able to offer size or layout options that you hadn’t even considered as well as specific conservatory planning permission or building regs information relevant to your particular project.
One of the more established names, Apropos, have been specialising in designing and building conservatories for over 50 years and you can request a free Apropos brochure by clicking here.
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