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     "2.27. The wood screws should be tightened. Hammering the wood screws in and emergence of the ends of the attachment parts onto the surface of the windows or balcony doors are not allowed."
GOST 23-166 The document text was reprinted from:
The official publication, Moscow: IPK Izdatel'stvo standartov [Publishing House of Standards], 1996

   "I tell them, don't lie, and still they lie and lie"
A/f "We Will Survive until Monday"

    Table of contents

    Windows: update >>>>>
    New Life for Old Windows>>>>>
    WINDOW SCAMS>>>>>"Don't do like your neighbor, otherwise his problems will become yours"


    A young man stands in front of the entrance to a large department store, and handing out advertisements, shouts "Windows made of PVC! Thirty-five years without problems!"
    I ask him: "Do you actually believe this?"
    "I do not, but if I tell them that our windows need care, the client will go to another company where they will convince him that their windows last 35 years without problems".
The main problem.

    New windows made of polyvinyl chloride, aluminum, wood and other materials appeared on our market over 10 years ago. The demand was enormous. The affluent buyers were euphoric, swept any designs off the shelves, without even thinking what would happen to these windows in a year, not to mention, in 5 - 10 years.
    It became clear after 10 years that the problem of repair and operation of modern windows troubles only their unfortunate owners.
    The classic advertisement "If you have a draft from your windows, install new ones" has started to resemble the mockery: "If you have punctured your tire, then it is time to replace your car".
    The owner of 7-year windows has to seal them for the winter fairly often since no one will repair them. The problem of repairing modern windows is generally very acute and there really isn't anyone who can solve it. There are no specialists in repairing modern windows being trained anywhere.
    The least protected are the owners of windows that are manufactured abroad. The Russian consumer protection law will no longer help them, since the dealer company has long since disappeared.
    INFORMATION. Currently, there are over 15 types of foreign and domestic lock fittings for modern windows in Russia; most often they are incompatible.
    So he bustles about, the unlucky soul, in search of random people, who break the perimeter fittings, glue a self-adhesive porous EPDM tube onto the frame, take the money and disappear forever.
    Replacing windows is thus like buying a 20-year-old car: it runs until the first breakdown.

Technical problems.

    They are generally manifest as the window stops opening normally, and most importantly, closing. There are three reasons for technical problems: incorrect manufacture, incorrect installation and incorrect operation.
    The procedural violations during assembly, installation and operation of window sets, and the consequences of these violations are listed below.
    1. Incorrect manufacture.

Type of windowProcedure violationConsequences
Any windows (PVC, wood, aluminum)The spacers for the window double glass panes are larger than the support spacers.The window flaps are warped.
Any windows (PVC, wood, aluminum)The mating strips on the casing do not correspond to the locations of the moving pins on the window flap. The fittings were incorrectly mated on the window flap.At best, there is a loose fit of the seals; at worst, the fitting parts are broken on the window flap or casing. Torn out mounting hardware, loose fit, double opening of the turning/hinged window flaps.
PVC windowsThe steel reinforcer in the PVC part is missing, incorrectly selected or installed. The correlation of the width and height of the window flap do not correspond to the potentialities of the shaped system indicated in the catalogue.The window set strips bend, there is a loose fit of the weather strips. Warping of the window flaps that cannot be eliminated.
Wood windowsWood windows Use of poor-quality wood. Poorly glued dowel connections of the window flaps.Deformation of the window set strips, loose fit, breaking of the fittings. Warping of the window flaps and disconnection of the strips.
Double glass panesPoor-quality absorbent or sealing compound.Condensation of the pane inside the window set.

     Sliding PVC window sets are intentionally not mentioned since they are not included in the state standards, have been removed from production and cannot be repaired.

    2. Incorrect installation.

Procedure violationConsequences
Deviation of vertical casing strips from the vertical and bending of the vertical strips.Abrasion of the window flaps during closure, reverse catching, detachment from the casing during closure, loose fit, breaking of the fitting parts.
Deviation of the horizontal strips from the horizontal and bending of the horizontal strips.Abrasion of the window flaps during closure, loose fit. Rainwater accumulates in the drain groove and leaks into the room.
The number of fasteners is less than set by the state standard.The casing strips are bent and warped (see above).
There is no vapor insulation or self-expanding vapor-permeable tape on the weather strip between the casing and the wall.The foam thermal blanket is destroyed and the jambs are frozen over.

    3. Incorrect operation.

Violation of operating rulesConsequences
Construction refuse (mortar, spackle) falls into the horizontal fastener on the window flap upper strip.Breaking of the horizontal fastener and corner switch, the mounting hardware is pulled out.
Spackled and painted adjustment mechanisms of the lower hinge.It is impossible to adjust the fittings when the window flap sags.
There is no regular (1-2 times per year) lubrication of moving parts of the fittings.Jamming of the fittings, breaking of parts (corner switch, main fastener regulator, handles).
The weather stripping is not taken care ofPremature aging of the weather stripping and leakage of cold air.

    The reason for incorrect operation is predominantly:
    Reputable companies inform the clients via accompanying documents attached to the window sets that modern windows need regular care. Small, fly-by-night companies do not provide any instructions, and seem to not know anything about the instructions themselves. Their contracts can sometimes be sent to cartoon magazines they're such a joke. However, very serious clients sign this contract, glad that they have brought down the price, and then they are surprised to find what this freebie cost.
    Another feature of this mentality. Owners of old windows often have a couldn't-care-less attitude towards their care, and so they have the same attitude towards their new windows. But the old ones came as a gift, while the new ones cost a tidy sum, that they no longer want to pay for every 7 - 8 years. Now the tears start: "oh, but we didn't know that the windows needed care"
    In order to avoid this situation, it is necessary to have a clear picture

    When a conflict arises between the client and the manufacturer, the court will primarily review the contract and the report of the expert evaluation signed by an independent expert. It could happen that the client makes claims for some deficiencies, but the expert finds completely different ones. In particular, the size of the window set in relation to the opening is poorly regulated by the state standard, and the fact that the door with a window in the balcony unit should be in one plane is not a rule, but the wish of the client is not reflected in the documents.
    By solving the window problems, one can thus by chance lock onto legal problems in the form of a grueling lawsuit.
    And finally what lies in wait for the owners of modern windows - Communal problems.
    There is the common situation of new windows being supplied in the summer and condensation drips down them in the winter. There are puddles on the window sills and mold on the jambs, the wallpaper comes unglued, the manufacturer representatives assert that they have nothing to do with it, while the housing office inspector announces "The window sets were expanded, loosen them. Ventilation is needed!"
    So the windows are generally not to blame, and really need to be ventilated. But a claim should also be made to the regional DEZ board to request:
    1) sealing the inter-wainscot seams through which surplus moisture most likely will enter the room, and
    2) check the work quality of the exhaust ventilation. It is the worst for the residents on the top floors: the quality of the exhaust ventilation is poor there, and it happens that the roof leaks (in the direct sense).
    There are relatively few apartments with high humidity, approximately 1 in 250. Humidity in itself is not harmful; it is the mold that forms that can cause allergies, asthma and tuberculosis.
    The methods of combating condensation, except for leaving your rights in the DEZ, are the following:
    - installing an exhaust fan in the kitchen;
    - installing Aereco hydro-controllable forced vents in the windows or walls;
    - replacing the double glass panes in the windows with gas-filled dual ones with low-emission I-glass;
    - buying a floor dehumidifier.
    The amateurs who want to expand their living area by adding loggias, removing walls and sealed windows should bear in mind that an incorrectly designed system of insulation, heating and ventilation could result in the aforementioned effect, and the DEZ will not help.
    An expert's opinion.
    It makes sense to install modern windows in the following cases:
    - when a new residence is erected;
    - when there are windows 45 - 50 years old and more that are unsuitable for repair;
    - for prestige during modern European-style renovations.
    Oak or aluminum/wood windows ($270-360/m2) in the latter case are good.
    "2+1-type" separate opening windows (double glaze pane on the inner window flap and glass on the outer) should be ordered for noise protection.
    The remaining windows may be updated.
    A complete restoration of an old wooden window with weather stripping, cleaning, grinding and painting costs almost 2.5 times less than replacement of the paired window and 2/3 of the cost of replacing a window of separate opening, produced in the 1950's if it can still be restored.
    Instead of an epilogue, here is some useful advice.
    If after all the aforementioned, you have not lost the desire to install modern windows (like the desire to smoke after visiting a cancer clinic) listen to a few final words of wisdom:
    1. Order windows only from reliable and checked companies that are known from advertising publications, there are fewer chances of running into conflicts, and it is cheaper.
    2. Nail down all the details with the measurer regarding the future windows and study attentively and thoughtfully the drawings, and read through the contract before signing it.
    Your new windows should comply with regulatory documents:
    1. After installing PVC windows, remove the protective film as fast as possible from them, otherwise you will have to soak them painstakingly and clean them with a solvent.
    2. During finishing operations, wrap the opening window flaps with polyethylene film, so that dust does not enter the lock fittings, especially in the upper part of the window flap.
    3. After installing wooden windows with double glass panes, do not repair the room in winter under any circumstances. Condensation falling on the double glass panes soaks the wood, deforms the frames and window flaps, and ruins the paint/varnish coating. The windows no longer function normally and lose their marketable appearance.
    4. And most importantly: regularly, 1-2 times a year, windows have to be taken care of:
    clean and wash the moving and friction parts of the lock fittings on the entire perimeter of the window flap with a special silicon lubricant (or liquid machine oil);
    - use a special lubricant on the weather stripping on PVC and aluminum windows;
    - clean the dirt off of the double glaze panes, as well as the frames, window flaps, vents, transoms, and valves;
    - within 10 - 15 years replace the double glass panes and weather stripping after their service life has expired;
    and then these windows will serve for no less than 35 years without problems and will be a source of happiness for their owners.

©Vladimir Prigozhin, the expert on windows of the Moscow society of protection of consumers


Windows: update (Condensed)

Kate Chinarova, 15 Oktober 2003

    Window insulation - strange as it seems, this niche still remains fairly undeveloped, even on the Moscow market, not to mention the rest of Russia. Only around 25 firms in the capital provide services to protect against drafts and automotive emissions, whereas there are millions of potential clients
    Consumers of the services of window insulation firms are people who for various reasons are not able to pay for installation of high-quality window sets, but have already become tired of drafts and are ready to pay from two to six dollars per running meter to feel cherished heat in their houses. Starting this type of business does not require a lot: 1,500 - 3,000 dollars that can be completely recovered in one season.
    "The window to the world can be covered with a newspaper", Yezhi Lets asserted. And it should be acknowledged that he found many followers among residents in the former Soviet Union. Years of practical experiments also showed that the sealing of window frames could be improved even more with cotton batting, milk-soaked paper, glue-based polyurethane, putty and scotch tape. After using one of these folk methods, one could then pretend for the whole winter that no drafts were blowing in through the window. And then in the spring, one had to again wash and peel off all of this carefully glued-on artwork
    It was found not long ago that the problem of drafts, noise and dust in apartments could only be solved by radical means, by replacing the old single windows with new double glass panes. However, the majority of Russian family budgets to this day cannot handle this expense. Nevertheless, there is an alternative to the folk methods. The service of repair and insulation of old windows has re-appeared (after the disappearance of the famous kind-hearted services firm Zarya).
    The enthusiastic team headed by Vladimir Prigozhin began to provide the residents of Moscow with a similar service several years ago. The company's combat christening was work at their first major project in 1999, a St. Petersburg apartment building. The typical slum had drafts from every which way.
    The well-known thirty-year-old European method of combating drafts and dust, called Euro-strip, was adapted by Russian entrepreneurs. They improved it (we are still a country of engineers and designers!) based on the specific features of Russian windows and successful practical testing. The technology is essentially cutting a tubular elastic repair weather strip directly into the wood and after adjusting the window flaps and locks, and sealing the glass panes, covering all the gaps securely between the frames and the flaps, regardless of the size of the gaps.
    The oldest windows can thus be successfully restored, even 50-year-old completely beaten up veterans that were even obsolete by ancient state standards. The total heat loss from even these windows is reduced by 30% and their noise and dust insulation is improved. But most important, there is no draft!
    There is a very promising potential market for these services. Over 700 million m2 of so-called non-efficient old-design windows are in use in Russia today in housing, as well as about 800 million m2 of windows, stained glass windows, skylights in commercial and public buildings. This is a total of over 1.5 billion square meters! Moreover, the arguments supporting the technology of major window repair are often the climate in northern regions, the lengthy heating season, and perhaps, primarily, people's low incomes.
    Realization of this business model today requires a minimum of $1,300 - 1,500. Here is the approximate calculation: 850 for equipment, (the most popular set is the Virutex end milling cutter, industrial stapler and seaming roller). Another $480-500 will be needed for a kilometer of weather stripping of varying diameter and clamps, with $100-150 to register the company and for advertising. However, it is not worth waiting for sky-high profits in this business. "The work is very labor intensive, but you can live decently. The profit depends on the number of orders. The higher the number of orders, the higher the profit", notes Yuriy Krasnov.
    The cost of weather stripping one running meter for a client varies from $3 outside Moscow to $6 and more in the capital. But how much can one really earn from repairing old windows? "If you work well, you will have up to three orders per day, and this is on the order of $80 - 100. It will initially be pretty difficult. But if "hands appear where needed", then any problem can be solved", asserts P. Gusel'nikov.
    There are about 25 enterprises and private entrepreneurs in the capital for window restoration services. The business beyond the capital in other regions is starting to grow now in many cities. However, this market is still not at all cramped, so the majority of its participants do not notice the competition at all.
    "We essentially do not see each other", Yuriy Krasnov laughs. In fact, the demand is great, and in itself the service is just starting up. This means that at first one may not think at all about the competitors.
    So the most real danger is not at all from other repair companies, but from the producers of new windows. Everyone knows that new is better than old! Although the experts are ready to dispute this assertion. In particular, yet another undeveloped niche has appeared on the window repair market due to new construction, and in Krasnov's words, it is enormous. This is the repair of so-called "Euro-windows." The owners of poor-quality new double glass panes are encountering unexpected breakage, as are the owners of expensive high-quality windows, although they were installed during the half wild 1990's. During that time, producers often forgot to instruct the client on how to care for the convenient, but nevertheless, very capricious product. Even the specialists are not yet completely clear about this service; however, as many experts assert, the potential for this business trend of repairing Euro-windows exists, and is considerable.

Sensitive Hands

    Since window repair is not a simple process, the foreman needs more than a simple mastery of the tool, but shrewdness, cleverness and inventiveness. And as the repair companies say, sensitive hands. The foreman's wages are generally set based on percentages from orders. All the more so since the experts are convinced: during years of practical work, definite internal rates for standard and custom work have evolved. It happens that the foreman repairs all the flaps within an hour, but on the last one gets stuck. So payment is not for the time spent on a specific window, but for the volume, in running meters. It takes an average of two months to train a novice. The experienced foremen simply take him with them to the jobs. Then they trust him with simple tasks. Soon he is doing his first window. But, after a certain time, the clever student is already capable of handling a full-fledged order by himself.
    Seasonal fluctuation is generally speaking one of the key features of this market. "When the dead season starts, we release some of the workers to receive free bread with their tools. When they are needed again, we call them back", Yuriy Krasnov shares his experience. Everyone understands that there's not much point in paying permanent wages when there are no orders!

How Not to "Fly into the Window"

    It takes an average of a whole day to service one apartment, however the undisputed advantage of the window weather stripping service is the possibility of working during essentially any season. The fact that the Russian client still does not want to build sleds in the summer and does not order repair of windows year round is another matter entirely. "We used to be the first. Penniless, with one set of tools. But now, thanks to advertising and trade shows in Moscow and the regions we are gradually forming a competitive market within the window repair and weather stripping service", Yuriy Krasnov summarizes. "This is healthy".

© 2002, Publishing House "COMPUTERRA" | http://www.computerra.ru/ Magazin "Computerra"


New Life for Old Windows

    For many, it's a way of life: seal the windows in the fall, and in the spring remove the paper and glue from the windows. Then stuff the gaps with porolon strips against the cold and drafts. But what do you do if there is no money to buy new modern windows? There is a more financially accessible way to solve the problem.
    The method is used in European countries (so-called Euro-Strip) and has been adapted for Russian conditions as a complete technical solution to eliminate gaps in the window sashes, give new life to old windows, and the necessary comfort and warmth to the dwelling. The weather stripping utilizes mortised tubular weather stripping made of cold-resistant rubber. This material has been certified and tested for a guaranteed strip service life of no less than 15 years.
    Without altering the external appearance of the restored window, the technology, supplemented by a number of original technical procedures, reduces heat loss by up to 30%. And most importantly, the expenses in this case are 10 times lower than the cost of replacing the windows with new ones, which is an important consideration for many people with limited finances. These clear advantages cannot be ignored. The company's work has received positive feedback from the institutes MOSZhILNIIPROYeKT and MNIITEP, and its results have been recommended for use in the Moscow Housing and Communal Management Administration. Fifty-year-old windows of any design can be restored to functioning.
    These are the technological features used in the work:
         - the Spanish company Virutex grooving tool with variable guides is used to cut both the rabbet angle and the flat surface;
         - a bench stapler is used to install additional weather strips in places that cannot be cut;
         - the flap ends and planes are adjusted by an angle-cutting machine with a roughing disk since chips often develop during planing;
         - chips, small knot sloughing, large wood cracks, holes from old wood screws and other defects are sealed by thermoplastic glue;
         - a special manual tool is used for rapid removal of the window flaps;
        - 6 -10 mm diameter mortised tubular weather strips from EPDM with a herringbone attachment from the Swedish company Varnamo are installed; they are the easiest to install and the most practical to use.
    These weather strips have a good temperature range; inexpensive cutters are used to install them and the weather strips are easily installed in the grooves. The foremen not only install the mortised tubular weather strips, but also adjust the window flaps and locks so that they open and close easily. The gaps between the glass and the wood frame are filled with silicon sealing compound. Undersize window flaps are raised by insertion pieces in the hinges, and gaps up to 32 mm on the skewed window flaps are covered by additional weather stripping. Window repair in an apartment is usually performed in one day, and that same night the owner can sleep in warmth and quiet since not only the drafts disappear after the window weather stripping, but there is also a noticeable reduction in noise (and at the same time, also dust) in the room. The work is done in any season. The opening of each window during winter work is covered with a thick insulating fabric.
    An average of about 50 kW/h of power is lost through window frames and doors due to poor-quality weather stripping, and the heating season lasts 215 days. It is easy to calculate the losses that could be eliminated, without resorting to high monetary expenses.

© Technologies of construction 3(7)/99



    The window has a shortcoming. It cannot be placed in a box, taken to the store and replaced by another one because you do not like it.
    If you want to avoid, or at least reduce a likely conflict with the seller of your windows, please, familiarize yourself with the specialist's advice.
    You have most likely logged onto this site because you have new windows and have questions about them. This advice will perhaps help not only you, but also your friends and acquaintances.
    So, why are you installing new windows? This is justified in three cases:
    - in a new house without windows;
    - during modern ("European-style") renovations;
    - to replace windows that are over 45 - 50 years old.
    Advice from a wise old bird: replace the windows to reduce the penetration of street noise and eliminate drafts. Repair of wood windows according to Swedish technology with installation of mortised tubular elastic weather strips of varying size that seals the rabbet ledges of the old windows in the same way as in the new ones (5.0 kg of air/m2 per hour at 100 Pa) and protects from noise at 1 A-scale decibels is more effective than double glass pane windows. This type of repair is 6 times less expensive than replacement, and complete restoration of the window with weather stripping, removing of the old paint, and a high quality paint coating is 2.5 times less expensive than replacement. Heat-reflecting Lawson pleated vertical blinds can be hung between the panes to protect you from the summer heat and the winter cold.
    nd now a word about ordering new windows.
    We first choose the material and design. The practical mass consumption is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and fiberglass windows.
    Permanent aluminum windows (1.5 times more expensive).
    Aluminum/wood permanent and fine windows (2.3 times more expensive).
    Prestigious, oak (3 times more expensive).
    Noiseproof, with separate "2+1" opening (double glass pane on the inner flap, glass on the outer), wood or wood/aluminum.
    Why people install window sets made of pine European beams that are more expensive than the polyvinyl chloride windows and need frequent painting is beyond me.
    We then select the company.
    Serious, reliable enterprises equipped with high-quality equipment are constantly placing large advertisements.
     , "" 482-19-07.
    When you are approached by a measurement man from your selected company, do not be lazy; clarify all the small things and write them down in his sketch with your signature and his signature:
    - how high will the upper and lower edges of the translucent section be located;
    - how high will the handles be located;
    - will the door with a window in the balcony unit be in one plane;
    - how high from the floor will the lower edge of the balcony door be located;
    - what will be the size of the window sill, etc.; everything that you consider to be important.
    It will be too late to complain about the new windows after they have been installed.
    When the contract is signed in the company's office, read each paragraph carefully. Also look at the samples displayed in the office. Your windows should be of the same quality.
    The windows should be ordered without blank flaps, with two-chamber double glass panes no less than 32 mm thick with hydro-controllable air valves to prevent stuffiness in winter. The most frequent causes of problems are listed below:
    - the manufacturer is not held responsible;
    - the window manufacturers and installers violate procedures;
    - other disputed cases.
    Problems for which the manufacturer is not responsible.
    1. "The windows are too small." The area of the translucent part is smaller than it was in the old windows. This is an inevitable consequence of the window design. The double glass pane is twice as heavy as the glass in the old window, and consequently, it needs a sturdier frame.
    2. "The windows are not secured and could fall out". When the window is installed on the mounting anchors on the inner end of the casing, the heads of the attachments are not visible. If the casing does not fall out of the opening when the window flap is opened, this means that it is attached to the wall.
    3. "The balcony door and the adjoining window are shifted horizontally or vertically in relation to each other." "The balcony door handle does not coincide in height from the floor with the handle of the neighboring window". "The lower support hinge of the balcony door is below the floor surface level". These types of issues are not regulated by state standards, and if these requests are not noted in the drawing of the measurer with the customer's signature then there is no sense in making claims against them.
    4. "Condensation drips down the panes in winter". This is generally a consequence of the good quality of the windows and the poor quality of the inter-pane seams. In this case go first to the DEZ (office of single customer) with a written request to seal the inter-pane seams and check the exhaust ventilation. It would also be a good idea to consult window and ventilation specialists.
    A loggia attached to an apartment with sealed glazing could be a source of abundant condensation if its heating and ventilation are calculated incorrectly.
    Procedural violations.
    1. Securing the casing (frame) in the opening. Regulated by GOST 30971-2002 par. V.4.3. The average size window unit should be set on 10-14 fasteners. The installers often use only 4 - 6 fasteners, which subsequently results in deformation of the window casing and loose fitting of the flaps, i.e., air leaks.
    2. Casing weather stripping. Regulated by GOST 30971-2002-2002, par. 5.1.1. Assembly seam (window casing junction with wall) should consist of three layers:
    - outer watertight, vapor-permeable (self-extending sealing strip);
    - middle, insulating placed on a pre-moistened surface (installation foam);
     - inner, vapor-insulating (special sealing tape).
    The installers generally fill in only installation foam and without pre-moistening. The consequence is rapid destruction of the foam weather strip, and freezing over of the jambs. Par. 5.7.1 of this state standard says: cavities formed during removal of the casings while replacing windows should be filled with inserts made of rigid insulation or treated wood". Naturally, no one wants to do this (with rare exceptions).
    3. Fixed glazing.
    GOST 23166-99 par. 5.1.6 dos not allow installation of non-opening window flaps with dimensions over 400 800 mm above the first story, with the exception of balcony windows. If you nevertheless ordered windows with fixed window flaps, be concerned about the safety of washing the window panes from the outside, for if an accident occurs, it is possible that the manufacturers will be identified and held liable, but that will be small consolation for you.
    4. Window flap dimensions. The correlation of the width and height of the opening window flap is regulated by window manufacture regulatory documentation that the production engineer possesses. If this correlation is violated, the window flap may sag and it will be very difficult to close it.
    5. Single multi-glazed unit.
    As indicated above, a 2-chamber multi-glazed unit is recommended for our climate (triple pane, i.e., two chambers) no less than 32 mm thick, which to lighten the structure may be replaced by a single-pane 24 mm thick with low-emission, or heat-reflecting outer glass coating (k-glass or i-glass).
    If a standard single glass unit is installed, it will be drafty the entire winter, and condensation could appear on the edges of the multi-glazed unit.
    Some disputed cases. After the windows have been installed and the acceptance report is signed, the multi-glaze unit cracks or the locking accessories malfunction. It is very difficult to prove the fault of the worker in these cases. Honestly, it is less expensive to pay to have it repaired than to pay for an expert evaluation and legal expenses, and even then it is not known what the result of the conflict will be.

©Vladimir Prigozhin the expert on windows of the Moscow society of protection of consumers, April 2004



Comments of an Independent Specialist
    What does the resident need (and in one way or another aren't we all residents)??
    - The house must be light, warm, comfortable, but not hot, not stuffy, not noisy, and not dusty; in general, psychologically and physically comfortable.
    What does the resident know?
    - That this comfort depends on the windows in the apartment, and when they are drafty, it is cold and uncomfortable, that the windows need to be sealed or replaced by plastic double glass panes, only they are stuffy, yellow with age and release hazardous substances. Wood is better, it sort of breathes, but it has to be painted. In general, the set of stereotypes is often false.
    And the resident will do everything like his neighbor. He will only start really addressing the problem after spending several thousand (or tens of thousands) of dollars, to find out there is a serious problem and run for help, sniffling, "But I didn't know".
    He will read this article, at best, when it is almost impossible or very expensive to rectify the situation. So I ask my opponents not to get agitated. This publication will not harm them. I will cite the facts, and the reader will draw the conclusions.
    We will thus begin with the fact that there are simply no windows in the apartments. More precisely, they are not counted in the communal services. There are radiators, water pipes, toilets, even window panes, but no windows. Complain to the repair administration (housing office) about cracks in the windows. They shrug their shoulders and explain that the windows either need to be sealed or replaced. But if you complain after the replacement, they will explain that no one forced you to replace them, and now they just need to be sealed. But the housing office has nothing to do with it
    The history of this problem dates back to those ancient times when an ax-cut frame with a bovine bladder stretched over it was inserted into the wall opening and the cracks were plugged with moss. Then, after more than a hundred years, they were sealed for the winter with paper on moss glue.
    At the end of the 1950's, the transition to mass construction was called the introduction of Finnish paired windows (after the Finns had already abandoned them). In the 1970's, the window rabbets began to be equipped with a weather strip made of semi-woolen cord that was supposed to simultaneously protect from cold and transmit air for ventilation.
    Everything would have been fine except for two "buts": deformation of the incompletely dried wood and malfunctions in the adjustment of the mills that cut the lock fittings. The resulting windows were warped and did not close, but the people were happy with even that much. And back in the housing office, they recorded the services, replacement of the window sash strips, which they really used for the windows on the stairwells. The unfortunate residents sealed the holes with porolon and padding, and glued the whole thing with paper or plaster. It was also believed that the window sets would be replaced during major renovation of the building every 20 - 25 years, but there was not enough capacity for this and the windows remained in place after the renovations. At best, they were painted. So the draft from the gaps in the windows was a traditional problem for the resident.
    In the early 1990's, tubular, elastic self-adhesive weather strips appeared that noticeably smoothed over the problem because of their accessible cost, but did not provide a reliable or long-term effect
    Finally, in the mid-1990's, mass production was started of sealed, energy-efficient windows, and at the end of the 1990's, "Swedish technology" appeared on the market for cutting tubular elastic weather strips of varying diameter (based on the gap size) into the old window making it just as sealed as a new one for the next 15 years
    Everything was remarkable: technical solutions were found; one problem disappeared and several new ones appeared.
    1) The sealed, energy-efficient windows, even the double-chamber ones, in winter convert the cold apartment with radiators that can't be regulated into a hot and stuffy room. The "winter" gap ventilation lowers the temperature in the room to the level of the old windows with holes. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to cut ventilation valves into the windows or the walls and fit the radiator with a capped shunt valve. The client does not know about this, and the manufacturers, if they do know, keep silent, afraid of losing a customer.
    Almost the same thing happens during repair with Swedish technology: the air permeability is the same on the windows with polyvinyl chloride, forced ventilation is essentially eliminated, and it is just as necessary to install ventilation valves. The only consolation is that it is 6 times less expensive than replacement.
    2) New windows differ externally from the old ones and attract the attention of apartment thieves. It is wise for the resident to install an alarm system, but the client finds out about this after the theft.
    3) And most important. New windows are a complex structure that needs care and maintenance, even if the manufacturing technologies and installation are not violated. The manufacturers, at best, offer warranties, but after the warranty that is to say to put on heel taps we go to the shoe repair workshop, not to the shoe factory.
    Even the repair technology differs noticeably from the manufacturing technology, especially if a lackadaisical manufacturer allowed damage during window assembly or installation.
    It is logical to assume that the repair service should be established together with the manufacture of a product. When a person buys a television, washing machine or car, he immediately finds out where they will be repaired, and when buying windows, he assumes that the installer will attend to this. How naive The problems of window repair and operation are to a manufacturer as, excuse me, a stop sign is to a rabbit. The most honest manufacturers will perform repairs under warranty, and even after the warranty, if you're lucky, "if the foreman will take it on", since there is neither the technology nor the rates. The dishonest ones re-register the company under a different name (e.g., Nortech Polymer becomes Nortech) and they explain to the dissatisfied clients "I am not me, the horse is not mine", and your money, well tut, tut. And no court will help you.
    And if you consider that window repair is not officially taught anywhere, and this occupation is not even registered as such, then in the near future window repair will require inviting local skilled craftsmen of the hourly-wage type and pray that they have not ruined the ingenious German fittings, otherwise you will have to seal the window flap with scotch tape and get ready to spend $400 - 500 to replace the window.
    Perhaps the major house-building complexes (HBC) will install in new houses good windows that do not create problems?
    When one family received an apartment in a new building after the demolition of their old shabby apartment building ("Khrushchevka"), it was found that one window did not open. The housing office carpenter opened it with a hammer and wood chisel, but then he could not close it. The HBC service team found traces of damage and refused to repair it, even for money.
    It turned out that:
    - the main Siegenia-produced lock was broken (before the opening),
    - the double glass pane was incorrectly installed in the window flap,
    - there were no steel reinforcers inside the PVC-section,
    - the casing (frame) was skewed during the window installation.
    The repair cost $100 with a word of honor warranty, and even luckier, the window did not have to be replaced.
    Unbelievable? Go into any new building and check how the "Euro-windows" work there. The construction department is not responsible for the work of commercial companies.
    The Housing and Communal Administration (HCA) has transferred the building maintenance functions to the districts, but they do not have the right to change the existing system without instructions from above. Hope remains for reform of the HCA and commercial DEZ.
    Even if some windows are ideal, the lock fittings have to be lubricated 1-2 times a year with liquid or special lubricant. If this is not done, the locks will jam within 5 - 9 years from the dirty Moscow air, and you will have to pay for repair (if someone will agree to do it). And this is what could happen: the foreman arrives, dismantles, re-assembles, says that something was broken, takes 500 rubles for it and leaves.
    A little information. The double glass pane made by the Hotmelt technology has been rated for 12 years of operation and the ethylene/propylene weather strip for 10 - 15 years.
    Don't be surprised or get hot under the collar when you have to replace them. Incidentally, there is a special lubricant for the elastic weather strip that prolongs its service life, but not everyone knows this either.
    There is a very interesting story regarding noise abatement in the houses located in the third transportation ring area
    The specialists know that high-frequency noise penetrates into a residence through the window gaps and is suppressed by the rabbet weather stripping, while low-frequency noise enters through the window panes and is suppressed by the air gaps between them.
    Separately-opening windows that suppress 36 A-scale decibels of transportation noise after weather stripping of the inner window flaps were replaced by double glass panes that only suppress 33 A-scale decibels, and the fittings were not even adjusted. The fixed frames were also not completely closed. Installation was free but the repair had to be paid for. The poor resident had to brace the fixed frames with mops and seal tightly with scotch tape.
    The ventilation valves, if even operable, were plugged with dust, not that it mattered because they were not designed for noise abatement anyway
    Well, we hoped for best, but things turned out as they always do (badly)
    This article would be incomplete if I did not mention yet another serious illness of sealed windows, namely CONDENSATION.
    The symptoms: water flows down the window panes the entire winter and drips onto the floor from the window sill.
    After the winter repair, the finishers install a self-adhesive weather strip on the wooden windows that are warped from the moisture, making the lock fittings malfunction. An expensive repair or window replacement awaits the resident.
    In general, the finishers (painters and plasterers) are the most evil enemies of windows. At best, they soil the lock fittings and spackle over the controls. At worst they make a mortar mess on the double glass panes and replace the mortised (generic) weather strips with self-adhesive ones as they were taught when painting old windows
    I will cite one more example in conclusion.
    One retiree complained that his kitchen was cold. One after the other, he replaced the window and the radiator, but the effect was minor. He had to slip the housing office chief engineer a bottle, who then turned some valve in the basement. As a result, this window stayed open all winter because it was so hot.
    Now do you understand what I am trying to say in this article? People! Pay attention! Don't be hicks. Don't do like your neighbor, otherwise his problems will become yours.
    Before replacing or repairing windows, before putting windows in a loggia and knocking down a wall, before approving the designer's project with a transparent outer wall, etc., turn to specialists. There are organizations for this: the Association of Window Manufacturers (APROK), the Inter-regional Window Institute, the Moscow Consumer Protection Society, and others.

Vladimir Prigozhin the expert on windows of the Moscow society of protection of consumers
May 2005
©CWE 04(22) 05.2005 (tybet.ru)

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