Aftercare & Maintenance

 Aftercare & Maintenance of REASteel Windows.

Steel windows, properly maintained, can be expected to last the life of the building.

Simple measures, such as always having the metal frame surfaces washed down at the same time as the glass is cleaned, and undertaking an annual inspection of working parts, gasket weatherseals and joint sealants, will do much to ensure their trouble-free performance.

This aftercare & maintenance sheet gives general guidance on taking care of steel framed windows and doors so that they will continue to give years of satisfactory service.


W20, W30, W40 & REAframe steel window frames have a factory applied stoved polyester colour coating. Wash down periodically – at intervals of between three and twelve months, depending on the amount of grime and salt in the atmosphere – using a mild non-alkaline detergent in warm water, applied with a soft cloth or sponge. Using nothing harsher than a bristle brush or nylon pad. Give a final rinse with clear water. The finish will then last between 15 (Gloss finish) and 25 (matt finish) years before a decorative re-coat becomes necessary.

If, after many years of exposure, the polyester coated surface needs redecoration, a standard undercoat/top coat alkyd system can be used, after the surface has been cleaned and slightly roughened to provide a key.

Small areas of finish that become chipped or scratched can be made good by application of touch-up paint available from RMW Ltd. This will be air drying and cannot be expected to weather in the same way as the original “oven-baked” coating, so its use should be limited. Large areas of damage are best repaired by the specialist contractors, using two-pack resin and hardener spray applied systems.


The bare zinc of a hot dip galvanized finish needs a zinc chromate etched primer before further brush paint coats are applied. Oil based glazing putties and mastic sealants likewise need priming and sealing.

Take great care to keep flexible weatherseals and moving parts of fittings free of paint.

Steel windows supplied galvanized only, without a factory applied polyester colour coating, have clearances set up between meeting surfaces sufficient for three or four coats of paint. When the repainting programme has exceeded this, the paint build up starts to force the meeting surfaces apart and excessive force may be needed to close the window. This, in turn, can cause the window to bow or hinges distort.

If distortion has not gone too far, it may be sufficient to strip the paint off all meeting surfaces, taking particular care to clean off paint in the hinges. With the window in the closed position, check for excessive gaps between the fixed and moving parts. The gap should be large enough to allow a feeler gauge to slide into the gap without too much slackness. If the gap is too great or the frame is badly bowed (tight at the centre and gaping at the corners), seek expert assistance from RMW Ltd.


The synthetic rubber weatherseals should also be included in periodic maintenance inspections. The most common cause of damage is site applied paint. If paint removal proves impossible, weatherseal replacement can be undertaken. They will be bonded to the frames with adhesive & or retained in performed grooves, retrofit of replacements by the same method is strongly recommended whenever possible.


The joint sealants between window frame and wall opening, and at couplings between window units, will generally have a shorter life than the frames themselves. If deterioration is observed, the original sealant should be raked out, the joint thoroughly cleaned up, and new sealant applied which is compatible with the original

Traditional oil based mastic sealants depend on a paint overcoat to maintain their service life. Modern polymer sealants are more resistant: over-painting remains desirable with acrylics, is possible but not necessary with polysulphides, and is to be avoided with silicones. Seek advice from the sealant manufactures.


Glazing putties, mastics, gaskets and sealants are likewise subject to some degradation by exposure to weather. Annual inspections can anticipate many problems before they become serious.Loose putty should be raked out, replaced with metal casement putty (NOT linseed oil based putty intended for wooden windows) and overpainted.

Frames that have been factory finished with a stoved polyester coating will have been glazed originally with special non-setting compounds or with metal beads and sealants that adhere well to the polyester finish and do not require overpainting. If defective, they should be raked out, the joint thoroughly cleaned up, and new glazing sealant applied which is suitable for painted metal surfaces. Insulating double glass units require particular attention to the maintenance of their glazing seals, as the constant presence of water trapped within the glazing rebates will shorten the life of the unit edge seals. Check the outside face of the glazing frame’s bottom rail to see that the glazing seal sheds water and that any drain holes are free from blockage.


The edges if double glass units and single panes must be spaced from the metal frame glazing rebate with setting and location blocks. They must also be carefully separated from the glazing upstand with distance pieces, mastic tapes or preformed gaskets.

Putty fronted single glass is retained by spring steel glazing clips placed in holes pre-drilled in the glazing frame rebate. Re-use or replace them when re-glazing.

For general guidance on glazing or for further assistance seek expert advice from RMW Ltd.


Outer frame sill channels have drain holes that can become clogged with paint, grime or insects. Clean them out and keep them open to ensure that the windows maintain their designed weather performance.


Hinges and pivots should be lubricated using a light penetrating oil at yearly intervals. If seized up, they should be doused with a penetrating spray (such as WD40) and gently worked free. For safety reasons, lubrication is not generally recommended for friction types in case they swing too freely without restraint. Friction hinges and pivots have stainless steel, brass, or nylon bearings which normally function well without lubricating oil, but their tightening screws and locking nuts should be checked periodically.

Handles, stays and catches should be checked for proper operation. They should move freely and be lightly oiled, waxed or greased as necessary. If damaged, they can usually be repaired or replaced. Steel windows and doors have evolved gradually over the past hundred years and have retained the many characteristics and components that permit ease of maintenance. Member companies of the Steel Window Association can advise on and help resolve any problems.

If we can be of service, please contact us; alternatively please file this information for future reference.