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Inspection

 

Annual visual inspection of the Patent Glazing system should be carried out by those responsible for the maintenance of the building. Particular attention should be given to joint seals and junctions between different materials, moving parts such as doors, opening windows and ventilators.

Where it is known that there is particular risk from atmospheric pollution e.g. from certain production processes or close proximity to the sea, then more frequent inspections may be necessary.

 

Access for maintenance and cleaning

 

A. General

A Method Statement/Risk Assessment should be produced to cover all operations when accessing the patent glazing prior to the work being carried out.

Those engaged on maintenance work should use suitable equipment and use the necessary personal protection equipment for the maintenance work which is to be carried out. Experienced operatives should be used for the maintenance of our systems, who know where to distribute their weight. Patent glazing should never be stood or walked upon without the use of crawl boards etc.

The exact means of access to and across the Patent Glazing must be agreed before commencement of work and be outlined in our Method Statement and covered by our Risk Assessment.

B. Reason for Access

There are several reasons why direct access should be provided to areas of sloping or vertical Patent Glazing, both to internal and external surfaces. Primarily these are inspection, cleaning and repair or renewal.

C. Temporary Access

Temporary access, if required, may be attained by the use of ladders, crawling boards and scaffolding of various forms suitable for the particular type of building and for the process to be done. Such forms of access should be removed shortly after use.

Ladders and crawling boards may be used safely without imposing any loading on the Patent Glazing provided that they are supported at a purlin or other suitable structural member. Spreader boards should be properly secured and should rest on at least two glazing bars. On sloping Patent Glazing clips may need to be provided on the glazing bars to locate crawling boards etc. and to prevent them from slipping. Maintenance loads should never be carried directly by the infilling.

Temporary access may also be gained by using mechanical lifts and powered working platforms. These are particularly useful on the inside of a building if access can be made available for them, they may also be used effectively outdoors.

Care should always be exercised to ensure that firm and level areas are provided from which to operate and erect all forms of temporary access equipment.

 

D. Permanent Access

Systems of permanent access may be either fixed or movable platforms on some form of tracking, re-locatable within a pre-set pattern. Walkways or platforms may be designed as an integral part of the Patent Glazing system or preferably should be independent of it. It should be designed fit for its purpose and the design life of the building.

It may be necessary for personnel accessing such walkways to wear a suitable full body harness clipped onto the walkway. This operation should be covered in the Method Statement/Risk Assessment prior to the works being undertaken along with any details of maximum working loadings.

 

 

Cleaning

 

Regular cleaning to remove atmospheric grime and pollution should be carried out to maintain the appearance of the Patent glazing system. Cleaning contributes considerably to the effective life of the system and a regular cleaning schedule should be drawn up, the frequency of which may be influenced by :

  • The current use being made of the building.
  • The particular situation of the Patent Glazing on the building.
  • The building location and the local environmental conditions.
  • The type of infill material, it’s surface texture and finish.
  • The materials used for supporting members, flashings, ancillary components and their surface texture and finish.

Consideration should be given to transparent or translucent infill materials as if excessive dirt is allowed to accumulate then it could lead to

  • A reduction of light transmission leading to an unsatisfactory level of illumination which may affect occupants and their safety.
  • An increase in the absorption of solar radiation which may cause a damaging increase in the thermal stress being applied to the material.


With all our system components a solution of mild detergent in water, applied with a clean soft cloth, followed by a thorough clean water rinse should be used for routine cleaning. Care should be exercised to avoid rubbing dirt into any surface.

The removal of stains and marks other than those which are removed by the above method should be discussed with the manufacturer of the material to be cleaned. Care should be taken with more aggressive cleaners that they do not react adversely with other materials used in the system or on the building. Steel wool, strong acids or alkalis and abrasive cleaners should never be used.

 

Hosepipes

Generally, the cleaning of Patent Glazing with hosepipes is NOT recommended. Patent Glazing installations, under normal inclement weather conditions are watertight. The use of high pressure jets of water will allow water ingress, seepage and leaks, if projected onto the glazing at inappropriate angles. High pressure water jets may also disturb seals.

 

Maintenance


During the annual check the following materials should be inspected and any replacement or remedial work carried out.

 

Aluminium Sections

All fittings should be inspected and any loose or missing fittings should be tightened or replaced. The drainage channels and weep holes should be inspected and any blockages removed, any loose or damaged gaskets should be replaced.

 

Lead Covered Sections

The lead sheaths should be inspected for damage and drainage channels should be checked to ensure that they are clear. Any necessary storm clips should be checked for to ensure that they have not come loose. Fixings to the structure should be tight but care needs to be taken that they are not over tightened.

 

Flashings

All flashings should be inspected to ensure that they have not lifted or the seals broken. If so then they must be replaced or redressed as necessary.

 

Colour finishes

Any finishes applied to the metals used in the system should be checked for adhesion and scratches. Any remedial work should be carried out using approved products.

 

Infills

Cracked or broken panes of glass which may lead to damage of the building by allowing rain to penetrate should be made waterproof and replaced as soon as practical. If wired glass is broken and allowed to remain in position, moisture will penetrate to the wire which will rust. Also the interlayer of laminated glass will be discoloured if moisture is allowed to reach it. Seals of double glazed should be checked and any damaged units should be replaced as soon as practical.

Plastic glazing sheets should be checked for cracks and permanent deformation, if damaged pieces are found these should be replaced.

Any infill which is broken and poses a threat to safety should be removed immediately and a temporary infill substituted whilst a proper replacement is ordered.

Sealants

All seals used between different materials should be checked and any damaged areas should be cleaned out and replaced with the same sealant or a superior one which is compatible with the remaining sealant. Some sealant can be protected by painting but this does not apply to silicon and specific advise should be sought before doing this.

 

Opening lights

Any debris (such as leaves, twigs or dirt) which has gradually collected between the sides of the opening lights and the adjacent glazing bars must be cleared free to prevent the possibility of water penetration into the building. Opening Lights within our patent glazing which are located in or surrounding woodland areas will generally require their sides cleared free of debris more regularly to prevent an excessive build up of material.

Opening lights which are only used occasionally should be periodically opened and shut to ensure correct action. Any visible hinges and manual gears can be occasionally oiled to ease their operation. All electrical and automatic gearing are maintenance free and any which fails to operate should be inspected by the manufacturer and replaced as necessary.

 

Doors

Once fixed the operation of doors is maintenance free, if any alteration or repair of the doors is necessary then the supplier / installer of the door should be consulted about remedial work.

 

Safety of Operators


The use of Fall Prevention Systems, where available, is recommended during maintenance and/or cleaning of Patent Glazing. These systems must comply with the current Health and Safety legislation and practice. The use of body harnesses or restraints will normally be required to ensure the operatives safety.

 

Guarantee


None of the above affects your normal rights under our guarantee if the materials have been supplied and fixed by the Standard Patent Glazing Co. Ltd.

 

This document was last reviewed and revised on 4th January 2009