Like most Brits I spend most of my time complaining about the cold, rain, and lack of sunshine. I therefore feel that I should not complain when we have hot, dry weather all summer! You would think with the current weather, nobody would be buying replacement windows or doors. But lo and behold, we have had record sales for the past month.
One thing we always experience is an uptick in service calls whenever we have long periods of hot weather, particularly for doors. All materials expand and contract with temperature, and uPVC is no exception. All of our products have tolerances built in, or use a combination of materials to allow for this. Windows generally have a slightly higher tolerance, so even in extreme weather they will function properly. However this is not always the case with doors. There are several reasons for this.
All of our door products are PAS24 high security as standard. As a result, our doors have multiple locking points (in some cases upwards of 8+), all of which need to be aligned correctly when locking and unlocking. This means you get one of the most secure doors on the market, but it does also mean we have less tolerance to play with that a lower specification door.
Doors are larger products by design - the larger a length of profile is, the more expansion per m is possible. This is mitigated in doors by using steel and aluminium reinforcement to minimise any expansion (or contraction in the colder months).
Colours are much more popular now, especially darker greys and blacks. Darker colours absorb a much higher amount of solar radiation than light colours, meaning they are more likely to have issues with expansion.
Reading this you may feel like there is no hope! However there are practical solutions to solve these issues.
How to mitigate common door issues in the heat.
- Leaving doors closed with the lock engaged. The secondary effect of our door locks is to hold the door leaf in a fixed place. When the door is closed with the lock engaged, it cannot expand and contract as much as it can when it is fully open. The key does not need to be turned - simply pulling the handle up after closing is enough - this is very common in composite doors, where if left just on the day latch in direct sunlight, it can expand, and cause temporary warping or expansion. By engaging the lock, this warping is eliminated entirely.
- Doors which have been left open all day need time to cool down. We see this on French doors frequently, people have left them wide open all day, and then realise later on that the door is now catching on the frame. This is due to the previous point - without the lock engaged, the doors can expand much further than they would normally. By simply giving it some time, the door will return to normal and can be closed normally.