Are your windows built to last? Here’s how to tell

Are your windows built to last? Here’s how to tell

aluminium windows that last

Whether you’re in a heritage-listed manor or a freshly constructed apartment, you’ll want to be sure your windows have a long life expectancy. 

Sometimes it can be obvious that your windows don’t have longevity. First, look for signs that it’s time to replace your windows. Draughts, decay and leaks are all clear signs that your windows have worn out already and it’s time for new ones. 

Ask yourself these three questions to see if your windows are built to last.

What material is being used?

To ensure endurance, look to the quality of the window frame material.

  • Timber has its own charm and can last a very long time, though requires a high level of maintenance that for many is unappealing. 
  • Using uPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) is a cheaper option, but this is reflected in its aesthetics and tendency to warp. 
  • Aluminium is a lightweight, durable solution for your window frame, lasting an average of 15–20 years.

Depending on the climate your house is in, your choice of window might also differ. Humidity and heat can warp materials like uPVC and timber, whereas a colder climate might benefit from double-glazed glass. The glass and frame should be customised to suit your home’s needs and environment. 

Remember, time and money spent now often saves you more in the long run.

What kind of maintenance do your windows require?

One really important factor for a window’s lifespan is maintenance. Like any household item, the better it’s taken care of, the longer it will last. Certain materials require sanding and sealing on top of regular cleaning to prevent damage from the elements. 

Aluminium is a low-maintenance option with only a few steps to care for your frames, like gentle cleaning with mild soap and water, which all window structures need. If your windows are maintained properly you can expect to get many years of life out of them, and keep them looking their best.

Installation is also a consideration when it comes to windows that endure. A professional installation carried out by an expert gives you peace of mind that your window has been installed correctly, and minimises the chance of damage in the future. Look for a full-service warranty to guarantee your window will be taken care of long after installation.

What do you want in a window?

Selecting the right kind of window from the start will save you hassle later on. Being built to last also means being an attractive option that adds to the aesthetics of your home, so you won’t want to change it for years.

Windows that look good and go the distance will elevate your whole house, save you money on energy bills, and save you time on cleaning and maintenance.

Notoriously long-lasting, sleek, durable and strong; aluminium windows are built to last. The team at Accent are here to help, and ready to start the beginning of a long, long relationship with your home’s windows.

Broken window? Here’s what to do next

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Whether it’s the result of a stray ball or a confused bird, visible damage to your windows is a real concern and in most cases, a safety issue.

Broken windows could worsen and shed shards of glass, or be an invitation to home invaders. So what steps should you take to minimise the impact of a broken window?

Contacting a professional to replace the window will be the safest and most hassle-free option, but there are things you can do yourself to make the replacement run smoother.

First, run a dustpan and brush around the area to pick up any bits of glass so nobody gets hurt. Now you’re ready to assess the damage.

Diagnose the type of break

A chip, or small piece of missing glass, is often caused by something like a stray rock flung from the lawnmower outside. Although chips seem harmless, they can quickly turn into a nasty break if not dealt with properly.

Cracks can result from a number of issues. A stress crack is caused by a quick change in temperature, just like when you put a hot plate immediately under cold running water and it breaks. Windows falling or slamming can also create a crack and will spread if not dealt with.

An impact break is easy to spot— it’s exactly what it sounds like. Imagine a cricket bat swung at full speed at the glass. These often result in starburst-patterned breaks, so you’ll know the whole window will need replacing.

Work out a temporary solution

No matter what type of break you’re dealing with, here are some steps you can take to reduce any further damage.

For a chip, simply flush it with solvent or a mild detergent and warm water. Then use a thin layer of clear nail polish to seal it. A professional can fill the chip with a gel that hardens without any bubbles, leaving it virtually undetectable.

Cover any cracks with packing tape on both sides of the glass, as well as at either end of the crack to prevent it from spreading any further.

For impact breaks, it’s best to not touch these at all as the whole window could collapse. You’ll almost definitely need a new window.

Seek out a professional

Need that break gone fast? Use this as an opportunity to rethink your window choice.

You may wish to reconsider the design of the window, or to ensure it’s properly equipped to handle potential accidents. Aluminium windows from Accent are the perfect option.

Ready to opt for new windows that are stylish and sturdier? Get in touch with Accent’s team of professionals today for new windows you’ll love.

How to child-proof your home’s doors

Kids are curious creatures and like to understand the world around them using their hands. Unfortunately, this can result in little fingers poking in places that can result in painful injuries.

Houses present all kinds of hazards, from kitchen knives and table edges, to pools and electrical plugs. Something as seemingly harmless as a door can be an accident waiting to happen.

Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to make the doors in your home more child-friendly.

Mind the gap (and the hinge)

A finger jammed in a door’s gap results in a best case scenario of a few tears and a bruise, or in worst cases, a trip to the hospital. Most injuries happen at the hinged side of the door, where fingers get stuck in the gap as it swings open or shut.

To prevent curious hands getting hurt, invest in a door safety shield. This is a length of plastic that completely covers the gap and hinges.

Another option is to install a pinch guard, which acts as a buffer so the door can never fully close and fingers can’t be trapped at either side. There are a number of nifty devices to choose from that you can install to child-proof your doors.

For doors that lead outside, a buffer preventing it from closing is not the right solution. Often sliding doors are a popular choice for an entrance, and don’t have hinges that can catch little fingers.

Prevent accidents with glass

Glass is a stunning addition to any home, and there are steps you can take to minimise the possibility of a mishap without compromising on aesthetics.

Consider where furniture is placed in a room. Will an armchair tipping backwards shoot its occupant through glass? Does the bed frame act as a ladder to a high window? Will the edge of  a doormat trip someone up? Move your furniture to encourage children to play safely around glass doors and windows in your home.

Often children, and sometimes even adults, simply run into glass doors as they cannot distinguish the glass, especially when it’s clean. Applying transfers or stickers on the glass at a child’s eye level is a simple way to alert them to the glass being there.

Teaching kids safety first

It’s up to us to teach children the importance of keeping safe around doors. Specifically to stay away from the hinges and gaps, and not to slam doors, even when they’re in a tantrum.

If there is an accident with a glass door, remember to clean any fallen glass straight away and keep the area clear until the door can be fixed or replaced.

By having the right knowledge around door safety, you can ensure the wellbeing of you and your family, while still enjoying a range of doors in your home. If you’re looking for the right solution for your family, or still have questions, just ask one of the friendly team at Accent today.

Are your glass doors ready for winter? Here’s how to tell

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Australia is a country of extreme climates, and the harsh seasons can take their toll on your home’s doors.

Winter brings cold air, lots of rain and, depending on where you live, frost or even snow. While you won’t have to worry about warped wood or cracked paint with aluminium doors, it’s still important to safeguard them from the elements.

Now is the perfect time to prepare those glass doors for the winter weather to minimise any damage— and keep you warm all winter, of course! Here are the most important things to check to see if your doors are ready for the colder months:

Are your doors sealed?

Doors aren’t just a way to enter and leave a building. They’re what keeps the inside of your home separate from the outdoors.

This is why it’s so important to make sure they’re doing their job. That means eliminating any gaps that could be causing draughts.

Even the tiniest of draughts can allow enough cold air into your home to not just make it unpleasant in the winter, but drive up the cost of heating.

Be sure to check the entire door frame as well as fixtures such as hinges and rubber seals for any cold air coming through.

Thankfully, these checks aren’t needed quite as frequently with quality aluminium doors, as the rubber along the tracks and frame provide a tight seal to prevent cold air coming through.

Are your doors properly insulated?

Not all doors are made equal, and that’s never more apparent than during the colder months. The type and quality of materials make a world of difference when it comes to insulation factor.

Opting for glass doors made of quality aluminium and installed by an expert team will ensure that your home is kept warm no matter how cold it is outside.

It’s also a great idea to install double glazing, whether you’re installing new glass doors or wanting to make your existing ones more resilient against the cold. Double glazing increases thermal efficiency and helps to maintain the temperature inside your home. And yes, this means a lower energy bill for you, too!

Have you covered any glass?

One of the most important things you should do to protect your glass doors in winter is also the easiest: invest in some heavy curtains.

These should be made of a thick, lined material and reach the floor to provide the ultimate protection against the cold. Simply let the sun warm your home through the glass during the day, then draw the curtains when the sun goes down to keep out that nighttime winter chill.

Even if your glass doors are double-glazed, you’d be surprised just how much less you’ll have to run your heating during winter thanks to heavy drapes.

Not to mention they’re fantastic for blocking light, making them ideal for bedrooms.

Ready to start winter-proofing your home? Then start with glass doors. Reach out to Accent today and make sure you’re not left out in the cold this winter.

5 reasons to leave window and door installation to the professionals

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When it comes to choosing the right team to take care of your window and door installation, it’s so important to prioritise expertise above all else. Sure, it might be tempting to go with the business with the suspiciously cheap rates or your neighbour’s brother who insists he knows how to do it himself. But chances are, that’s a decision you’re going to regret.

There’s more than one thing that could go wrong with poor installation. Have you considered all of these factors?

1. Time

How long does it take to install windows and doors? You might get a lot of different answers to that question, but most of them are probably going to forget about one of the most time-consuming parts of that process: the research stage.

What materials are best to use? What will look better for your home? What are the pros and cons of different kinds of doors and windows? While it’s no secret that aluminium is sustainable, durable and is extremely low maintenance, making it the ideal choice of materials, the answers to most questions you’ll have can take hours and hours of research to find on your own. And we all know time is money.

When you choose to work with an expert team with years of knowledge and experience, all of these things will be carefully considered and explained to you. This saves you an enormous amount of time better spent thinking about more important things in your life.

2. Quality

There are so many things to consider when choosing new windows and doors for your home, and by far the most important is quality. You want a product that doesn’t just look great, but will last.

More importantly, there are many safety factors to think about, especially in regards to fire ratings. Working with an expert team who can recommend safe, quality products will continue to benefit you and your home for years to come.

3. Warranty

You might be tempted to get an acquaintance to install your new windows and doors or even give it a crack yourself, but there’s one thing you’re going to miss out on with this route: warranty. If the installation goes wrong, who’s responsible? Are you covered for a replacement product? Or could you be the one carrying the financial burden from a poor install or product?

At Accent, we offer a variety of warranty options for many of our products. This means our customers don’t have to stress about the possibility of something going wrong or needing to be replaced— a concern that any homeowner can relate to.

4. Ongoing service

If there’s one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked when looking for the right team to handle your door and window needs, it’s a commitment to building an ongoing relationship with every customer.

A professional business knows the importance of helping you to find your go-to people to rely on for any window and door installation needs you might have in the future— not just the job you need done now. The right team will go above and beyond to build that working relationship and make you a customer for life.

5. Peace of mind

When you hire the right experts to install your windows and doors, you can rest easy knowing you’ve put your trust in the right people. You know from your research that you’re going to be satisfied with the end results and won’t be left with regrets. That takes a huge amount of stress off your shoulders.

Get in touch with the Accent team today to see professional window and door installation from a team of dedicated experts today.

Why you should choose Australian-made doors and windows

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As the world becomes increasingly globalised, it’s never been more important to support Australian made products and businesses. This even applies to the materials used to build or renovate your home, including windows and doors. But why is this so important? And how does this benefit you? Read on to find out why.

Australian made means ethically made

Australia has a reputation for maintaining tightly regulated, fair working conditions. This means that anything manufactured in Australia was made in a safe working environment by workers who were treated fairly. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case for windows and doors manufactured overseas.

Australian made products can also be better for the environment. Much like with working conditions, Australian made windows and doors are manufactured under certain environmentally-safe regulations. Not to mention the materials don’t have to travel as far as something sourced from overseas, which reduces the overall carbon footprint.

Nothing beats Australian quality

When you buy Australian made windows and doors, you know you’re paying for quality products. Our products are manufactured to an outstanding quality due to consistently high standards.

There’s also the benefit of durability. It’s important that you choose windows and doors that are not only rugged enough to withstand the harsh Australian climate, but meet fire safety rating standards, too. This critical element is always factored in with Australian made materials.

Supporting Australian made helps all Australians

Buying Australian made doesn’t just benefit you. When you buy Australian made doors and windows, you’re supporting Australian industry. This creates more jobs, helps Aussie businesses to thrive, and has an overwhelmingly positive effect on the economy, which benefits all Australians.

Ready to support Aussie made? Check out Accent’s range of doors and windows today, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.

5 reasons why aluminium is the best material for doors and windows

Choosing the right materials and products for your new or renovated home can definitely be confusing. Even something as simple as door and window frames can leave you feeling lost and overwhelmed.

Thankfully the Accent team are here to take the guesswork out of one of the most important choices for your home. There’s no doubt that aluminium is the superior material for frames, and not just for the reasons you might think. Read on to find out why:

1. Aluminium is better for the environment

It’s never been more important to make choices that help rather than harm our planet. Luckily, aluminium is an environmentally-friendly material for windows and doors. These frames not only minimise the use of timber, but are fully recyclable.

There are many measures you can take to make sure your windows and doors help to reduce your carbon footprint via your home’s energy efficiency. Check out our information centre for more information on our products’ energy rating.

2. Aluminium is the most versatile design option

Aluminium isn’t just practical, but stylish. The classic material and variety of timeless finishes is a look that doesn’t date and is versatile enough to work with any style or colour scheme.

In fact, one doubtful couple on Channel Nine’s Buying Blind recently discovered this after claiming they didn’t want any black in their bright, white interior. Much to their surprise and delight, the black frames installed by the Accent team made for an incredible addition to the Scandi-coastal-boho home.

3. Aluminium is affordable

Let’s be honest: renovating or building a new home is a costly process, and every little bit of savings helps. That’s why so many people are surprised at just how affordable aluminium frames can be.

The low initial cost means you can use those extra funds to upgrade your doors and windows with tinting and double-glazing!

4. Aluminium provides the best value for money

Aluminium isn’t just affordable from the get-go. It’s a material that provides ongoing savings for your home in more ways than one.

Aluminium doors and windows are built to last. When properly installed by a professional team, you won’t have to worry about replacing or repairing them every few years.

5. Aluminium is low-maintenance

Let’s be honest: life’s too short to spend time washing windows and doors. That’s why aluminium is perfect for today’s busy lifestyles. Maintaining aluminium frames is as simple as washing them down with a bit of warm water, mild detergent and a soft- bristled brush.

The minimal upkeep along makes aluminium the better option by far— especially compared to timber, which is the most high-maintenance material for frames.

Whether you’ve been convinced to install aluminium frames in your home or still have a few questions, our team are here to help. Contact a friendly member of the Accent team today and see what we can do for you.

A comprehensive guide to bushfire safe windows and doors

Bushfires have increased in both frequency and severity in recent years, inflicting massive damage to many Australian homes.

With summer fast approaching, now is the time to ensure your property is resilient against bushfires. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an old one, it’s crucial that your doors and windows are built to withstand a potential fire.

Do I need to worry about bushfires affecting my home?

Bushfires have been reported in every state of Australia, and some areas have a higher risk than others. But living outside of a Bushfire Prone Area doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe.

Embers can travel many kilometres and start fires in completely new areas. Your home could still become caught in a bushfire even if you’re not in an active fire zone. This is why it’s so important to make sure your home is protected, no matter where you live.

How can I protect my home from bushfires?

One of the best ways to make your home as safe from bushfire as possible is to make sure your windows and doors are compliant with the new safety ratings.

Following the devastating 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria, Bushfire Attack Levels (BAL) were expanded. The current six levels are:

BAL Low: There is insufficient risk to warrant specific construction requirements BAL 12.5: Ember attack.

BAL 19: Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers, together with increasing heat flux.

BAL 29: Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers, together with increasing heat flux.

BAL 40: Increasing levels of ember attack and burning debris ignited by windborne embers, together with increasing heat flux and with the increased likelihood of exposure to flames.

BAL FZ: Direct exposure to flames from fire, in addition to heat flux and ember attack.

This meant that fire safety ratings (BAL Ratings AS3959) were also revised to improve fire safety standards for all new or renovated Australian homes. Fortunately, the Australian Window Association has released detailed BAL Ratings guidelines explaining how to choose the best windows and doors to withstand bushfires.

Which doors have the best fire rating?

There are many factors that decide a door’s level of fire safety. Some of these features include:

  • The thickness of the door
  • Screens
  • How tightly the door is fitted
  • The combustibility of the materials
  • Glazing
  • The type of material used for the frame, glass and seals
  • Weather strips and draught seals
  • Distance from the ground and other structures
  • The type of door (for example, folding doors or French doors)

Thanks to the use of aluminium and safety standard-compliant glass, Accent’s range of doors are all up to code when it comes to BAL Ratings. In fact, every Accent product conforms to the Australian Standard (AS3959).

Which windows have the best fire rating?

Just like with doors, there are several features that decide if a window is compliant with BAL Ratings. Some of these features include:

  • Glazing
  • Screens
  • The type of material used for the frame
  • The type of glass used
  • Distance from the ground

All of Accent’s products are compliant with the Australian Standard— just one of the benefits of choosing aluminium frames.

What can I do to make my windows and doors more fire safe?

Something as simple as replacing windows and doors can make a big difference when it comes to making your house more resilient against bushfires.

The best thing you can do to increase the bushfire safety of your home is to choose materials and features that are resilient against bushfires. Luckily, Accent’s entire product range complies to BAL Ratings.

Still confused about the most fire-safe choices for windows and doors? The knowledgeable Accent Windows team are happy to help. Get in touch today to find the best options for your home.

Caring for your aluminium windows and doors

One of the many benefits of aluminium windows and doors is the low maintenance required to keep them clean. Whilst aluminium does prove much easier to maintain than wooden frames, there are still some tips and tricks you can implement to enhance the life, appearance and functionality of your aluminium doors and windows.

General care for external frames

Caring for your exterior facing aluminium windows and doors is a simple process. Every three months you should gently clean the aluminium surfaces with clean water that’s been mixed with a mild detergent.

When cleaning the aluminium surface care should be taken, with only soft sponges or cloths being used. No abrasive materials or strong cleaning products such as Ajax should come into contact with the aluminium surface. Once you have cleaned the surface you can rinse the soapy residue off with a cloth soaked in clean water.

If you’re located in a coastal area, near prolonged construction or close to an industrial precinct, you may want to increase the frequency of cleaning to a monthly basis.

Keeping parts as good as new

Windows with sashes should be regular cleaned to ensure no debris or blockages are in the way. Doors and windows with recesses and tracks, such as sliding varieties should also be kept clear of debris regularly. Drainage holes in all doors and windows that have them should be checked regularly to ensure they are clear at all times.

Moving parts should be tended to and checked every six months. Hangers, pivots and brackets can be lightly sprayed with corrosion preventative products, and excess residue should be wiped away.

Hinges can be cleaned with warm soapy water and then rinsed with a damp cloth. If the hinges need you can apply a light spray of machine oil to keep them performing at their best.

Keep glass and flyscreens clean

Glass surfaces should be kept clean any time they appear dirty, for practicality as well as looks. Using clean water you can gently wipe away any dirt. If there are stubborn patches you might want to use a mild detergent, but any remaining residue should then be washed down with clean water.

Fly screens can be cleaned with a vacuum or brush in most instances, which should be done around three times a year. If for any reason a fly screen requires thorough cleaning you should remove the screen from the window, hose it down with clean water, gently brush the screen with a cloth and then allow it to dry before reinstalling.

One of the many benefits of aluminium windows and doors is the lower maintenance levels required – and by following these simple steps you will be able to ensure your products remain as good as new well into the future.

For information on installing or replacing windows in your home, don’t hesitate to get in contact with the friendly Accent Windows team.

Building your next home? Time for a crash course in compliance

There’s nothing more exciting than building your next home, but with it comes a fair share of hurdles. You may think that purchasing windows is as simple as finding ones that suit your look and rolling with it, but there are areas to consider before you get to work to ensure you don’t have to spend money fixing easy to avoid mistakes.

In Australia there are standards and regulations that need to be followed when building and renovating properties. All window manufacturers are required to meet building code standards that are set within the Building Code of Australia.

Getting your head around these can be tougher than it sounds, which is why we’re here to help with this quick guide to areas of compliance in our industry.

How to know if windows comply

All Australian window manufacturers are required to comply with Australian standards and must be able to verify this upon request with a certification of compliance, so making sure your windows comply is relatively straight forward when dealing directly with a manufacturer.

Under the Building Code of Australia, window manufacturers are required to produce windows and doors that meet mandatory minimum specifications under Australian Standard (AS) 2047 – including AS1288. Windows made from timber, aluminium, uPVC or other materials must undergo the following performance tests to verify product performance claims to AS2047:

AS4420.2 Deflection Test – positive and negative wind pressures are applied to the face of the window to test the maximum deflection under wind load.

AS4420.3 Operating Force Test – to verify that an opening sash is capable of opening and closing.

AS4220.4 Air In filtration Test – the air leakage of a window is tested to ensure energy and acoustic efficiency.

AS4420.5 Water Penetration Resistance Test – to verify that no water leaks through the window into the building.

AS4420.6 Ultimate Strength Test – negative and positive wind pressures are applied to the window to ensure it does not fail in unusual wind conditions.

These standards are upheld to maintain that products meet a degree of quality. Anything that doesn’t match these standards can be considered non-compliant and could be unsafe to use.

Energy efficiency

As we’ve already discussed, energy efficiency is important for your home due to the savings you receive on bills – but did you know that there is a minimum energy efficiency rating that needs to be met for new builds?

The minimum number of energy efficiency stars that needs to be met is six in Victoria, which will increase to a seven star requirement within the next three to four years.

To provide some clarity on this difference – according to the Victorian Building Authority, six star homes could use 24 per cent less energy than five star homes, potentially saving 100s of dollars on annual energy bills.

So keep a look out for stars when you go window shopping (as in shopping for literal windows, not looking at expensive clothes) and be sure that your home matches current standards.

Bush fire safe

If your home is being constructed within a bushfire prone area, there are extra levels of compliance for you to consider.

Under Australian Standards, bushfire prone areas are divided into bushfire attack levels (BAL) that assess likelihood of potential ember, radiant heat and direct flame contact with the building. The six levels are:

  • BAL-LOW – very low risk
  • BAL-12.5 – low risk
  • BAL-19 – moderate risk
  • BAL-29 – high risk
  • BAL-40 – very high risk
  • BAL-FZ – extreme risk

Each BAL level will have different areas to comply with, but in doing so there are two ways to satisfy the standards.

The construction can either comply with standards that apply to all constructions within a bushfire zone, or alternatively – protective designs can be used that meet the performance requirements.

For windows you can also satisfy specifications by using bushfire shutters, metal frames or windows that meet simulated bushfire tests.

If you’re unsure what is suitable for your home in any area of compliance relating to windows and doors, be sure to ask the friendly team at Accent Windows, they can help you make informed decisions throughout this exciting process.

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