Back when I was dating my wife, she lived near the beach and there was a large tree outside her house that I used to park under. The tree provided great shade, but also regularly dropped red berries onto my white car. Being so close to the surf also resulted in a layer of salt mist being deposited on my car every time I visited. As a result, I used to wash my car at least every week to prevent staining or rust.

These days I still have a white car, but I live and work away from the beach and I never park under a tree so my car only ever gets dust on it. I can now easily go a month or two between washes without my car’s finish being any worse than it was when I parked under the berry tree near the beach.

No one expects a car that is parked outside and exposed to dust, salt spray, wind and rain to look very good if it isn’t cleaned regularly, and no one would be surprised if that car developed rust spots. Similarly, we shouldn’t expect windows, which are ‘parked outside’ and exposed to dust, salt spray, wind and rain to look good and remain in good condition if they are never cleaned! Even though Breezway Altair Louvre Windows are constructed using only non-corrosive materials like aluminium, stainless steel and industrial plastics and we apply high quality powder coat finishes from Dulux, Interpon and Decorative Imaging or anodise to 25 microns (the recommended level for severe marine environments) some maintenance of aluminium finishes is still required to reduce the rate of weathering of the finishes.

1. Cleaning Technique

Cleaning Breezway Louvre Windows is a fairly simple affair:

    • 1. Remove any loose dirt by gently brushing or hosing.
    • 2. Clean using a sponge or soft brush and warm water with a mild detergent. Avoid cleaning agents with a caustic base, abrasive materials or harsh chemicals.
    • 3. Rinse with clean water.
    • 4. Dry with a chamois (optional).
    5. Apply a ‘non-abrasive’ car polish to maintain the lustre of the finish (optional).

2. Cleaning Frequency

As a guide, we recommend cleaning your Breezway Louvre Windows every 3 months or more frequently in severe conditions.

Appendix I of the Australian Standard AS1231-2000 provides additional information on atmospheric environments. It describes the following environmental classifications:

Mild to moderate
Remote and rural communities and environments with light industrial pollution or very light marine influences.
Typical areas include: outback Australia, most of New Zealand, rural communities away from the coast, most inland cities, suburbs of cities on sheltered bays such as Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart, and the suburbs of Brisbane and Perth that are away from the coast.

Tropical
Tropical environments generally have high annual rainfall (greater than 1200mm), high average humidity all year round (typically 65% to 100%) and no industrial fallout.
Typical areas include: coastal areas of north Queensland, Northern Territory, north-west Western Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.

Severe Industrial
Areas around major industrial complexes inland from the sea.
Typical areas include: around the smelters in Port Pirie and Newcastle. There are only a few severe industrial sites in Australia and none in New Zealand.

Severe Marine
Within 100m of the beach in sheltered areas, but up to 5km inland from the beach for most ocean-front areas, depending on the local winds, topography and vegetation.
Typical areas include: the south-western corner of Western Australia, the south-eastern corner coast of Southern Australia and the New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand coasts. Large areas of Perth, Wollongong, Sydney and Newcastle have severe marine environments.

Microclimate conditions
A window’s location within a building can accelerate the environmental effects on the window. Windows which remain damp for extended periods of time (for example, if they are shaded from direct sunlight) or which are not exposed to cleansing rain should be cleaned more regularly than other windows.

3. Choice of finish

Breezway offers three different aluminium surface finishes: anodising, standard powder coatings and high performance powder coatings to suit various climatic conditions. Over the long periods of time that your windows will be exposed to the elements, weathering of the aluminium finish should be eventually expected resulting in gradual changes in the appearance of the finish with loss of gloss, chalking and colour changes. Choosing anodised aluminium finishes or high performance powder coatings will reduce this deterioration of the finish.

Standard Powder Coatings

  • Interpon D1000 or Dulux Duralloy polyester powder coats
  • 10 year film integrity warranty
  • 7 year colour integrity warranty
  • Recommended for residential buildings, light commercial buildings up to 3 levels and mild, moderate and tropical environments

High Performance Powder Coatings

  • Interpon D2525 or Dulux Duratec polyester powder coats
  • 25 year film integrity warranty
  • 15 year colour integrity warranty
  • Recommended for commercial buildings, prominent buildings and coastal environments

Anodised aluminium surface treatment

  • An electrochemical process that forms a 25 micron thick oxidising layer (thinner layers are available but Breezway chooses to anodise to the maximum thickness)
  • 10 year film integrity warranty
  • 10 year colour integrity warranty
  • Suitable for all building types and all environmental conditions including severe industrial, severe marine and tropical environments

If you choose the appropriate aluminium finish and an appropriate cleaning strategy, there’s no reason why your windows won’t age gracefully and remain good looking for many, many years!