Why Stainless Steel Window Frames?

Stainless steel window guards are now widely accepted as the most suitable way of protecting stained glass windows but still errors or poor workmanship is evident in the current market.

In the past many mistakes were made when windows were protected and to a lesser degree errors are still being made. These mistakes include the use of wrong materials, sub standard materials, lack of knowledge or expertise, poor fitting or disregard for the surrounding stonework.

Firstly we shall detail the other materials that have been used.

Rust Stained Concrete Window Frame

Copper and Mild steel:
Used in the past but corrosion not only reduces the strength of the guard but also the corrosion stains and damages the stonework, in many cases costing more to repair than a damaged window. Life span is relatively short.

Galvanised Mild Steel:
Still used to this day. Benefit is initially more economical than stainless steel. Negatives include less strength so more unsightly re-enforcement is required. Corrosion and staining as above will occur when galvanising breaks down. Life span is limited depending on environment, can be as little as 25yrs. Therefore initial saving can be false economy in relation.

Poly Carbonate:
Still used but very rarely nowadays as lessons have been learnt. Benefits include ease of manufacture and the ability to stop very small projectiles such as air rifle pellets. Disadvantages include heat build up on surface of glass, detrimental visual mirroring effect, it is difficult to clean and is flammable. Life span is short and therefore relatively expensive if correct materials are used. It should only be fitted by experienced companies, allowing for sufficient airflow and expansion capabilities.

Church Stained Glass Window Guards

Stainless Steel:
Now the adopted standard across the UK and Ireland, due to its corrosion resistance and its tensile strength which means less re-enforcement is required. Life span is unlimited if correct materials and techniques are used. Although more expensive initially the life span means that it is actually the most economical option. Caution is advised though because many companies are using cheap imported sub standard materials that do not have anti corrosion properties that is expected from quality stainless steel and they are not using correct welding techniques to ensure longevity.

Fabco offer an indefinite guarantee against corrosion or faulty workmanship.

Window Guard Close up

Finishing:
There are several finishes that companies use, firstly some use a form of plastic coating (nylon), this finish has a unsightly gloss effect and a very short life span, secondly some companies leave the window guard unfinished which has a detrimental visual impact. The third and preferred method is a polyester powder coat finish with a semi matt black finish, this finish actually makes the guard disappear when viewed from a short distance and has an extended life span.

Fabco employed a paint finishing company to develop a type of polyester powder coat and process that achieves a non-reflective finish to achieve further ‘transparency’.

Fitting:
The fitting of the window guard is of equal importance, ill fitting guards do not disappear and lose efficiency in their protection. The preferred method is that each light is fitted with an individual guard mounted on the edge of the first reveal of the stonework so that both the glass and stonework can be viewed in its entirety. Again the highest grade materials should be used for the fixings.

Points to consider when deciding on window protection.

What experience does the company have?
Are they insured?
What guarantees do they offer?
What specification is their product and does their product and materials actually meet the specification that they are claiming?
Are they an approved supplier?
Can they offer VAT exemption if your project qualifies?
Do they actually manufacture the goods or are they buying a cheap product and adding on a large mark up?
Is the price fixed for a time period and does allow for everything?

(Window Protection) (See Process) (Technical Specification)