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Double Glazing Heritage Roof Windows [Must Read]

Graeme Clarke May 29, 2018 Heritage Windows

Heritage roof windows are a coveted building feature. They offer a historical quality that simply cannot be replicated with modern building materials and methods. With the undeniably charming aesthetic of these attic and loft windows, built into gabled dormers to bring in extra light and ventilation on the inside, they are always attractive and definitely something you want to look after.


They were often used in Australian workers' cottages and villas in the 19th and early 20th century. With their vertical profile, these windows also create a little more space in loft or attic rooms.



When you take care of them, these windows can easily last another century, adding value to your property and enjoyment to your lifestyle.


But there’s more good news.


When you combine modern advancements in window technology with your heritage rooftop windows, you can not only preserve your windows but also revolutionise their performance – leaving you with optimal thermal and acoustic insulation and beautifully restored heritage windows that look and function just as they did a hundred years ago.




Insulate and Soundproof Your Old Roof Windows


Especially in older buildings, there are likely to be cracks and deterioration around your roof windows, also called dormer windows. Not just that, but they were made using a single pane of glass; single glazed windows were used up until recently. With a single glaze, you’ll always have to deal with poor insulation as your glass is going to act as a serious source of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. 



On top of the thermal insulation issues and poor energy efficiency, old roof windows tend to be a weak point when it comes to fending off noise pollution. Especially if those upper floor windows are near the bedrooms where everyone sleeps, getting your windows soundproofed can make a world of difference in terms of promoting a better night's rest and maintaining a quiet, comfortable home.


Double glazing your heritage roof windows addresses all of these issues and more. Here’s how it works for historical buildings.



Double Glazing for Heritage Roof Windows


The thing is, you’ll want to keep your existing timber frame instead of having a new, modern roof window installed – and losing all the character and charm of your period windows. This is why retrofit double glazing systems are the way to go with heritage buildings.



The current timber frame remains, and the old single pane of glass is replaced by a double glazing unit, which consists of two panes of glass and a sealed air space in between. This small air space dramatically slows down the movement of thermal energy and diminishes the audible sounds and vibrations that enter your home, in addition to the insulating power of two panes of glass. 


You can have your double glazing customised to specifically suit your thermal and acoustic insulation needs. For example, you may want to use a special acoustic glass if you live near an airport for more soundproofing, or low-e glass to reduce unwanted solar heat gain even more than a standard double glazing unit can. 



The Difference Heritage Window Expertise Can Make


Let’s face it. That century-old timber joinery has been through a lot. There may be areas of softened or rotted wood. The windows may not function properly – they may even be sealed shut if no one has opened them for decades.


It’s essential these areas of the window are examined, cared for, and refurbished or fixed where necessary.


They are also vulnerable to moisture, even with double glazing. Unless you work with a company that specialises in heritage windows and uses a dry retrofit double glazing system, your double glazing units can, over time, break down from moisture exposure.


With a focus on longevity – after all, these are century old relics, why work on them unless you can help to preserve them for future generations? – the window professionals at Thermawood developed a patented drainage system. This special drainage design, which was modelled and tested with 3-D printing, is a part of every retrofit double glazing system we install.



And, it’s the key to making sure your double glazed roof windows last well beyond this era.


Dry, insulated, soundproofed, and stunning. With the right double glazing system for your heritage roof windows, you get to keep the charm and preserve a piece of architectural history – while enjoying a comfortable, more energy efficient, quieter home.



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