To eliminate condensation, fabricate two sheets of glass onto the panel, writes Sarah Tumwebaze
Normally, when it rains and you are inside the house, if you try looking out through the window, you will realise that some mist has formed on the window which requires that you clean it so that you can easily see what is happening outside.
This mist is caused by the difference in the temperature within the house and outside because normally when it rains, it tends to become cold outside and yet it’s warm inside. The mist on the window is caused by a process called condensation.
However, this normally happens to windows that are flat or single glazed, but if your windows are double glazed, condensation can never happen. According to Mr Patrick Maina, the works manager of Shammy Glass & Aluminium Trading Company, double glazing means making a window with two panes or sheets of glasses which are fabricated onto a panel of either aluminum, wood, UPVC or timber.
“These two panes of glass have a space of three quarters of an inch between them and this space is treated with a chemical called desiccant, which helps to reduce the condensation of moisture between the glasses,” Mr Maina explains.
He says this system of building dates back in the early 1930s, but people in developed countries started using it in the late 1950s. However, people in the 3rd world countries have just started using it that is why it’s not yet common in Uganda.
Double glazing has three methods; the traditional method is the common one. “This entails the use of glass sheets which are bound on timber or wood with either rubber or silicon,” he says.
The other method is the use of glass and aluminum where the glasses and aluminum are also binded by rubber or silicon. One can also use UPVC and glass. Mr Maina adds that aluminum and UPVC have in-built features which hold the glass unlike timber or wood.
He says this system of building helps in eliminating condensation since in between the two glasses, there is trapped air which prevents air inside the house from getting in contact with air from the outside environment. It also helps in controlling the amount of noise that gets into the house.
“For people who are building in noisy places, double glazing will come in handy because it controls the amount of noise coming from outside the house. It can also be useful for commercial buildings that are established in noisy places,” Mr Maina explains.
This is evident at Shammy Glass & Aluminium Trading Company, because when you are seated at the reception, it’s hard to detect that there is anything going on in the next room and yet it’s a fabrication workshop because all the windows and doors are double glazed.
Mr Tom Alwala, the sales Manager of East African Distributors Limited, says if you fit in modern secure locking systems into your double glazed windows or doors, this will help to increase the security of your home.
Mr Maina explains that another advantage of installing double glazed windows in your home is that it will relieve you of heat loss. Also, it will better insulate your home from the cold. This system also reduces the maintenance costs since all you need to do is to replace the rubber or silicon after every 25 years.
Double glazing is available in different styles and types. So, you can use different colours of glass like the clear glass in case you need a lot of lighting and the tinted type which comes in various colours in case you need less light. The frames also come in an assortment of colours so you can use them to suit your taste.
According to ezinearticles.com, single pane windows are most often made of a single sheet of regular glass which shatters into long, sharp shards when hit. But in double glazing, you have a choice of different kinds of glass, each of which don’t easily break. If nothing else, the double thickness reduces the chances that both panes will be broken. Whether you use security glass, toughened glass or shatterproof glass, double glazing offers some measure of safety over single glazing.
However, the disadvantage about double glazing is that it does very little to offset heat from the sun during the hot season. If the sun is shining directly onto those windows, the double glaze will not help in preventing extra heat from entering the house.
Mr Maina says, it’s important for one to choose a professional in case they need to double glaze their windows and doors because general builders do not have the standard measurements of the space between the glass which is three quarters of an inch. “Some of them use two inches which creates a big space and thus produces substandard work,” he says.
He explains that if done by an experienced person, double glazing will last for 25 years and after these years, all you will need is to replace the silicon and the rubber because they create space after sometime and this makes the trapped air to escape thus making the work inefficient.
The price of double glazing depends on whether it is a window or door. “We consider the size of the opening, its location, the use of the structure, strength of the frames needed, thickness of the glass and its colour.
However, if we are going to make a double glazed window of one metre by metre with an aluminum frame and clear glass, it will cost approximately Shs600,000.
Aluminium costs Shs16,500 per a kilo.
Wood or timber ranges from Shs5,000 to Shs15,000 per log of timber.
PVC costs between Shs20,000 and Shs50,000 per square metre.
Silicon ranges from Shs25,000 to Shs30,000.
Rubber ranges from Shs5,000 to Shs15,000 per kilogramm.
Glass costs Shs60,000 per square metre.
Desiccant chemical costs Shs1m per container, but you only need to use very little of it or every window.
Screws cost Shs6,000 per kilo.
Shammy Glass & Aluminium Trading Company.
Glasses and mirrors, Market Street.
Ugaluminium Enterprises, Namuwongo.
Hwan Sung System Furniture.
East African Distributors.