Synergy News & Blog: Guildford Office

Replacing Crittall Windows? Then read on …

Replacing Crittall Windows? Then read on …

The metal windows that most people remember are Crittall windows which has become a household name. Crittall is in fact the name of the manufacturer, and they are still being produced today.

Many of the schools with which we work have older Crittall windows commonly produced from the 1940’s -1960’s. These single glazed windows are prone to warp and can be draughty.

At Synergy our Building Surveyors are regularly involved in their replacement.

Many of these projects are the result of successful Condition Improvement Funding/LCVAP bids.

Our Surveyors are able to offer advice on options for replacement and more importantly provide guidance on the potential presence of asbestos which is a key consideration that will have an effect on both cost and programme.

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, Reg’s.6 and 11 places a responsibility on the employer to carry out a risk assessment to identify the risks and so far as is reasonably practical prevent exposure of asbestos, of their employees.

If you have no intention of removing asbestos but work on buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000, asbestos could be present. You will need awareness training so you know how to avoid the risks. Asbestos awareness training should be given to employees whose work could foreseeably disturb the fabric of a building and expose them to asbestos or who supervise or influence the work.

In particular, it should be given to workers in refurbishment, maintenance and allied trades where it is foreseeable that asbestos containing materials (ACMs) may become exposed during their work. As such, the replacement of Crittall windows will require a Refurbishment and Demolition (R&D) Survey to ascertain if ACM is present, this may involve removal of a window to inspect the packing materials and wall plugs.

Asbestos cement (Amosite/Chrysotile Asbestos) can be found as packing material around Crittall windows, where it was used to level the frame when it was originally installed; it can also be found as wall plug material where window fixings penetrate the surrounding wall. It is also worth noting that asbestos can also be found in the form of debris within the wall cavity which becomes exposed once you take an old window out.

To do this investigation an exclusion zone will be required with the affected area having notices posted warning that asbestos removal works are in progress. Operatives carrying out the works should be equipped with FFP3 face masks, disposable overalls, lace-less boots or over shoes and have the use a high efficiency vacuum.

The screws fixing the window should be removed whilst a second person using the high efficiency vacuum collects any fragments which may break away. The removed screws should be treated as asbestos waste and placed within asbestos waste bags.

Once the window has been removed it will be possible to check the wall plugs and any packing material for asbestos content. During removal, it will be necessary to carry out an air monitoring test to assess the concentration of airborne asbestos fibre levels that may have been generated by the removal process.

A more detailed explanation and guidance on monitoring of airborne asbestos fibre can be found on the ARCA Guidance Note.

The removal of ACM material which is deemed non-notifiable under HSE guidelines can be carried out by appropriately trained operatives under locally controlled conditions; as such contractors and fitters should be trained in asbestos removal to level two for removal of non-licensed work.

Should ACM be present on the sample window this procedure will be required to safely remove all the of the windows which are to be replaced, which can be costly, as much as £350.00 per day for a registered asbestos contractor to be in attendance.

If you are thinking of implementing a Crittall window replacement project,  do not hesitate to get in touch to arrange a chat with our Building Surveying Team.

Posted on 6/9/2018

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