Us Brits really do love a conservatory; they increase the size and value of our homes whilst providing a unique area which can be used for a number of different reasons. Conservatories can be used as living rooms, dining rooms, reading rooms and people even use them as gyms. Conservatories get used a lot by all different members of the family – they will be doing very well not to get damaged if there are pets or small children in the family who are enjoying their space!

We are able to enjoy many good times in conservatories as we look to make the most of their cosy and welcoming surroundings. But we must look to protect them against accidents and against the wear and tear which time will bring.

The Conwy Valley Windows and Conservatories team have put together a handy maintenance guide to ensure you keep your conservatory in tip top condition – this includes looking after the windows, glazing, cleaning and furniture maintenance. The aim is to make sure you can get the most from your conservatory for years to come!

We will cover issues which affect both the inside and outside of your conservatory, there are products available and bits of information which will ensure you keep your sunroom in the best possible condition. Our guide will help you make sure it lasts longer and remains a room which is used regularly and enjoyed by the whole family.

The outside glazing of your conservatory is the area which is most likely to come into disrepair, this is because it is open to the elements and will have to endure the wind, rain, hail, ice and snow – basically whatever weather condition our unpredictable British climate throws at it!

gable end conservatory

On the outside

Conservatory glazing

The majority of a conservatory is made out of glass, so the most obvious way to keep it looking clean and attractive is to clean the glass! You can clean the glazing of your conservatory in much the same way that you would clean any other window pane in your home. Use the usual cleaning products which are available in supermarkets, they will be more than effective in helping you look after your the glazing.

It is recommended that you should clean your conservatory at least four times a year, although you can do it yourself, there are a number of specialist companies around who can take care of the maintenance for you. It is cheaper if you do it yourself though!

Double glazed windows mean that conservatories remain warm throughout winter as well as the summer. To keep the important glazing clean you should buy an extender pole cleaner which allows you to reach even the most hard to get-to parts of the roofing or windows. By purchasing a longer cleaning device you will be able to then clean the upstairs windows of your house as well!

Doing it yourself is a much better option than letting a window cleaner loose on your conservatory – if you can trust them to do a great job that is great but if not, just do a bit of DIY!

It can be a very time consuming job to clean a conservatory, it may take a day or a long weekend to do a proper job – you will need to complete these key tasks:

  • Remove any plant materials from the drainpipes and gutters
  • Sweep the roof to remove any mild moss and algae – use a mould removing solution when you have finished to protect against it growing back quickly
  • Clean the windows, use the same solution and brush you use for the rest of your house
  • If you spot any cracks you should contact a maintenance company, they will inspect the damage and take appropriate action
  • Always clean the conservatory frame as well as the windows themselves, wipe it down with spray water – if you have an older wooden conservatory you should treat the wood after cleaning to protect it against the elements.

Maintaining your conservatory properly will protect against any leaks, roof damage and decay, if you have experienced any bad weather then you should clean it more often. Extreme weather can accelerate any issues – always take a look at the outside conservatory after any severe storms or snow.

Do not use a power washer or hose to remove dirt. Although they are very effective they can actually cause more damage. A powerful hose may even shift panels and create leaks and give you problems that you don’t need.

If you haven’t had your conservatory built yet and are considering one in the future, make sure to look at glazing which has built in UV and fade protection – it will cost more initially but you will save more in the long run.

Consider safety

When cleaning the outside of your conservatory you should be very careful when doing so. In no instance should you climb on the roof – use a extendible brush where you can, get a ladder and climb up to the edge of the rood and use the brush to reach over, when cleaning the conservatory you should try to do it in pairs – having someone to hold the ladder and supervise can give you peace of mind in case any accidents happens. You will also get the job done twice as fast so you can then relax and enjoy the conservatory itself!

Never walk on the roof panels, you can purchase crawl boards which are then placed on the roof in order to give it more strength. Only then should you attempt to get on top of the roof – make sure to crawl slowly when doing so. This should really be a last resort and should not be attempted in wet or slippery conditions or if you are unsupervised.

If there is a job that you cannot manage safely, contact a maintenance company who will have the methods and expertise to complete any job properly.

conservatories

On the Inside

Looking after your conservatory furniture

Conservatories allow us Brits to enjoy that little bit more luxury – we are able to make the most of those increasingly rare sunny days. They are a sort of halfway house between the house and the garden. They make us feel like we are outside (sort of) while we can sit back relax on furniture which you would usually find inside. They offer the best of both worlds.

Purchasing comfortable and stylish furniture is key to enjoying your conservatory – we want to be able to maximise any sunshine we do get and enjoy it in completely comfortable surroundings. As with the conservatory itself, we need to maintain the furniture that is inside. How can you do that I hear you ask, well lets start with the inevitable fading of furniture due to the sun and how we can protect against it.

Lots of conservatory furniture is made of cane and bamboo – if you do not protect these materials against the elements you will see them eventually begin to break down and look tired. One thing you can do is move your furniture around regularly – each area of a conservatory will be exposed to different levels of rays from the sun so rotating furniture will make this be more even. Doing this will protect your furniture – you don’t need to do it too often, but do be aware of which areas of your conservatory are warmer, hotter or lighter than others.

As you would in the rest of your house, you should look after the cushions on your furniture – dust and vacuum them at least once a week whilst turning them over regularly to help them maintain their shape. Again, remove any accumulated dirt, that will also help with protecting against any future fading.

I have found that synthetic rattan is the best material for conservatory cushions, it is able to stand up to the heat on hot days and is the perfect option – for me anyway!

Synthetic rattan is UV resistant and doesn’t fade in the sun – if you are buying new furniture you should ensure that you are purchasing the right kind – check the labels and ask a member of staff before buying. Synthetic doesn’t mean fake, it just means they are more durable and less prone to damage, wear and tear.

If you haven’t had your conservatory built yet and are considering one in the future, make sure to look at glazing which has built in UV and fade protection – it will cost more initially but you will save more in the long run.

You should polish your furniture with light duty polish and never use any harsh chemical cleaners – a damp cloth will do. The idea is to make sure that your furniture lasts a long time so you can enjoy it longer into the future – you won’t need to spend a shed load either!

Roof and window blinds

After all i have just talked about, the best way to really protect your conservatory furniture is to have some roof or window blinds installed, they provide the most comprehensive protection and contain solar reflective materials and fabrics. Binds will also provide you with privacy at night, this is great when you are effectively sat in a room made of glass!

For me nothing beats a sunny weekend morning with the paper and a good cuppa, relaxing in the conservatory with the sunshine beaming down which creates a wonderful warmth to bask in! A conservatory is a superb room to spend time in during all four seasons – you can really create a room which meets your needs and is comfortable and welcoming for everyone – you should ensure that it is immaculate to really get the most out of it.

It really doesn’t matter if your conservatory is an older model or has been built recently – maintenance issues remain the same. The earlier you begin to keep on top of everything, the easier it will be to enjoy the space a long time into the future – so start now!

To enjoy this time completely it is really important that your sunroom is in a great condition, this includes the removal of dirt and any other other maintenance that needs to take place, always keeping both the inside and outside in perfect condition in order to prevent any issues further down the line.

As well as important maintenance, you should remember to try and flood your conservatory with as much colour as you can, use an exciting palette of colours – in the spring you could decorate with greens, yellows and blues. Do not let your conservatory be the forgotten room of the house, make it an inviting place to be – be bold and create a space which you will want to use all year round!

Looking after a conservatory requires more than a little check up every now and again, acquire specialist cleaning equipment and wipe down the frame as well as the glazing regularly. Both the out and the inside of your conservatory will need care and attention to keep it looking clean and like-new. Do not neglect it through the winter, as you will notice issues when you come to entertaining with that barbecue in July!

Staying on top of conservatory cleaning can be quite consuming but is manageable if it is approached with these simple bits of advice in mind. Don’t ever leave it too long between each clean – you could even print out this guide as a reminder next time you are looking to spruce your sunroom up – giving it the gleam that it deserves!

Have we missed anything important off our list? You can join in the conversation on Twitter or Facebook and let us know if you have any special treatments which you use keep your own conservatory in perfect condition!