I've just got quite a large commission to refurbish/replace a number of
12-pane vertically sliding sash windows in a 300-year old farmhouse. I
don't have any problems with that, but these things were fitted with
Hermeseal draught excluders nearly 40 years ago. These are like a very fine
leaf spring (looks like a copper alloy), with a Vee cross-section. Each
leaf of the Vee is about 1" wide, and the top of the Vee is open by around
1/4" when not under compression. One leaf of the Vee is punched for
nailing, so the whole spring looks a little like a slightly-open piano
hinge. Obviously these were obtainable in considerable lengths, since the
same system was fitted around the lady's doors.
One leaf of the Vee is nailed to the frame with fine headed pins at approx
1" intervals between the outer bead and the parting bead (in the case of the
upper sash), and the spring runs vertically, the full length of the sash.
When the sash is offered into the frame, these leaf springs (obviously,
there's one at either side of the sash) are compressed, and the free edge of
the Vee springs hard against the sliding sash, forming a very effective
weather seal. The extreme thinness of the metal means that even quite small
gaps can be sealed. The springs also prevent the windows rattling in the
To do a thorough refurbishment of the frames, I'm going to have to lever
these off. Given the frequency they're nailed at, I think that it's going
to be difficult to do without damaging the very fine leaves, so I'll
probably need replacement seals.
I've done a Google, and all it comes up with is a period display poster
advertising the Hermeseal company (dated 1950!).
I've found a similar, though smaller, version of the system made in PVC, at
However, I'm not convinced about the suitability or longevity of PVC in a
sliding application. So I'd like, if possible, to stick with the metal
version that's been working flawlessly for these 40 years.
From the lack of info on the Web and Yellow Pages, I guess that that
Hermeseal are long defunct, but these seals are such an outstanding product,
that I can't believe that no-one else makes them. Any pointers, please?
I'd prefer UK, but if these are only available elsewhere, I'd certainly
consider importing them.
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