From 1st July all construction products will be required to bear the CE mark. The point of it all is to make product information more accessible to consumers and to make the language used in the industry more uniform. But, how can you tell if a manufacturer or retailer is adhering to the new rules? Here’s what to look out for when it comes to CE marking compliance.
The first thing to look out for is a physical CE mark on the product itself. It could be anywhere – even on a label or tag attached to the product. Don’t assume it’s not there if it’s not immediately visible. Ask the retailer and they’ll be happy to point it out to you. If you purchase any windows or doors from the 1st July without a CE mark, they are being sold illegally and you should report the incident.
Manufacturers are also required to provide a Declaration of Performance for each CE marked product. This document outlines how a product performs in key areas. For windows there are eight key areas and eleven for doors. While this may sound like a lot, only three are actually compulsory (even though all of them will be listed on the form). The three to watch out for are a declaration of any dangerous substances contained within a product, the thermal transmittance of a product and the load bearing capacity of safety devices.
Don’t worry if you’re a bit bamboozled about what these three things are. We’ll give you a quick explanation of each of them. Let’s start with the easiest one – the declaration of dangerous substances. It’s just confirmation from the manufacturer that their product will not emit any harmful by-products during normal use (which is extremely unlikely regardless of CE marking).
The next one to watch out for is thermal transmittance. This is an indication of the insulating ability of a product. Or in other words, it’s a measure of how well heat flows through material. For windows and doors, the lower the value the better. You might also see it called the U-value because “U” is the symbol for internal energy.
Finally we have the load bearing capacity of safety devices. This is simply a test to see if the safety devices on windows and doors are working properly. This is probably the most important aspect of the DoP. We want to ensure that our windows and doors look great. But a good looking window or door is useless if it doesn’t function properly..
Remember to look out for the CE mark on all products (whether that be on the product itself or a label attached to it) and obtain a copy of the Declaration of Performance from the manufacturer for each product. Once you have these things you can rest assured that what you’ve bought is compliant with the new rules. Hopefully this article has clarified exactly what to look out for when buying windows or doors on or after 1st July.