There’s no denying that wooden windows provide the perfect architectural aesthetic to the finish of a home as they look natural and steer you away from unsightly PVC. However these windows do need a little care and attention in order to maintain their durability and function so we’ve developed some tips to help you do just that.
If the windows in your home are the older, wooden variety it is well worthwhile conducting regular routine maintenance and window repairs. This will help to prolong the lifetime of your windows and ensure they look their best all year round.
Like many natural materials wood is affected by changes brought on by different types of weather. You have probably noticed that your windows seem a little looser when it is hot and dry (although in the UK this may not happen too often!). At other times, when it is cold and wet the windows may feel a little tighter. This is due to the wood fibres taking on moisture and swelling in the damp winter and drying out in the warm summer. Windows constructed using hardwoods are less prone to this. Ensuring your windows are well-painted helps to reduce this problem. Wooden windows require window repairs on an on-going basis.
This can wreak havoc on windows if left untreated and lead to costly professional window repairs. As well as the general rain & wind you have to be mindful of leaks from faulty drainpipes or guttering. Generally timber windows are designed to withstand water, but it needs to be able to run off and not linger on the frame so keeping them clean really helps. With this in mind it is worth conducting regular checks on your windows so that you can identify problems as soon as they start to arise and avoid costly window repairs.
If the paint is beginning to crack or peel on your windows it is very important not to let it go to far. Paint that is cracked and flaking will allow moisture to seep into the wood, causing wet rot that will eventually destroy the wood if left untreated. If wet rot takes hold you will need carry out window repairs to remove it by chiselling it away until you are down to the solid wood. You can then use 2 part epoxy filler to repair or renew the section of wood that’s damaged. Once the filler has dried you should sand it down so that it is aligned with the wood and no bumps are showing. Then finish it off using a primer coat followed by 2 undercoats and finally a gloss coat.
It’s far easier to monitor the state of the windows and make window repairs from time to time especially repainting them when required. You can prepare the existing paint by rubbing well down using abrasive paper 80 or 120 grit. Prime and paint as above. As a tip, use a small brush for awkward sections and a large one for broad strokes. Also, you can avoid getting paint on the glass by using the old tradesman’s trick of placing masking tape along the edges before you paint. Or by using a sharp blade to remove once the paint had dried.
The most common cause of a window sticking is swollen timber as mentioned above or a build-up of paint or varnish. If the sticking is happening throughout the year the problem is likely to be paint or varnish and you can tackle these window repairs simply by sand down the wood and repainting. If the sticking is happening seasonally, during cold wet weather, it means that the wood is absorbing moisture and then expanding. In this case you should identify the source of the water as a priority and address it.
For windows that have integral draught /storm seals its important to give them a good wash from time to time. One of the biggest factors in keeping rain out is the quality of this seal, however over time they get ingrained in dirt. If you allow this to build up it will eventually impact on the integrity of the seal. Fortunately this is a relatively easy window repair to clean away this build-up. Washing-up liquid or detergent and warm water will do the trick. Also, be careful not to scrub too hard though or you risk damaging the seal – exactly the opposite of what you are trying to do.
Window repairs involving hinges. Keep an eye on the condition of your window hinges and screw in or replace any that are loose. If the screw will not hold try pushing 1 or 2 match- sticks in the hole. Replace any hinges that have become worn out. This can avoid issues with the windows dropping, sticking or failing to close properly. Also, as a preventative measure keep moving parts lubricated with WD40. This will help to reduce wear and tear.
Window repairs involving Sash windows. Make sure the pulley ropes are in good condition and not frayed and replace those that have become worn. Removing built up layers of paint from the sliding sections of the frames will help the sashes to slide more easily. Replacing sash chords is a little tricky and involves removing the stop and parting beads from the frame. Unless you are familiar, get a carpenter or glazing company to do it. Replacement parts for sash windows are readily available. Remember you could easily spend 1 full day in fully overhauling a double hung sliding sash including replacing the chords.