Wooden windows can last you a life time, but only if you know how to maintain and look after them correctly. Decay and deterioration is inevitable with traditional windows because of the climate, wear and tear, etc., but this does not mean that you need to give up your original windows, or that maintaining your windows needs to be a difficult endeavor.
Problems to look out for
The most common problems associated with the degradation of traditional wood sash and case windows often ultimately comes down to poor maintenance. These problems can include stuck sashes, degradation of the joints, and rotting of the timber. Left long enough, these issues can develop into the requirement for a full window restoration.
Things to look out for:
- Cracked or flaking paintwork
- Stuck sashes
- Deteriorated putty
- Broken cords
- Rotting wood
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the location of your property and climate will affect the level of maintenance and sometimes even the specific types of maintenance required. Windows in a north facing position tend to be much better sheltered from wind and rain that their south facing counterparts and there deteriorate at a much slower pace.
Steps to maintaining your windows
No one wants to add to their cleaning routine, but taking regular time to clean the timber surfaces and glass of your traditional window will not only approve the appearance and functionality of the window, it will also give you the opportunity to look for emerging issues like rotting wood or fraying sashes.
Inspecting the sash cord and pulley wheels, as well and looking over any draught proofing or weather sealing will ensure that you are making the most of your cleaning time.
Cleaning your wooden windows doesn’t require any specialist equipment, just some time and TLC. Removing any larger pieces of dirt or debris with a vacuum cleaner will ensure that you do not scratch of damage your frames and makes for an easier clean.
Fill a bucket with warm water and add a couple of drops of washing up liquid, or better yet, use a specific wood cleaner and use a well-wrung clean sponge to remove the bulk of the grime. It is important to make sure that the sponge is not soaking wet as this can damage the wood. Clean details with a toothbrush and buff dry with a soft cloth.
Avoid standing on chairs when cleaning windows, especially if there are water spillages!
Of course, cleaning and regularly inspecting your wood windows is just one aspect of maintaining your wood windows. In order to protect the wood and the window putty, the paintwork is just as important. In fact, using quality paints and having your windows professionally painted can extend the lifespan of your windows significantly.
If you’re a handy type and prefer to paint your wood windows yourself, there are a few things you should bear in mind before getting started. Firstly, it is important to remove all of the window ironmongery and sash furniture. Then prepare the area by rubbing down with a pumice stone or sandpaper before brushing away all dirt to ensure a smooth finish.
If your windows were painted with lead-based paint it is important to wear an air respirator to avoid inhaling toxic fumes, and use a wet process to avoid toxic lead dust being released into the air.
Be sure to spot prime areas of exposed wood to ensure the best results for paint adhesion.
Maintaining and caring for your traditional windows doesn’t need to be a tough job, and you will be rewarded with beautiful, functional windows that will last for years to come!