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Don’t Let the Rot Set In: 9 Tips for Maintaining Timber Windows

Maintaining your timber window frames doesn’t have to be a daunting task or take a lot of time if you know the right steps to follow. By following a well-planned inspection schedule and having the right tips for maintaining the finish, your windows can have an alluring look throughout the year.

In this article, we are going to discuss useful tips to help maintain your timber windows in good shape and come up to snuff.

Common Timber Window Problems

Moisture and bad weather are the most common cause of problems to wood frame windows. Any reliable company knows that proper care practices can minimize the need for repairs.

Below we look at some of the common problems affecting wood frame windows.

Sticking Windows

If your window is exposed to moisture, the timber frame is likely to swell or deform. This results in the window becoming sticky hence difficult to open or close. Do not assume that the inner or outer box frame of your window could be the problem without confirming.

To solve the issue, we disconnect the sash from the frame and give the timber some time to dry. This may take a few days up to a week but can be quickened by stripping the old paint.

After it dries, we use micro-porous paint and water-based primer to repaint the wooden frame. Our professional teams know better than paint the sash stuck.

Loose Joints

Timber window frames are likely to loosen over time as their glue deteriorates. Any moisture presence causes expansion and contraction and sometimes rot. As a result, the joints end up getting loose.

If left unattended, moisture will flow through the joints and into the window frames causing the timber to swell. This makes the window get stuck, hence, hard to open.

Where the timber has not been affected to the extent of losing its structural strength, we repair the joints without removing the frames. However, we give a lot of attention to the window glazing.

Rusty Hinges

If your window hinges are fitted using plain steel screws, they are likely to rust over time. The corrosion is faster where moisture has affected the timber making it damp. A worst-case scenario is where the screws become loose.

In a case like this, we don’t focus on replacing the screws with large ones. Instead, we perform either of the following;

  • Move the hinges
  • Change the hinge with another that has a different hole configuration
  • Repair the timber where we drill screw holes and use dowel pins. We glue the dowel pins and let them dry.

Screws with plated slot heads are highly recommended for hinges since they are easier to remove when repainting the window. In case the damage has already occurred, look for a home restoration company to aid with repairs.  

Lack of proper care increases the chances of occurrence of the above problems. Timber windows look great and that’s why they dominate 30% of the market, but they do require some maintenance. Find out how you should be looking after your timber window frames right here.

1. Perform Regular Cleaning on Your Timber Windows

Regular cleaning of your wooden windows gives them a good look and also increases their life span. Use the following tips to clean them;

  • Soak a soft washcloth in soapy water
  • Remove grease marks using washing up liquid and rinse with clean water
  • Avoid grease cleaner on timber window frames
  • Restrain from using bathroom or kitchen cleaners on your wooden frame windows

2. Repaint Using Micro-Porous Paint

It’s important to perform annual paint inspection on your wooden window frames. In case recoating is needed, use the following steps;

  • Use the above steps to clean your windows and give them time to dry
  • Rub down the existing paint using a fine grade silicone carbine abrasive paper. Focus on the grease and dirt but not the existing paint.
  • Use a wet cloth to remove dust and debris
  • Allow the window frames to dry
  • Using a brush, apply the micro-porous finish. Do this carefully to avoid spilling the finish on the seals or gasket.

The micro-porous finish has the benefit that it lasts longer.

3. Repair Scratches and Chips Regularly

Leaving scratches and chips untreated will invalidate the product warranty. If it deteriorates, it can result in severe window frame damage. Use the following tips to repair scratches;

  • Repair damaged timber as soon as you discover them
  • Use a wet cloth to remove dust and debris
  • Use timber filler to repair the damage and make the surface smooth
  • Apply finish

4. Regular Wood Treatment

Maintain wooden window frames by performing the annual treatment. Alternatively, you can treat before the onset of the rainy season or sunny season. Use the following steps for treatment;

  • Use soapy water to clean the frame
  • Use the cleaning agent in the wood treatment kit to remove any salt and chemical buildup
  • Use a sponge to apply the protective emulsion

5. Use the Right Sealant

Water-based sealants are the best since they are easy to apply and maintain. They are also highly durable and can last for decades if you follow the right maintenance tips.

6. Prevent Dirt Buildup

Wipe your timber frames regularly using a damp cloth. This simple step is effective in removing dirt buildup and any contaminants. These two are capable of damaging the window finish no matter how well it is applied.

7. Apply Right Finish to Prevent Water Exposure

Water exposure on your timber windows can lead to rot. Using water-resistant finish will minimize the exposure and hence decay.

8. Maintain proper Insulation of your Windows

A lot of heat escapes through the gaps of poorly insulated windows. The gaps also allow easy flow of air and moisture, hence decreasing the durability of your wooden window frames. Proper insulation prevents damage and helps cut energy cost by up to 25%.

9. Perform Regular Rot Check

Wet wooden window frames make a good habitat for fungus. The longer the fungus thrives on your wet window frames, the more it gets spoilt. This results in black blemishes and peeling. Regularly monitoring of your window frames prevents the rot from reaching this extent.

Did You Find These Tips Helpful?

As you have seen, maintaining your timber windows in good shape is quite straightforward if you know the right tips.

And if you need more advice on home improvement tips, take a look at our home improvement segment. There are a lot of insightful articles ranging from kitchen remodeling to finding the right local handyman.