Autumn is a good time to carry out a maintenance check on your wood windows. In case you’re sighing at the thought, here’s some guidance to help you protect and care for your windows and frames. It won’t take long and is well worth the effort.
We suggest you do a maintenance check on your wood windows twice a year: in early spring and early autumn. When cleaning the panes at this time of the year, be extra kind and give the wooden frames and sashes a quick clean as well. Lukewarm water with a mild detergent is all you need. Pop outside to inspect the exterior surfaces, making a note of any cracks in the paint. Once you’ve checked all the windows, give them a clean, using a soft dustpan brush or a paint brush to remove dust, cobwebs and anything else that’s hanging around! That’s all you need to do for the seasonal care of your windows.
How to repair any peeling or cracked paint.
South and western facing elevations are especially exposed to the weather in the UK, so give these windows some extra attention. During your checks, did you notice any cracked or peeling paint? If so, now’s the time to make repairs. All you need to do is gently scrape off any peeling paint, sand down the wood and touch up with matching paint. A good idea is to wait until after the morning dew has gone and give the paint chance to dry before the evening moisture. Making repairs and taking care of your windows before the winter sets in will prevent future problems.
If you didn’t notice any signs of disrepair during your inspection, that’s great – keep up the good work and skip the next section. You should only need to paint your windows about every 8 years, however if you did see peeling paint and visibly rotten wood, read on.
You may have inherited neglected wood windows, like this sash in the photograph, when you purchased your house. It only takes an hour or two of maintenance twice a year, but if windows aren’t looked after then the wood will start losing its ability to repel moisture. When it gets to this stage, you’ll start to see the decay as the paint will separate from the wood, exposing the bare wood to the elements.
Should you repair or replace your wood windows?
Water is the enemy of exposed wood. It causes it to swell and stain. When water is allowed to sink into the wood, the greater chances of black mould spreading throughout your home. Check if there is a build up around the edges of your windows. If wood windows don’t have the relevant care and attention, the sashes may be difficult to open or don’t open at all. Another more obvious sign is water leaking through the windows, caused when the wood surrounding the glass has deteriorated.
If your windows are in this state, then you can’t really ignore the signs. It’s not just how they look, but how their reduced performance can affect your entire home: heat loss, damp, poor sound insulation and even compromised security. It is time to replace.
This autumn, make time to take care of your wood windows. For a small amount of time, you’ll get a big reward for years to come and add significant value to your house. You can follow up in spring to check any damage caused over the winter months.
If you decide you need to replace any of your windows, the good news is Bodnant Joinery will be able to make you a replacement window to match the original. This is especially important for heritage windows, listed buildings or properties in a conservation area. If you have any questions, do get in touch. We’d be happy to give you the advice you need.