24 Dec A Guide to Maintaining Timber Windows
Windows are an important feature of any building, and timber windows in particular contribute a great deal to the overall look and architecture of a period home. There’s a reason windows are known as the ‘eyes of the house.’ Timber frame windows must be cared for and maintained as they age, not just for cosmetic purposes but from a practical perspective too. Here are some useful things to know about caring for timber frame windows…
Original Timber Frames
If you have an older home with original timber frames then the timber is likely to be more dense and durable from being slow grown and straight gained, unlike today’s timber, making it irreplaceable. Therefore it is very important to look after it as much as you can, and repair rather than replace if possible. It is also usually more cost effective to repair and there are methods we can use to upgrade their thermal efficiency without replacements, maintaining their character and value.
Check for problem areas thoroughly, by opening the sash or casement and inspecting it inside and out. If your windows are stuck then take extra care – it may be worth calling in an expert to assist you in assessing them in this case. Things to look out for are broken sash cords, damaged hinges, loose joints, draughts and rattles, damaged paintwork or putty, rotten areas, and difficulty opening.
Dealing with Rot
Where your windows are rotted, the best way to deal with this is for a carpenter to cut out the rot and joint in new sections of similar timber to match. In the meantime, a short term solution can be found with two-part resin fillers but this is not recommended long term. Common problem areas include sills, sash boxes, and lower sections of the window frame.
It’s likely that the joints holding your windows together become loose over time. One thing to be aware of is that your window corners may not all be at 90 degrees so take this into account and check thoroughly before making any repairs. It’s possible to take the window apart and re-glue the joints, but you’ll most likely need sash cramps to pull them tight enough together while the glue dries. Alternatively, you could fit a stainless steel angle bracket.
Repainting window frames regularly is an important part of their maintenance to ensure the timber is well protected against rot and swelling, which can lead to them sticking, draughts, rattles, and failing joints. Start by preparing the surface by removing flaking paint, sanding down, and stripping paint layers. Make sure you cover all areas to prevent moisture getting in, but be careful not to clog draught strips with paint as it can stop them working.
Draught proofing can make your windows more thermally efficient, reduce noise, and cut your energy bills, but it’s not a task you should ideally attempt on your own without experience. Hire a professional to rebate draught strips into window edges, meeting rails, and parting beads of sashes, and make sure the window is a snug fit inside the frame.
Secondary glazing is an effective way to reduce the amount of heat loss through the glass while avoiding significant interference with the original window. This is a discreet option that a professional can install for you.
Our team can fully restore your rotten, old timber sash and casement windows back to their former glory. We can install draught proofing, changes sills, overhaul, add slim double glazing fully prepare and paint and much more. To learn more, please click here: https://hrgservices.co.uk/our-services/