How To Care For Your Timber-Framed Windows
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The first thought that many people have when it comes to replacing windows is to go for UPVC. However, if properly maintained, timber window frames... The post How To Care For Your Timber-Framed Windows appeared first on My Green Home Blog .
The first thought that many people have when it comes to replacing windows is to go for UPVC. However, if properly maintained, timber window frames can last a lifetime, whereas UPVC may need replacing after 20 or 30 years. Timber also helps maintain a more traditional look. Indeed for houses that are listed, or in a conservation area, sticking with timber windows may be the only option.
So how do you go about maintaining your frames? Most new houses are built with softwood window frames, these have a paint finish that needs to be renewed every few years. Exactly how often you need to paint will depend on the location. In sheltered spots you might get away with repainting every five years. But if your home is exposed to extremes of weather – wind-driven rain, sea spray or harsh sunlight – repainting may be more frequent.
It’s important that the paintwork is properly rubbed down to remove any loose flakes. This also ensures that extra layers of paint don’t cause the windows to stick. It should then receive an undercoat before finishing with a quality gloss paint. Make sure that then paint covers the putty holding the glass in place, as if this dries out it can allow water to become trapped behind it, which in turn can lead to rot. There are good tips on replacing putty on the Telegraph’s property advice site.
If your house has hardwood frames, these are often treated with a woodstain product or a varnish. As with painted frames, they’ll need to be retreated every few years in order to preserve the timber and maintain a good appearance. The darker or more opaque the coating that’s used the better the protection it will give against ultra violet light
When a window is damaged or rotten and has to be replaced, you don’t have to go down the UPVC route. Browse Wickes timber windows range for example and you’ll see that there’s a good choice available for those that want a traditional material. Replacement wooden frames are now often painted in the factory which gives them greater weather resistance.
In order to ensure you get the maximum life from your frames, regular maintenance is important. Keeping the frames clean in between times when they need repainting helps keep contaminants from damaging the finish. A wipe down with soapy water is all that’s needed to keep your frames looking good. If you can’t reach them yourself you could ask your window cleaner to do this, twice a year should be enough. Don’t be tempted to use a garden hose or pressure washer as this will force moisture into places where it’s not wanted.
At the time you clean your frames it’s also worth oiling the catches and hinges. Check for any damage to the external finish too and touch up any flaking or bare patches. You’ll find more care tips on the Wood Window Alliance website.
If properly treated, timber-framed windows will last a lifetime and keeping them at their best doesn’t take as much work as you might think.