Wood casement windows are the most common type of casement window found in homes, as they are versatile. They can be easily painted and lend themselves to custom woodwork for a more personal look. Another benefit of wooden casement windows is the energy efficiency of the wooden frame. Here's a look at how to maintain wood casement windows for optimum performance and beauty.
Step 1 - Check for Rot
If the wood has rotted it may be necessary to replace the window. It is simpler to buy a new window and replace it than to attempt to fix the wooden segments, unless it is a historic building and the windows add to the authenticity. Do not paint over rotted areas.
Step 2 - Keep the Paint Fresh
Peeling paint not only looks bad but it can be indicative of a deeper problem of rotting. By painting the exterior of your windows on a regular basis, you will prevent rot from forming in the wood. A good rule is to paint the interior as often as you paint your interior walls. If you see any signs of chipping, peeling or flaking on either the inside or outside, paint immediately. You will need to sand the old paint off first if there is paint damage. You do not want to seal rot that you can't see into the sash or frame.
Step 3 - Check the Caulking
Your window will have a bead of caulking on both the outside and sometimes the inside where the glass meets the frame. Over time this caulking will crack and split, and may even fall off. If you see the caulk lifting from the window, it's time to replace it. You may be able to peel the old caulking away from the window. Be careful not to peel off paint from the sash or the frame. Clean the window and the wood with a light cleaner. You can use the side of a razor blade to scrape the window glass for any bits which may have stayed. Reapply caulking around the frame according to caulking manufacturer's instructions.
Step 4 - Maintain the Hinges
In older windows especially, the paint may have flaked off the exterior hinges and caused the hinge to rust and be less effective. You can paint the hinges, but you may want to completely replace them if the rusting is severe, especially on the screws. When replacing the hinge, be sure that the new screws fit in the holes, in case they have been damaged by the rust. Use appropriate screws in the old holes so that they fit snugly.
Step 5 - Maintain the Crank
A casement window can be opened and closed by the use of a crank. If the crank is damaged and the window does not open or close smoothly, refer to the crank's manual for instructions. You may want to simply replace the crank with a new one.