Maintaining Timber Windows and Doors Maintaining Timber Windows and Doors
Timber windows and doors bring a touch of class to a house. Not too long ago they were about the only materials available for door and window frames. In order to keep looking good they need to be regularly maintained. It’s not anything difficult or laborious, and can be managed in just a short time. By keeping the maintenance regular you can head off any potential problems in the early stages.
If the wood has been painted you need to inspect it regularly to ensure it’s still coating the timber windows and doors. If the paint is beginning to peel, scrape it away and repaint the area. Check the area first to see if there’s any rot in the wood before painting, however. Painting wood that’s rotted merely seals in the rot, it doesn’t stop it.
Inside, you should paint the wood every time you paint the walls. Outside you should paint the timber windows and doors every few years to maintain the look and protection of the wood.
There will be caulk on the outside of the house where the timber windows and doors meet the exterior of the building. This forms a seal to prevent cold air entering. Over time the caulk will age, dry, and eventually crack. Check it regularly and replace it as soon as it starts to dry. If the caulk cracks, moisture can easily enter the wood and eventually cause rot.
Rot is the worst thing that can happen to timber windows and doors. If you find it you should either replace the part of the wood that’s rotten, if that’s feasible, or the entire window or door, which is a much larger job.
By inspecting the wood regularly, and making sure it’s properly sealed with stain or paint you cut down on the possibility of rot in the wood. If you do find a small area of rot it’s possible to chisel this. Be certain you go beyond the rot to good wood and then use filler. Once it’s dried, sand down smooth with the rest of the wood, prime and seal with stain or paint. After this, keep your eye on that area for any further signs of wood. If you catch it early enough and clean out well you should take care of the problem.
Hinges are made of metal and in the case of exterior hinges, which are more susceptible to the elements, there can be rusting, especially in the screws. You can paint hinges to seal them. If there is rusting, replace the hinges and the screws, being certain that the screws are a tight fit in the holes. Consider using a clear seal over the hinges. This will protect the metal but it will still be visible.
With sash windows, inspect the ropes regularly for fraying and replace as needed. For casement cranks you should look for any signs of rust and be certain the crank turns smoothly. If there are problems it can often be easiest to just replace the crank.