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Iceni Magazine | August 9, 2020

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How to take care of wood windows

How to take care of wood windows

Wooden windows add a timeless beauty to any home and if they are well taken care off, they can last a lifetime.

Wood windows require maintenance to continue looking good and remain durable. It goes without saying that wood windows are susceptible to many different weather conditions however there is no rule as to how often maintenance must be done.

Regular maintenance would be in the best interest of the homeowner as it will not be time consuming or tiring. This will also help the person to identify problems at the earliest stage and therefore rid them of any major issues later on. Special attention should be given to those windows that are more prone to exposure to the sun’s UV rays. It is recommended that people carry out wood window repairs and maintenance every six months on average as this will ensure that they avoid problems that could possibly lead to replacement of entire window casements later on. Many sources will even recommend that people do monthly cleanings and inspections to ensure their frames are in excellent condition.

Cleaning wood windows

You will need:

  1. Mild detergent
  2. A bucket
  3. Sponge
  4. Sandpaper
  5. Sanding sponge
  6. Wood filler
  7. Putty knife
  8. Enamel paint


  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of mild detergent with a litre of warm water.
  2. Using your sponge, wash the wood window frame. Rinse the sponge and squeeze it, making sure to replace the solution once it becomes too dirty.
  3. Once the frame is clean, it will be much easier to check for cracks or damage on the frame. Keep an eye out for mildew growth or cracks or paint that may be peeling. If you notice any of these, you will need to refinish your wood frame.
  4. Using your sandpaper, sand the frames to remove the old paint and mildew. You may need to use an angled sanding sponge to reach the corners.
  5. Fill any cracks you may have found with wood filler and use a putty knife to push the wood filler into the crack.
  6. You may then smooth the area with the blade of the knife so that it is even with the rest of the window frame. Let it dry overnight until it becomes hard.
  7. Proceed to paint the frame with a latex or oil based enamel paint that is suitable for outdoor use.

Useful tips:

  1. You must always ensure that the windows have been cleaned before you inspect them for possible damage or malfunction.
  2. Tape the glass of the window with painter’s tape before you begin painting the frames to avoid messing the glass.

Possible problems with wood window frames

When you have cleaned the windows, you will need to keep an eye out for the following problems:

  1. Water penetration: this may be caused through poor maintenance where the wood finish is cracked or even due to household maintenance that has not been attended to, such as rising damp, or a leaking drainpipe. Wood windows are created to resist water penetration however if it is constantly in contact with the wooden window frame, it will cause damage.
  2. Wood that is rotten: this is possibly the worst thing that could happen to a wood window frame and is caused by moisture entering into the wood or by wood that is too old and has not been maintained adequately.
  3. The window’s hardware: ensure that all of the hardware and mobile parts are fitted on properly, and work as they should. You should lubricate the movable parts twice a year with an acid free oil to ensure that they continue to move smoothly.
  4. Sash windows: inspect the ropes on a regular basis for fraying, and replace whenever need be.

It is important to caulk the edges of your window frames to prevent possible moisture damage to your home’s interior. You must also inspect the caulking on a regular basis around the outer edges of your wood window frames. Take off any loose or cracked areas and then seal those gaps with caulk that is suitable for outdoor use.

Whether your home has its original wood window frames or newer replacement windows, regular maintenance will ensure they are looking their best at all times. Remember original wood window frames add value to your home when you plan on selling your home so it is ideal that you try and maintain the home’s original wood windows.

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