Maintain wooden window frames






Wooden window frames add natural beauty to the homes they grace. When properly maintained wooden window frames can last a lifetime. Here are some tips of maintaining wooden window frames.


Wooden windows frames require regular maintenance to keep them looking good. Any timber product, and particularly wooden windows, are continuously exposed to the elements. With a regular inspection and maintenance, as and when required, you can extend the life of wooden window frames and ensure they continue to enhance the exterior of a home.


When performing annual or seasonal home maintenance, take the time to inspect wooden window frames to check for signs of rot or deterioration of the protective sealer coat to prevent any potential problems before they have time to become expensive repairs.


Here are a few tips on what to look out for on wooden window frames:


  • Have a paintbrush handy to wipe down wooden window frames to inspect for damage and to clean the frames. A lint-free cloth lightly dampened with wood wax or preservative with clean away dust and make it easier to check for faults.
  • It is important to look for signs of moisture damage or rot, as this will indicate that the sealer coat has failed or degraded and needs to be applied. A sealer or preservative needs to be applied regularly and in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended guidelines. This is usually every 12 to 18 months depending on the product used.
  • Where wood is starting to crack, this indicates that the timber itself is drying out, again due to lack of protection and constant exposure to UV rays.
  • While inspecting the outer frame of a window, take a closer look at the beading that holds glass panes in place. Any loose beading will result in lack of insulation inside a home.


How to remedy problems:


  • Where a sealer coat has not been applied, has degraded or failed, apply an exterior sealer or wood preservative.
  • Where rot or mould has taken hold, wipe the surface with fine steel wool and mineral turpentine to asses the full extent of the damage. It may be necessary to remove severe damage with a wood chisel and fill this in with an epoxy wood putty before applying exterior sealer or wood preservative.
  • For small cracks, lightly sand with 180-grit sandpaper before applying sealer or wood preservative. You may find that, once applied, the sealer or preservative will be absorbed into the timber and rectify this problem.




Varnish is not recommended for exterior timber that is exposed to harsh elements, such as windows that are north-facing, or those installed in coastal homes.



Although there are plenty of products on the market that are cited as being suitable for exterior wood, oil-based sealers continue to provide maximum protection and require less maintenance. If in any doubt as to the right product to use for your particular situation, ask for advice at your local hardware or paint store.


  Janice Anderssen


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