Repair or Replace your Wooden Windows?
Windows play a critical role in the function of any home, providing energy efficiency, thermal insulation and aesthetic value, but even your windows need an update. So, it has come to that time when you feel like you need to refresh your windows, maybe you are moving home, trying to give your home that added saleable quality or maybe you just feel like they are in need of rejuvenating. The key question when it comes to rejuvenating your window display is whether the changes are repairable or whether you need to completely replace your existing windows with new.
Our guide will equip you with the necessary tools to identify the right solution for you and provide you with a list of key considerations when repairing or replacing your current windows.
Repairable features of your wooden windows
Your windows take the brunt of all forces of weather and, even with general day-to-day use, areas can be susceptible to damage. Fortunately, not all the wear and tear your windows face will require you to completely replace them with a new set.
There are a number of elements that are easily repairable and will have your windows looking and working as good as new before you know it. Here we discuss some of the most common areas of damage that can be repaired:
When it comes to wooden windows, paintwork deterioration is one of the most noticeable and easily fixable areas of repair in window maintenance. Cracked and flaking paintwork can be an issue for properties built pre-1960 that haven’t had regular upkeep as the use of lead paint was prevalent. Deteriorated lead-based paint is dangerous as the paint can be ground into dust and inhaled by young children.
Paintwork should be maintained in regular intervals of between 2 and 8 years depending on the paint finish used. Here at Timber Windows at Harewood we guarantee paint for 8 years and highly recommend modern micro-porous paint which we use on all our windows as its properties enable the wood to breathe effectively and vastly increase the lifespan of a window. Micro-porous paint can only be used if the wood has been treated correctly from the outset.
Rotten sills are a type of damage which, if caught early enough, can be repaired without the need for full replacement of your window. Window sill rot turns the wood soft and compromises the integrity, strength and security of the window structure.
Always ensure with rotten window sills that their rot is confined to the sill, if the rest of the wood in the frame is rotten then unfortunately it will require replacing. If you are happy that the rot is contained, your rotten sills can be replaced fairly easily by splicing in new pre-treated hardwood. If the rot is in the very early stages you can use a resin wood filler to sure-up the structure.
Snapped sash cord
Sash (or double-hung) windows are counter-balanced by two pairs of weights hidden in each side of the window. Sash windows use weights hung on cords that run over a pulley wheel at the top of the window frame. These cords can sometimes have a tendency to snap and if a cord does snap, it renders the sash very difficult to open and close.
Snapped cords are the most common repair to be made to wooden sash windows, so don’t worry, they are relatively easy to replace. Our top tip is to replace both cords at the same time even if only one has snapped as the sash has to be taken out of the frame to replace the cord. Timber Windows at Harewood use an advanced chain and pulley system to counter-balance the windows, this eradicates the need for replacement caused by stretching and snapping.
Signs you need to replace your windows
This section of the guide will help you to identify the signs that you need to replace your windows. Knowing when to replace rather than renovate is a difficult task so here are the key indicators it’s time:
Rot is too severe to repair
As previously mentioned, window rot can, if caught early enough, be easily repaired, however, if the rot is widespread the structural support provided by the window is compromised. If there is more rot than solid wood left in the window then it is time to replace.
Existing window material or style not fitting to the property
Your home plays a major role in your life and is the biggest statement piece you have therefore its design has to be just right. It is key to ensure that the style and material of windows is befitting of the property and these elements can impact upon the value of your home. Wooden windows have an elegant and timeless aesthetic that provide that extra design element to your home.
Beware, use of uPVC windows on a period property can have a negative impact on your house value and are banned in conservation areas.
Misted double glazed units
The misting that occurs inside double glazed units is a result of the external seal being broken. Failed units can’t be repaired to a satisfactory level which means the only solution is to replace the glass. This is often difficult and can be expensive when the window or door has lots of smaller panes. In a lot of cases it is more practical to replace the window or door with a system that prevents this. Timber Windows at Harewood double seal each and every unit to add a secondary defence as well as incorporating hidden drainage and ventilation channels to keep the seals around the units dry.
Do you find that your windows are regularly affected by condensation? Condensation can be reduced and in some cases completely eliminated by installing double glazing. Some windows will carry the thicker double glazing but generally original wooden windows struggle to take the extra depth and weight. Top Tip: Use a double glazed unit that has a thermal spacer bar; this will minimise the cold transfer between units and in turn cut down on condensation even further. Our units are filled with argon and krypton gas for increased insulation properties.
If your windows are not easy-to-use and you find yourself refraining from using them due to difficulty opening and closing them then it could be time to replace them. Stiff windows are not only laborious to use but can be a safety hazard in the event of a fire.
The use of single-paned windows is highly energy inefficient and moving to double-glazing does not mean that you have to compromise on style and quality.
Dwellings are now required by Building Regulations to be energy efficient and must comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations in relation to the amount of heat that can to pass through the glass and framework, which is measured as a U-Value.
At Timber Windows at Harewood, we set out to create the highest performing timber windows on the market which is why all our modern timber windows come with double glazing as standard.
Whether you decide to repair or replace your windows, we have created a list of points for you to consider when you are in the process:
- Style – when choosing new windows think about how both the material and the style fit the aesthetic of the house as this can have a knock on affect further down the line.
- Life Cycle – most modern windows now come with a guarantee for the life cycle of around 30 years however, studies have shown that research shows that modern timber windows have a life span of 60 years or more
- Paint – Be careful of the use of lead paint on windows and when getting a fresh coat use micro-porous paint which can enhance the life span of your window by letting the wood breath
- Lifetime Cost – Be sure that you think about the lifetime cost with your windows rather than just the upfront. The reliability and durability of modern timber windows mean that in the long run you spend less money than you would on maintenance and repair with cheaper, uPVC windows.