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How to Maintain Wood Window Frames

Last modified: 2020-10-16 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Amanda Harvey

Wood window frames add a naturally beautiful element to both the interior and exterior of your home. However, as with everything of natural beauty, wood needs to be carefully looked after so that it can continue to have pure charm and appeal. You can easily extend the life of wood frames by making sure they are properly inspected and maintained, saving time and money in the long run.

Of course, not everyone knows the ins and outs of working with wood. When performing any form of maintenance on your home and its elements, it is important to take the time to inspect the wood frames even if they appear to be in an appropriate shape. Read on to find our tips and tricks for keeping your wood window frames looking their best. 

Here’s how to maintain your wood window frames

Clean regularly

Regular cleaning is important for the longevity of your wood window frames, as the surfaces need to be looked after so that dirt and grime do not embed themselves within the material. First, it is important that you dust your frames to remove anything that’s built up. To do this, grab a dry and clean cloth, carefully wiping along the edges of the frame.

If you notice areas with a significant buildup of dust, do not be afraid to scrub them. When finished, look to the floor below the window to make sure that what you’ve dusted hasn’t ended up there. If it has, grab that vacuum or broom so that the material doesn’t accumulate and find it’s way back onto your wood frames.

Following dusting, either clean and re-use the same cloth or grab a new one to wash your window frames. Using warm water, get the cloth soaking wet and wring it out. After this, apply a small amount of dish soap to the cloth, as regular dish soap will work just fine for cleaning your wood frames. Of course, if you’ve previously purchased a specifically-tailored wood cleaning product, you can go ahead and use this.

To move forward with cleaning your windows, lay a tarp on the floor underneath the frames, as this will work to catch any water that may drip down during the job. Move the damp cloth over frames, scrubbing areas with any dirt build-up. Results should be evident almost immediately, but if you're still noticing unwanted grime and markings, repeat the process until the frame appears clean. 

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Inspect the wooden frame for moisture damage or rot

large turquoise window

source: Pixabay

As it is a natural material, wood is very susceptible to moisture damage and rot. If you find signs of either of these, it would suggest that wood sealer used on your windows has failed or dissipated. If this is the case, wood window frames will need to be resealed or preserved with a new sealer. A wood sealer will help to maintain the longevity of your windows and will need to be applied regularly, or according to manufacturer's instructions.

Generally, a sealant product should be applied once a year. If a sealant is not applied frequently enough, your wood could also breed mold, so this is of the utmost importance. If you notice any cracks in your wood window frames, this would be an indication that the timbre is drying out, again pointing to a lack of protection on the material itself.

Another reason the wood could be drying out is due to constant sun exposure. There aren’t many options when it comes to cracking wood, aside from the resealing process, so make sure to reseal your wood surfaces accordingly. However, if you notice rot, read on!

Dealing with rot

If you detect signs of rot or mould on your wood window frames, this can be dealt with on the surface level by way of steel wool. Wipe down the surface of your wood frames by way of steel wool as well as a fine mineral turpentine, as this will help you to assess how bad the damage is. If the damage goes deep, you may need to use a wood chisel to remove parts of the frame.

If you are removing pieces, they must then be filled in using an epoxy wood putty, followed by a wood sealer to keep damaged sections from rotting again. However, if the cracks are quite bad, it may point to signs of serious rot and thus, installing a new window frame may be necessary.  

Retouching paintwork

Wood window

source: Pixabay

If your wood window frames are painted, chances are that, over the years, paint will begin to chip and fade. For this reason, it may be necessary to touch up your paint job every 2 years, depending on the shape your wood window frames are in. If this project is necessary, you'll want to start by sanding off old paint using a belt sander.

Make sure to wear a dust mask while completing this process, as paint particles can easily enter the lungs. If you’re working on the exterior of your home, wash windows down with a hose following sanding. If you’re working indoors, gently wipe windows with a wet rag. Further, before repainting windows, follow our steps listed above for cleaning wood framed windows.

Masking tape should be placed around the edges of the frame to avoid getting paint on the glass. Paint the frame and following the job, make sure to seal the wood in order to prevent future damage.

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