Protecting timber window frames from moisture

The highest quality timber framed sash windows are made from durable close grained timbers. These materials are environmentally friendly and can last for generations if they are properly cared for. Proper maintenance will include painting the frames, replacing sealant, repairing internal cords and weights, and cleaning to remove any dirt or contaminants.

Regardless of the quality of the timber, the material will be subjected to wear and decay if it is left exposed to moisture for long periods of time. The water will cause the fibres to soften, making the wood attractive to insects and mould. Ultimately the rotting can completely destroy the material if you don’t take steps to protect it. Fortunately paint, varnish, oil and specialist wood treatments can all be used to improve waterproofing and weather protection.

Before painting or varnishing timber frame windows it is important to remove any old layers first. This will get rid of unwanted materials and will help to achieve the best finish when the new coat is added. It is also important from a functional perspective because multiple layers can cause the window to rub or stick when it is opened or closed.

Good quality paint, varnish and treatment products will protect the timber as long as they are correctly applied. The frame should be smooth, clean and dry before a coating is added. This should then be given time to dry before it is determined whether any additional coats are needed. It is wise to take your time and work carefully to get even coverage.

Monitoring timber framed sash windows is a very important part of the maintenance. This will help you to spot signs of wear and damage to protective coatings quickly so that you can avoid leaving the material underneath exposed for a long period of time.

At David Humble we are passionate about sash window restoration as we believe these windows are historically and aesthetically important. We can provide a professional service across Northumberland to repair and restore sashes, helping property owners to retain these beautiful original features. If you need any help please contact us for advice and a consultation.