How to maintain timber windows and doors

Timber windows and doors are made from specially selected wood, and wood, like many other materials, is not maintenance free. Timber windows and doors are exposed to a mixture of weather conditions – especially here in the UK.  However, developments in timber window design and finish have created products that can minimise water retention and damp penetration and the use of micro-porous paints allow wood to breathe, helping them to look good for longer. To extend the lifetime of your windows and doors, some maintenance is necessary, and here are some guidelines that will help you maintain the performance and appearance of your windows and doors long after their installation.

General Cleaning

This should be carried out at least twice a year. A soft cloth with soapy water or washing up liquid can be used. To remove grease marks, again washing up liquid can be used with little or no water and then rinsed with clean water. Do not use glass cleaner on frames, or indeed, kitchen and bathroom cleaners. It is important to maintain the coated finish as this will not only leave the windows and doors looking good, but they could then be kept in great condition even after the guarantee runs out.

To Recoat

Annually, the surface coating needs to be inspected and if a re-coat is necessary a micro-porous stain or paint can be used. To do a recoat yourself, these steps can be followed – although alternatively, there are plenty of reputable tradespeople who could perform this maintenance for you.

  1. Clean the windows or doors with soapy water or washing up liquid.
  2. Using a wet and dry silicon carbide abrasive paper, lightly rub down the existing paint to remove any grease and dirt to provide a smooth finish. 
  3. Using a wet cloth, remove dust and debris, taking care to not inhale the dust.
  4. Make sure you allow enough time for it to dry thoroughly.
  5. Taking care to not get the paint on the seals or gaskets, apply the micro-porous finish with a brush.
  6. Make sure to only use micro-porous paint and always follow the instructions.

Scratches and Chips

If there is any damaged timber, it should be repainted or re-stained immediately. Follow these steps below.

  1. The damaged area needs to be prepared using a light abrasive following the line of grain.
  2. Making sure to not inhale the dust, using a wet cloth, remove all dust and debris.
  3. Depending on the damage, a timber filler may be required to repair the damage and give it a smooth surface, ready to re-apply the finish.   
  4. Re-apply the finish to the damaged area. 

Knots, grain and movement

As wood is a natural product, features such as knots and differences in grain can appear. This is just a part of the properties of timber. As timber is a natural product, there may be some movement in terms of expansion and contraction.

If the above guidelines are followed, the good looks, durability and proper function of timber windows and doors can be maintained, ensuring they do everything you want them to do long after installation.

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