Rotten wooden window frames are a real problem. If your window frames aren’t in good condition, it can lead to water entering your home. It can also lead to drought and energy issues.
So, is the only option to replace your wooden window frames or the rotten frames are repairable?
Well, we have years of experience repairing wooden window frames, which are the services we can provide for you.
Rotten window frame repair service
No matter how extensive the rot is in your windows, we can repair them for you whether you have small areas of rot that we can use treatments on. Or we need to remove sections of the wood in your window; we can do it all.
We use modern engineered timber to replace the old wood. This ensures that your windows remain stable throughout the year and are more resistant to rot than ever before. We also use the same joinery techniques as the window makers of the past. So, any wood we replace in your windows will look exactly the same once we have finished.
If we need to treat smaller areas of rot, we will first remove all of the paint. This is to understand the full extent of the rot and how much of the window frame it is affecting. We can then use a chemical rot treatment. This hardens the wood around the rotting area. We then fill any holes and gaps created by the rot with a strong two-part epoxy which stabilises the wood again.
Once we are finished, your windows will be stronger than ever, and the look of your home won’t have changed at all. The windows will look as good as they did when they were first installed.
Rotten frames do not mean you need to replace your windows.
Many window companies say you must replace old, rotten windows, but we disagree. In fact, we have worked on windows in the past, with over 30% of the window being affected by rot. We replaced all the severely affected areas and then treated the rest.
There is a lot we can do to your rotten window frames. So, before you replace them with new timber windows or uPVC frames, speak with us.
Changing your windows will change the exterior of your home forever, and if you live in a listed building, it may not even be possible.
Repair rotten windows in listed properties
If you have wooden windows in a listed building and have noticed areas of concern, get in touch. We have years of experience working on wooden windows in listed properties and are more than happy to guide you through the process of having them repaired. Often, wooden windows in listed buildings can not be replaced with modern ones, so repairing them or replacing them with wooden ones are the only options.
Example of renovated rotten window frames
As you can see from the photos, these window frames were in a bit of a sorry state. Once we had removed all of the wood that had too much rot to be saved, we could splice in fresh engineered wood using traditional joinery techniques.
We could then treat any remaining areas of rot to stop it in its tracks. We then sanded the windows and primed and painted them.
As you can see now, the windows look beautiful again, and more importantly, they are protected from rot with good quality paint that will last at least eight years until the next maintenance is required!
We repair both frames and sashes.
We will repair any sections of a window frame and wooden sashes and can also retrofit glazing in existing sashes and fit them back to make the window more efficient.
We take pride in our window restoration services and repair every inch of every window to ensure it withstands many years of use.
What causes the wooden frame to rot?
Wooden window frames rot because moisture has been allowed to creep in under the paint. If the windows haven’t been painted for a while or areas have been missed, water can get into the wood and stay there. Once this occurs, bacteria can begin eating the wood away.
The most common areas of rot on windows are the bottom part of the frame, the window sill, and joints connecting the frame together. If water gets into the joints, rot can spread into other areas of the joint too.
Most rotten parts of the wooden window
The areas of a window most affected by rot are:
- The window sill
- Apron (part underneath the window sill)
- Lift (the bottom part of the window frame)
- Bottom areas of the casing
These are the first areas of your window that you should check if you think it has rot damage. However, over time and without treatment, all areas of the frame can become affected.
Signs of hidden rot – how to assess the level of damage
If you suspect that your windows have rot underneath the paint, there are ways of testing it. First off, take a good look at the areas above. If you notice any flaking paint or unevenness in the paint’s finish, this is a tell-tale sign of rot.
To understand the extent of the rot issue in your window frame, you can use a chisel to remove the paint and inspect further. Healthy wood will be solid, while rotted wood can crumble easily. Remember, though, that removing the paint will make the rotting problem worse. So, if you notice any areas of rot, be sure that your window frames require some maintenance.
Prevention of rot and how to reduce the risk of rot
Painting your windows regularly is a great way of reducing the risk of rot. Doing a good job with the painting will ensure that all of the wood is protected.
A visual inspection of your windows every few years will notify you of any areas of concern too. Look for any joints in the frames that have separated, soft spots and any flaking paint. If you put these issues right now, it may save the entire frame from rotting over time.
In general, it is cheaper to repaint windows ones 3-5 years than to let the frame rot to the stage when it becomes hard to find someone who can repair your windows.
Why is it a bad idea to use screws and nails in window restoration
Water can creep into nails and screw holes over long periods. Traditionally, wooden windows do not use any metal fixings. Instead, they rely on joinery for strength. This, along with good quality paint, keeps the window weather tight. If you use screws or nails, water that lands on the nails or screws can creep into the wood and rot it over time.
The metal in wood, no meter if it is galvanized or not, will correspond to the temperature changes different to wood. Metal will transmit more heat, and this will affect the timber around it. The metal nails are also the first place where the paint will crack.
Three most common methods to repair rot
Wood fillers, most common among DIYers and non-professional
Wood filler epoxy is one of the best choices for rot treatment in wooden windows. There are also chemical rot treatments available that kill rot in its tracks. These are really worth using, but wood filler epoxy is the best way of treating rot and filling holes that the rot has created. The epoxy wood filler is thin enough to get into all of the areas of rot and harden the wood again, making it as strong as the healthy wood around it.
If the rot issue is really bad, then removing sections of the window may be required. We removed the rotten wood and carefully spliced it in fresh wood using the same joinery techniques that were used to make the frame in the first place. We ensure the new joints do not overlap the old ones as this can cause more issues in the future. We then sand, prime and coat the entire frame with a good quality exterior paint.
Sashes replacement combined with Spliced repairs and wood filler
More often than not, both of the techniques for rot treatment above are needed. Often, our customer’s windows have large areas of rot that need to be replaced by splicing in new material. However, other areas of the window are still in good enough condition that we can simply use filler to treat the rotted wood. This is why a visual inspection of the wooden windows is so important.
Our restoration method
To remove and treat all of the rot in a wooden window frame and make it strong again, we use plenty of different techniques. Removing the old wood and splicing in fresh engineered wood is just one method. This engineered wood is laminated together. It makes it stronger and less likely to rot altogether. We then paint and prime with exterior grade paint. The windows look new again and are safe and secure.
To find out more about our rot treatments for wooden window frames, please get in touch. We also have plenty of other wooden window frame restoration services to help you bring your windows back to life.