Tuesday, January 13, 2015

House Window Repairs - Dealing With Wood Rot

House Window Repairs - Dealing With Wood RotHouse window repairs necessitated by wood rot are often avoidable, can usually be done by the householder, and can seldom be postponed for long. Here is some advice for staying on top of any problems with wood rot that may affect your windows.

The outside of your window frames are constantly exposed to the elements, and those on a south-facing wall take the brunt of hot sunshine in summer and wind and rain at all times of the year. No wonder, therefore, that they are prone to rot, especially the bottom rails of softwood window frames.

How extensive is the rot or other damage? If comparatively small then it can probably be repaired quite easily. If larger, then a section of window frame or even the whole frame may have to be replaced.

Make sure you deal with the cause of the damage as well as the damage itself. This is often old, shrunken putty that has let in water to be absorbed by the wood beneath. Such putty should be cut out and replaced with new putty once the damage itself has been repaired. Just painting over the damage is not enough.

If the frames have decaying, flaking paint then the wood should be sanded down and fresh primer and paint applied. Use a drill with sanding attachment fitted, or a specialist electric sanding machine, to remove old paint work and rotten wood. Use a chisel, or even a knife or needle, to get at any rotten wood in corners or niches that you cannot access in any other way.

Small areas where rotten wood has been removed can be remedied by then applying one of the replacement wood materials widely available. Follow the instructions that come with the product. You may have to apply in layers, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next, until the damaged wood is completely replaced. Don't try to fill the cavity all in one go unless the instructions indicate this is a workable method.

Overfill a little and then, when the solution is dry, sand down so it is flush with the rest of the frame. Apply primer and an undercoat of paint before repainting the whole window frame.

Sometimes a whole section, such as a window sill, may need replacing. In that case, measure up for a new sill and take delivery of it before removing the old one. Apply at least one coat of primer to the new sill and damp-proof the joint between the underside of the sill and the wall. Do the same to any exposed parts of the remaining frame. If you're employing a builder then make sure he doesn't forget to do all this.

The hole that the old sill has come out of may be bigger than it needs to be, in which case fill the excess with mortar. Fit the new sill into place, using either mortar or a modern sealant. Apply primer and two coats of paint, or wood stain, for continuing protection.

House window repairs can easily be handled by most householders without calling in the builders or decorators, provided a regular schedule of inspection and maintenance, including repainting when necessary, is followed - prevention is better than cure.

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