Wood Window Repair

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Wood windows are a beautiful feature of many homes.  Wood feels and looks natural and can create a look that is either modern or traditional for your home.  It is a versatile medium for windows and can be more easily customized than vinyl.  They can keep your house far better insulated than steel or aluminum frames, and are on par with vinyl windows when it comes to energy efficiency.

Although many people love the look and convenience of vinyl windows, and the fact that they require virtually no upkeep can make them more appealing than wood, there are several reasons why wood windows may be a better choice.  First, despite coming in many different colors, vinyl is limited by the number of colors.  Wood windows, on the other hand, not only are available in many different colors, you can choose to paint them yourself, any color you want.

There is the cost factor.  Vinyl windows can be significantly cheaper than their wood counterparts, but they typically need to be replaced every 20 years, whereas wood windows can last over 200 years with a little maintenance.

The beauty of wood windows is the main reason that people install them.  They can look modern or classic and no matter what the style, they can make your home a showcase.  They do require a bit of care, such as painting them every 10 years and repairing any issues, but your wood windows will last a lifetime.

There’s a myth that they are less energy-efficient than newer windows, but as long as there are no cracks in the glass or in the wood, they can be as energy efficient as newer windows.  Often they merely lack weather stripping, which can easily be rectified by removing the window and weather proofing the area around it.

If you have an older home with wood windows and they have cracks or areas of deterioration, you may be considering replacing them with new vinyl replacement windows.  While doing this a good option that could revitalize the look of your home, it’s worth considering fixing your current windows.  Old wood windows are beautiful and hold the character of years gone by.

Old wood windows are durable and there’s a reason why.  The wood used in old windows generally came from old trees.  This means that the wood is close-grained which gives it the ability to retain natural oils and acids which are lacking in newer-growth woods.  Old trees are tougher and have to fight for food and sunlight; they’re survivors.  In contrast, trees that are grown in managed forests lack adequate oils and acids and lack the density of old wood.  While reforestation is vital to not only the future of the wood industry but to the fight against rising CO2 levels as well, the unfortunate result is that even hardwoods are softer than they used to be.  When replanting trees, we want to give them the best possible chance to grow, so we space them apart in such a way that they get ample food and sunlight, thus they grow quickly and their growth rings are spaced much further apart than old trees that had competition and grew much slower.  These narrow rings result in a denser wood.

If you decide that you’re not quite ready to give up those wood windows, don’t worry!  They were made to be fixed! Old wood windows are constructed in such a way that makes them surprisingly simple to repair.  They can be taken out, and the broken piece can be removed and replaced by making that one piece or by replacing the entire sash with an exact copy.  If there are spots where the wood has rotted, the repair may be as simple as cutting out the rotted area, putting in a little exterior-use wood putty and repainting it.

Some of the most common fixes:

Wood rot
Glass repair
Sash replacement
Sash cord replacement
Weather stripping
Seal windows or fix existing seals
Water leaks
Warped or stuck windows
Hardware replacement  
With a quality product and expert installation, newer wood windows should last more than 30 years,  but even with the newest windows, you may face unexpected repairs due to weather damage or other outside forces.    

 By fixing or restoring your existing wood windows, you retain the original beauty and craftsmanship of your home.  Older homes are unique, their windows a focal design element, and with a little upkeep that includes professional repairs when necessary, you can keep your wood windows functioning for centuries!