Timber windows add a beautiful sense of elegance to a home, but unfortunately, the timber can rot due to excessive moisture or weathering. There are several ways you can repair your timber windows. The best method typically depends on the extent of the rot. Here are four common problems and solutions:
1. The window frame shows signs of weathering
If moisture has just started to peel the paint on your timber window frames but has not started to cause the wood to develop cracks, you may be able to solve the issue by repainting the window frames.
Adding a layer of paint – or stain and sealant if you prefer natural coloured timber windows – seals the windows. It doesn't mitigate any damage, but it seals in minimal amounts of damage, preventing it to spread. It also prevents water from penetrating the timber.
2. Small cracks permeate the timber frames
If you see visible cracks in your window frames but no extensive rot, consider using an epoxy to fill the cracks and then painting or sealing the wood. The epoxy re-establishes the integrity of the timber in the window frame. To make the epoxy, match the rest of the timber frame, stain or paint it.
3. Pieces of the timber window frame are rotten
Can you easily pull off soft pieces of rotten wood from some edges of the window frame? When you press down with a screwdriver into the wood, does the timber easily give way in places? Use these tests to diagnose sections of rot in the window frame.
If only a few bits of the timber seem to have rotted, consider patching those areas with small pieces of timber. To do so, use a small chisel or a precision saw to remove the rotten wood. Carefully cut pieces of timber to place in the sections where you have removed rotten timber.
Do not worry about small gaps of a millimetre or less. Use epoxy to attach the timber patches and fill in the gaps. Then, seal or paint as desired.
4. Rot has claimed large portions of the frame
If the rot is so extensive that patching is unreasonable, call a professional timber window repair specialist, such as Stop the Rot, and have him or her look at your window frame. In most cases, these professionals will advise you to replace sections (sills, sides of frames, etc.) as needed, and in some cases, they will advise you to replace the entire window frame.