Tuesday 21 May 2024

How moisture can impact your timber windows and how to protect them

Timber windows help to retain the charm and character of your period property.  However, it is important to remember that not all timber windows are equal.  It is always worth investing in a high-quality timber window to prevent your windows from causing you headaches in the future.

Without preventive measures, moisture can create a big problem for timber windows.  However, you don’t need to suffer from moisture issues.  By choosing the right windows upfront and with regular maintenance, issues caused by moisture can become a thing of the past.

How can moisture affect timber windows?

When exposed to wet conditions, like heavy rain, or high moisture environments, such as bathrooms, some timbers will undergo changes to their structural integrity.  This can involve swelling and shrinking, resulting in warped windows that are hard to open or close.  The movement can also result in the paint finish cracking, peeling, or blistering.

Moisture can also encourage fungi and bacteria, resulting in decay and rot.  Sometimes you can’t see the initial signs of rot.  However, once rot has started to affect the window it can spread quickly.

Can timber windows be repaired if they have rot from being damaged by moisture?

As rot spreads quickly, and there is sometimes rot hidden beneath the surface of the window, a rotten window often needs replacing rather than repairing.

However, if there is only rot in the moving parts of the window (the sashes) the sashes can often be replaced without requiring the whole window to be replaced.

How can I prevent my window from being damaged by moisture?

There are several preventive measures that you can take to help stop your window from being damaged by moisture.

One of the biggest influencers on how moisture will affect your windows is the type of timber that is used.  If you are installing a new window, check the durability and stability of the timber.  You want a timber that is class one durable with high stability to ensure that it is designed to cope with all weather conditions.

At The Sash Window Workshop, we recommend Accoya.  By choosing Accoya, in addition to having a durable and stable timber, you also have a 50-year anti-rot guarantee.  Accoya also requires minimal maintenance in comparison to other timbers due to the way it is processed.

It is also important to ensure that any new windows are installed correctly.  Sealants act as a barrier against water infiltration.  If a window is not sealed properly around the edges, water can creep in resulting in damage and putting your windows at risk.

The quality of the window finish is also important.  Make sure that the window is painted or stained, with no gaps.

What maintenance tasks can I do to help?

As a homeowner, it is important to ensure that a fresh coat of paint or finish is regularly applied to your windows.  The frequency of this will depend on the location of your windows and the timber used.

Ventilation also helps to prevent moisture.  It is important to open your windows or the trickle vents regularly to help reduce the build-up of condensation and moisture.  This is especially important in bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms.  Moisture can be caused by cooking, showering, or even sleeping.  Did you know that two sleeping adults can produce one and a half pints of moisture in 8 hours (source: GGF)?

It is also important to check for any issues, such as any sealant coming away, rot, or gaps forming around the window.

Small issues can often be dealt with quickly and relatively easily.  However, for more extensive repairs, such as draught proofing, or when replacement is required, it is advisable to seek a professional company with experience working on traditional timber windows.

Installing new accoya wood sash windows

How can The Sash Window Workshop help?

At The Sash Window Workshop, we have over 30 years’ experience manufacturing, installing, and draught proofing traditional timber windows in period properties.

We were one of the first window companies in the UK to start using Accoya, having used Accoya since late 2007 / early 2008, and have used it as our preferred timber for several years. In fact, when we started using Accoya we would also have regular meetings with Accsys (who make Accoya) to discuss how the timber could be improved for use with windows and doors.

All our new sash windows and casement windows are manufactured in our workshops in Bracknell, Berkshire and come fully factory finished, with 3 coats of paint applied to provide you with a beautiful finish and help protect them from moisture issues.

To see how we can help you and for a free, no obligation visit and quotation, contact our team on 01344 868 668.


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