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It is important to regularly check your windows to ensure that they are still in a good condition and operate easily.

Look out for signs of deterioration. These include windows that are hard to operate, don’t stay open or timber that is beginning to rot. In this article we examine 5 of the most common issues that can occur with original timber windows and explain the work that is likely to be required in order to fix them.

Peeling paint

Peeling and flaky paint can give the impression that the windows are in a worse condition that they actually are.

If you have peeling paint, check whether the timber is still in a good condition. The easiest way to check this is by seeing if you can push a screwdriver into the timber. If you can, the window will probably need replacing as the timber will be rotten. Otherwise, the windows may just require a light sanding down and repainting.

Rotten timber window

Timber that is soft / rotten

Where the timber is soft and rotten, the window will need replacing.

If the frames are still in a good condition, you may be able to install new sashes into the existing window frames, which will save you money and reduce the disruption to your home.

When looking to replace your windows, you may wish to consider a timber called AccoyaTM. This timber is designed to be both stable and durable and comes with a 50 year anti-rot guarantee.

Sash windows that drop

If your sash window drops when you try to open it, this is likely to be caused by an issue with the sash weights, the sash cords or the spirals.

When opening a sash window, the weights, or the tension in spirals, are designed to keep the window open. If the cord holding the weights or the spiral, in spiral hung sash windows, is damaged, this can lead to the window dropping when it is opened, which can be dangerous.

If the weights are wrong in a cord hung spiral window, it may cause the window to drop to leave a smaller opening, although this is less common.

Windows that are painted shut

If a window has been painted badly, you may find that it no longer opens.

Windows that are painted shut might look more secure, but they are more prone to rotting than those that open correctly, which in the long-term will make the window less secure.

Depending how recently the window has been painted shut, you may be able to force the window open using a flat screwdriver and a hammer. However, if the window has already begun to rot you will probably need to look at replacing the window.

Sticking windows that are hard to open

This is an issue that commonly occurs when the window has been painted and the window has not been opened regularly after the work. This issue is especially common during the winter months, when the timber might expand slightly.

At The Sash Window Workshop we recommend that customers move their windows regularly from when they are painted or installed until 6 months after the work is carried out. Specifically, we ask our customers to open and close their windows:

  • A couple of times the day following work
  • At least once a week for the first 4 weeks after work
  • At least once a month thereafter

timber sash window

The Sash Window Workshop: Timber Window Specialists

At The Sash Window Workshop we have extensive experience working on timber windows in period properties. We are proud to be able to provide a one stop shop for timber windows across London and southern England; manufacturing, installing and repairing timber windows.

We are FENSA registered, meaning that you can feel confident our installation will comply to current building regulations, and are Which? Trusted Traders, highlighting the high quality service that we provide our customers.

If you are unsure what work is required on your windows, our sales surveyors can inspect your windows and listen to your requirements, before advising you of the best solution to meet your needs.

To obtain a free, no obligation quotation from one of our sales surveyors, contact us on: 01344 868 668.

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