How To Recognise Rotting Wooden Window Frames

June 29, 2021

The first signs of rotting wooden window frames are not always easy to spot and can go unnoticed for some time. Although there are ways to repair affected areas, once a wooden window frame has begun to rot and there is clear visible damage, there’s very little that can be done to salvage it.

That’s why it’s important to catch wood rot early on, before it has had time to breed fungus or mould and harbour bacteria. Here are four tell-tale ways of recognising the early stages of rotting wooden window frames.

1. Soft, cushy frames

It might sound obvious, but wooden window frames should be hard, not cushy. If the wood feels soft to the touch it’s a clear sign the wooden frame is rotting. Sometimes this can be hard to spot as softened wooden window frames can often occur in the corners and edges first and painted frames can mask any visible signs.

A good test is to gently press a knife’s edge against the frame to see if it goes in at all, and if it does, you need new window frames. At Sherriff Stained Glass Specialists we specialise in window frame restoration and we’ll take a look at the affected window to assess whether your wooden window frames can be restored or will need replacing.

2. Stiff and difficult to operate

If it is hard work to open and close your window it is likely beginning to rot. Wood naturally swells and contracts when exposed to different levels of moisture; swelling in wetter weather and contracting in dryer, warmer weather. This process is why wooded window frames used to rot quickly in the old days.

However, all modern wooden window frames tend to be sealed to prevent the frames moisture retention and evaporation from rotting the frame over time. Windows that are difficult or impossible to operate are an indication that the seal has gone and the wood window frame needs repair.

3. Drafty closed windows

Can you feel a draft even when your windows are closed? Drafts only happen when there is a gap somewhere in the window or frame. When a wooden window frame has begun to rot it is no longer as solid as it once was which means air can get through the window frame itself. The window may have even contracted enough to create large gaps between the wall and frame. Feeling a draft means it’s time to seek wooden window frame replacement.

4. Loss of noise and heat insulation

If your window is closed and the glass isn’t damaged but you can hear exterior noises as clear as day, the wood frames have started to rot. Rotting wooden window frames impact the efficiency of the window and if sound insulation is lost, so is heat insulation which can significantly bump up those electricity bills.

Unfortunately, by the time you can see the damage of wood rot, the wooden window frame is already in the advanced stages of rot. Sherriff Stained Glass Specialists has over 30 years of experience repairing, restoring and replacing rotten window frames. If you have stained glass windows or leaded windows that are in good condition, it is possible to replace the rotten window frames and restore the original glass. Contact us today via our online form or call us on 01202 882208 for more information.

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