Windowsare essential for the home in regards to natural light, ventilation and framing the outside view. At the same time, they are also a significant element of home design. Out of the various types of windows, wooden windows are known best for its attractive appearance that adds style and beauty to the house. Wood is a material that has been used in many aspects of construction, and has proven to be a staple and strong product. Though wooden windows are less seen nowadays in modern buildings, they can still be found in the older houses.
What are the Pros and Cons of Wooden Windows?
As mentioned, aesthetics is a main reason for many people’s choice of wooden windows. Genuine wood has a unique style and pattern that is beautiful as a part of the house design, one that many other frames mimic. This natural material adds an elegant and warm tone to the home, which matches exceptionally well with traditional houses. In addition, wood can also be painted any colour, making it highly customizable and versatile for house resale purposes. As a bad conductor of heat, wood provides remarkable insulation to keep the house cold in the summer and warm in the winter, able to withstand extreme weathers. This makes it a suitable option for houses in Canada, where cold climates prevail in wintertime. Under proper care and suitable environment, quality wood can last a lifetime which creates great value out of the money spent. Wooden windows are also relatively easy to install, which can be done by the window installers.
A drawback of wooden windows is their high maintenance required. Unlike other materials such as PVC or aluminum, wood is more susceptible to damages from a variety of causes. As a natural material, wood needs to be treated by repainting or resealing periodically in order to prevent rotting, cracking, warping or aging. Due to this, many people prefer clad-wood windows, which has natural wood on the interior paired with a material that requires lower maintenance on the exterior. A major issue that wooden windows may face is insects, especially termites.
Termites feed on wood and usually appears in large amounts, causing considerable structural damage to the wooden windows. Another enemy of wood is moisture, in which humid conditions can cause swelling and slight destructure, therefore making it not an ideal choice for basement windows. Lastly, wooden windows are more costly than its alternatives. However, with careful maintenance, they can be very lasting and thus eliminating costs for replacements.
What are Some Common Types of Wooden Windows?
Sliding Sash Windows - A sliding sash window is made of usually two movable panels, called sashes, that slides up and down and can be opened at the top or bottom. Sash windows have been prevalent in the UK with variations in design, and are regarded as an essential element for Georgian, Regency or Victorian buildings.
Casement Windows - The casement window is hinged to the frame on its side, and opens outward to the left or right. Similarly, awning windows are hinged at the top while hoppers are windows hinged at the bottom. With the large opening outward, these windows provide large amounts of natural light and ventilation.
Bay Windows - There are multi panels in a bay window, with at least three at different angles that creates an extension area over the wall line. The bay created adds additional space to the room and while inviting natural light in. This window type is a great option for exhibiting the view outside.
Storm Windows - Storm windows are installed outside of the existing primary window, for additional insulation for cold winters and protection against harsh winds. They can be customized to fit the dimensions of your existing windows. Even though storm windows are usually mounted on the exterior, installing them on the interior is also an option.
Double-Hung Windows - Double-hung windows consists of two sashes that slide up and down. The window will be half covered when opened, with the two sashes overlapping. These sashes also tilt in to make cleaning easier.
How can I Preserve Wooden Windows in Good Conditions?
Maintaining the wooden windows in good conditions are extremely important, to not only avoid troublesome problems but also prolong their life. Conducting cleaning procedures constantly is the simplest and most basic way to preserve the wooden windows. Do so by wiping out loose dust, washing the frame and checking for any damage. Repainting the wooden windows from time to time is vital in the maintenance process. Scrape off loose paint first, then sand the scraped surface to allow a smooth transitioning. After cleaning up, re-glaze the damaged part of the window and apply a coat of exterior paint to the window. Sometimes an extra layer of paint will be needed to adequately cover the wooden area, and be sure to remove excessive paint once finished.
When Do I Know I Have to Replace the Wooden Windows?
As mentioned, wooden windows can last a lifetime if promptly and properly maintained, however there are a few signs of extensive damage that indicates a need to change your windows. Rotting can be a main issue for wood especially in damp environments. Even though small amounts of decay can be treated by scraping and filling, if you find the sill and jambs of the wooden window being severely rotted, it is time to find a replacement. Many wooden windows exists in older houses, which may have a decrease in functionality due to its age. If the sashes are becoming difficult to open or unable to stay opened, you might have to consider changing new ones if they cannot be saved.