Most modern homes are built with aluminum, fiberglass or vinyl window frames. Wood, although it used to be a popular window material, is often replaced with these modern materials. Wooden windows do require a little more maintenance and TLC. However, some people a more than willing to put up with this extra TLC because they adore the look and feel of raw wood windows. This article will explain what you need to do over the years to keep wooden windows looking and working like new.
Maintaining a Waterproof Surface
The most important thing to do when maintaining wooden windows is keeping them waterproof. This means that you need to keep them sealed. Usually wooden windows need to be painted (if you want a solid colored window) or stained (if you prefer the look of natural wood grains). The paint or stain will seal the wood and protect it from the elements. That being said, just because there is visible paint or stain on your window, it does not mean that the surface is waterproof. In fact, after just a couple of years, the stain can fade and wear down from normal usage, especially on the exterior side of the frame.
You should usually restain a wooden window frame every 3 years. However, this can vary depending on your climate and amount of rainfall. One major advantage of wooden frames is that the inside and outside of the window can have different finishes. You will usually need to stain the exterior with a stronger wood stain that is intended for outdoor usage. You could use this same type of stain on the inside, but it often has a higher gloss, which some homeowners dislike. Either way, there is not set time period for when you should refinish the inside or outside of your frame. Most likely, you will need to restain the outside more often than the inside.
One way to tell if your window stain is still creating a sufficient seal is to take a close look after a rainfall. If the water beads up and runs down the frame, it should still be intact. However, if the water seems to be soaking into the wood and making it darker, you should refinish your windows as soon as possible.
With a little TLC, you can enjoy your stylish and energy efficient wooden windows. If you want the unmatched style of wood, go for it!