The condition of your home's wood-framed windows can affect the aesthetics of your home and your home's energy efficiency. Not maintaining your home's wood-framed windows can allow moisture and sunlight to break down the structure of the wood, leading to damage and rot. Here are options to help you decide to repair or replace your home's wood-framed windows.
Repair the Frames
Dry rot and moisture damage on your window's wood frames becomes evident when the surface of the wood is spongy to the touch and you can penetrate its surface with the tip of a screwdriver. To repair this, first you will need to remove all areas of the rotted wood with a metal chisel or screwdriver. Break and scrape off any damaged areas until you get to solid, healthy wood. Clean the area free of any dust and debris with a small broom, brush, or vacuum.
Next, use a one-quarter-inch drill bit to cut holes into the healthy wood on surfaces where you will attach the repair materials. Space the holes approximately an inch apart. These holes will help the repair adhere onto the existing wood. With a small paint brush, apply a layer of epoxy consolidant onto the repair area, allow it to set, and reapply additional layers of consolidant until the wood no longer absorbs the epoxy. The consolidant saturates and encapsulates the wood to seal it and prevent any further decay from occurring.
Blend an amount of epoxy filler to fill the space where the wood damage was. Once an epoxy filler has been mixed up, it will begin to set up in a short time, so plan to complete the repair immediately. Apply the filler onto the damaged spot, using a putty knife to press and mold it onto the cavity to fill in the missing wood on the window frame. Once the epoxy sets up, sand it smooth to match the surrounding area. Plan to paint over your repair within a few days, as epoxy will begin to degrade when it is exposed to sunlight.
To maintain and preserve your wooden-framed windows and keep them from receiving further damage, it is important to sand and repaint the window frames and sashes every three to five years. Be sure to not apply paint to any moving parts and not let the paint seal the windows shut. Inspect your windows periodically, and if you see any cracks appearing in the wood, sand down the wood and fill the crack with a wood putty to prevent moisture getting into the crack and causing rot damage. After the putty has dried, sand the surface smooth and level with the surrounding wood frame and then repaint over your repair.
Replace the Frames
Wooden window frames on your home can expand and contract with the changes in the weather and temperature. But when they have not been properly repaired and maintained, the weather can also age them and cause them to become damaged to the point that they are allowing a lot of your home's energy to escape. When more than 10 percent of your wooden window frames are rotted, there is not enough healthy wood left to support repairing and patching the damaged portions. This is when a window replacement is the best option.
There are several different types of window-frame materials available on the market, such as composite, vinyl, and fiberglass. Each one insulates to keep your home more energy efficient and will resist rot and other weather and sun-related damage.
The national average cost of replacing five to ten windows in your home with modern and energy-efficient window frames was reported to be between $2,608 and $7,389. If you want to pull out your old wooden-framed windows and replace them with modern wooden-framed windows, you can keep the original look of your home and budget to spend between approximately $800 and $1,000 per window.
Use this information to help guide you when dealing with damage to your wood-framed windows. Talk to a company like Miller Roofing & Guttering Inc. for more information.