If you have an older home with traditional wooden windows, then you may love the look and feel of the wooden frames. However, wooden windows will likely give you some problems over time. If the windows are original to your home, then it may be time to invest in replacements. If your windows are between 25 and 30 years old, then you are getting close to the 30 year lifespan of the windows. You can probably make a few repairs to help the windows last a few more years. If your windows are stuck in place, then keep reading to learn how to repair them.
Reveal The Window Jamb And Sash
Wood will expand and contract when it is exposed to extreme weather conditions. Wet weather will cause the wood to expand. This typically happens when the paint or sealer on the outside of the wood wears away to reveal the wood underneath. The wood can then absorb water and this causes the cellulose fibers to expand. You are likely to see this problem in the spring as the relative humidity outside begins to rise, and you will be unable to open your windows.
If your windows are stuck, then you can run a knife down the length of each window seam that sits between the window sash and each jamb of the double hung windows. Do this on both the inside and outside of the window and try to open it. If the window does not budge, then you will need to access the side of the window to work on it from the side jamb and the sash. You will need to remove the exterior casing or sill stops at this time. Look for screws that hold the exterior of the window casing in place. You may need to release the wood molding as well. Typically, the molding is held in place with small finishing nails, so you can easily remove the wooden pieces with the claw part of your hammer.
You may see some small wooden pieces just underneath the molding and the casing. These are called the parting strips. You can sometimes work the claw on your hammer or a putty knife underneath the strips to remove them. If you notice a great deal of paint around the strips, then you will need to release the paint from the strip seams first. Use your utility knife to do this.
Sand The Windows
Most window sashes and panes can be pulled right out of the jamb once the parting strips are removed. Pull out both the top and bottom windows and place them gently on the floor. Inspect the outside edges of each of the window sashes. Look for any signs of water damage. Crumbling wood, mildew growth, and soggy or spongy wood are all signs of water damage. This is an indication that rot is setting in and it is best to replace the window as soon as possible.
If you do not see any rot or wood that is in poor condition, then you should use some sandpaper to remove some of the wood from the left and right sides of the window sashes. This will allow the window to move up and down much easier. Use a piece of 80 grit sandpaper and work it up and down the edges of the sashes. You do not want to remove a great deal of wood. A fraction of a millimeter of sanded wood will typically allow the window to move freely when it is put back together. Remove only about a half of a millimeter of wood at most from each sash.
After you are done sanding, use a wet cloth to wipe down the sashes to remove sawdust residue. You will need to protect the exposed wood, so cover the sanded areas with a thin layer of paint that matches the rest of the sash. You can use a wood waterproofing sealer as well if you desire. Allow the paint or sealer to dry. Rub a small amount of beeswax along each sash afterwards. Add some wax to the inside of the window jamb as well. This will help the windows move up and down, even if the wood swells. Put your windows back together at this time and try the windows to make sure they move.
For more help, contact a company like Morgan Exteriors Inc.