It’s May already, although it may not have felt like it in the first few days of the month. After what felt like summer a couple of weeks ago, we were back to near-winter conditions for a few days, then the hottest bank holiday on record. These fluctuations in temperature can be challenging for your doors and windows, particularly if they are made from timber, as they will naturally expand and contract with the hot and cold weather respectively. We advocate regular maintenance of your doors and windows, generally on an annual if not bi-annual basis, and the end of the winter season is a good time to do this. Given the harsher weather conditions we have had this year, it is all the more important to run a good check on your doors and windows before we head into the warm summer season to identify any potential problem areas and deal with them quickly before they get any worse. To make things easy for you we have put together a checklist of what to do and what to look out for.
Timber door and window frames
For timber doors and windows, follow these steps:
- Gently clean the frames with a damp sponge and some mild detergent to remove any dust, mould, or mildew that may have built up over the last few months. Dry off well with a dry cloth.
- Never use a pressure washer on timber windows, you risk damaging them.
- Inspect your frames for any cracks or holes in the wood. They need to be dealt with straightaway as they will let moisture in which will eventually lead to rot. If you do have any cracks, it is best to wait until you know there will be a few days of dry conditions as you don’t want to be sealing any moisture in.
- It is best to seal the timber before going over it with a coloured stain, so your next step should be finding the right seal for your window – this will be different if you have a natural timber window or a painted one.
- Internally you will probably only need to clean the frames well to remove any dust and grease. Do inspect them, however, especially if they are older, to make sure you don’t have any cracks. If you have had any accidents over the winter they may have led to damage to the timber.
It is worth noting that if you live in an area which is exposed to high winds, rain, or salt near the coast, you will need to repeat these steps more often to ensure well-cared for, longer-lasting windows.
Tracks, rollers, hinges, and locks
Follow these steps to clean and maintain your window and door mechanisms:
- Clean the tracks regularly and especially if you find they are sticking or have dirt and grit in them. You can use a vacuum cleaner to do the job, followed by a gentle clean with a mild detergent and damp sponge. Don’t forget to dry them off well.
- As part of your maintenance routine, lubricate tracks to keep them working well. Use a spatula to apply some petroleum jelly and make sure the wheels and bearings are also looked after.
- If you are in an environment with harsher environmental conditions – such as a coastal zone – you should also take steps to prevent corrosion. A little WD40 should do the job. Make sure to remove any excess spray though once you are done.
- Keep locks and hinges lubricated using a silicone spray.