Why you must prepare your doors and windows for winter
After many years’ experience working in a bespoke trade alongside the most incredible craftsmen, I’ve picked up a wealth of knowledge, tips and generally useful information that I intend to share with you.
One of the most common questions asked of myself and the team in early autumn is “What should I be doing to protect my windows and doors against the winter weather?” Let me answer that for you.
Why is it necessary to protect windows and doors from the weather?
Timber is a natural product and therefore hygroscopic. What that means is, it ‘wants’ to be in tune with the surrounding environment, and it will respond to the conditions it’s exposed to.
For example, if the atmosphere is wet, damp or humid, the wood will take on water and expand. Then when the conditions become dry during the summer months, your windows and doors will lose water and shrink. This can lead to the wood twisting and splitting.
Don’t panic! The changes are very slight. But enough to dictate that protection against the elements is essential if you want your windows and doors to retain their beauty and effectiveness for a long time.
Choose wisely at the start
You must carefully research the company you use to craft then install your windows and doors. A good supplier or craftsman should be aware of your needs and will take into account the end location of the product and the conditions of the walls and rooms. It will allow them to advise you on the correct timber for the project.
All timber is beautiful as far as I’m concerned, but each type has its place and purpose.
Here’s what you do to protect your investment!
It’s inevitable that windows and doors will be exposed to the sun, wind and rain, even insects. And if not protected this leads to lasting damage.
Moisture, for example, is not a friend of timber. And therefore it should not be allowed to penetrate at any time throughout its life. The most simple and effective way is to create a protective barrier between the product and the elements.
Firstly, remove any loose coating material from the affected areas with a fine grade of sandpaper. Take care to sand in the direction of the grain and ensure that any ‘grey’ timber (evidence of damage from ultraviolet light) is removed to take your wood back to a clean, bright surface.
Coat damaged areas with an appropriate primer or undercoat. We recommend Dulux Trade Primer, Undercoat and Dulux Trade Weathershield High Gloss as the top coat.
Allow the coating material to dry then, again, rub lightly with fine grade sandpaper. Be careful not to break the surface of the coating material, and remove all dust. Apply one or two coats of the relevant exterior quality stain or paint system to the patch primed area, ensuring you coat the end grain thoroughly. Allow drying between coats.
A little regular maintenance will pay dividends
Ongoing maintenance doesn’t need to be extensive or labour intensive and will help extend the decorative finish of your windows and doors.
- Make sure you wipe down the joinery regularly to remove dirt and insects. Good cleaning practices also help to extend repainting intervals.
- Each spring inspect the joinery and ‘spot repair’ any minor areas of coating damage shakes or open joints.
- Finally, check hinges and handles and treat with a light oil if necessary.
Remember, if you look after your investment, you will enjoy the benefits for many years and maintain the value of your home.
If you need help to choose the right windows and doors for your property, call us now!