Preserve Your Sash Windows!

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We all love the look of sash windows! They fit just perfectly into the aesthetic feel of older properties, and from the inside it is actually a joy to be able to so fully open a window, none of this opening and still having the glass obstructing the flow of air! What’s more, with sash windows you don’t have to risk knocking someone out who’s walking by outside!

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But I wouldn’t be being honest if I didn’t admit that sometimes sash windows can have their drawbacks! Of course we all know about the draughts that come in in the chillier months, finding gaps around the edge of the windows, and especially where the two separate panes meet. Also, I’m sure most of us can recall a time where we gave up opening the window because it was so difficult to actually make it budge! It can be very frustrating when they stick and make it impossible to push the panes up or down, and don’t even get me started on the sort of locks you often find associated with sash windows! I had to have a tutorial from a colleague the other day when I wanted to open the window for the first time since I started working here!
Preserve Your Sash Windows!
Image Credit: kingsbridgejoinery.co.uk

None the less, if well maintained, or suitably restored after previous wear and tear, sash windows can actually be perfectly suitable alternatives to modern PVC double glazed windows, but you just have to know what to do with them. So whether you have some which could do with some restoration and TLC, or whether you have some which are in great condition and you just want to know how to keep them that way, read on for my top tips!

Restore or Repair old Windows
One of the best things you can do to preserve your sash windows is to complete a restoration or repair of them every few years.  One of the biggest causes of sticking or wearing down of the windows is from constant repainting. I’ve come windows before which are literally painted shut! Furthermore, windows which haven’t been treated and painted enough, suffer warping from having no protection against moisture. Treating and painting your windows are vital in giving them the best defence against the effects of weather – so in order to do it for the best, it’s necessary to remove old dirt and paint and strip back to the bear sash before repainting.

I have come across a great How To blog with photos, and 9 steps to fully restore your sash windows. The steps include: Getting the Sash Out; Removing the Glass; Cleaning & Preparing the Joints; Adding Epoxy; Prepping the Sash Itself; Re-inserting the Glass into the Sash; Inserting the Points; Setting the Pane with Putty; Replacing your Timber Staff & Parting Beads before Rehanging the Sash! For comprehensive instructions see the article here: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20228807,00.html

Improve & Preserve
There are a couple of things which you can do to your sash windows, which will primarily make them more of a joy to you by removing some of their stereotypical drawbacks! Additionally though, these little touches will also help your sash windows to last longer by preventing some of the damage which can be caused by weather! Removing draughts and so improving the general climate which at least the inside of the windows are housed in can give them that extra defence against becoming brittle and chipped, making your restoration handiwork last that little bit longer.

Two main ways of draught-proofing your windows are to add on secondary glazing, or a draught proofing strip at the gap where the sashes meet. You should be able to pick up a simple draught proofing strip from your local Home Wares shop. Secondary glazing can be achieved by anyone who’s especially good at DIY, click here to read how to apply secondary glazing.  For those who prefer to have professionals work on their homes, this is also commonplace and not unusual to request.

When working on listed buildings always ensure you are working within the guidelines of restoration as listed buildings have very specific regulations, and updates are only permitted if they ‘compliment, maintain, or enhance’ both the property’s own character and that of the surrounding area! If you have any doubt, make sure to ask permission from your local council.

Leave your comments and suggestions below.
Karen
About the Author:

Landlord of a quaint cottage Karen loves caring for her property and ensuring the authenticity is retained during any refurbishments! Mighton Products’ Heritage Range offer products which are only made from approved materials, making it easier to update sash windows whilst still retaining the authenticity of the listed building.

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