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Finishing your wooden windows and doors

Protecting your investment after you have chosen to install quality wooden windows and doors or any wood products in your house is very important. Failing to finish your products properly and in a short space of time after receiving them may make the manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee null and void. The steps you need to take are:

1.Decide on the finish from all the options available to you.

2. Preparation of the wood surface

3. Cleaning of glass.

4. Installation and

5.Maintenance. 1.Decide on the Finish. Your local finish/paint store expert can give you advice to meet your needs. He will consider which finishes perform best in your area and take into account the temperature and humidity conditions, whether you need an interior or exterior product and how best to combine products for best effect or any other considerations he thinks necessary. A deep penetrating, oil or wax based sealer that provides a durable finish to exterior timber is recommended and one that gives a silky smooth finish. A wide range of wood colours is normally available. You may need to over coat the finish with a solvent based varnish to give enhanced durability and appearance. UV absorbers will give prolonged durability. Enamel paints can be used over this type of sealer but not PVA. All joins, end grain and all exposed wood must be covered to protect the wood from cracking, warping or rotting. The sealer should contain anti-fungal to stop “blue mould” and mildew formation. When choosing paint make sure it has good blocking resistance – the ability of the paint to resist sticking. You don’t want the window to stick shut. For an interior finish choose a wood primer and paint that are compatible. When applying the finish sanding may be required between coats of paint. Allow time for the paint to cure completely before closing doors or windows. 2. Preparation of the wood surface. Firstly, light sanding may be required to remove any roughness from surfaces or to remove any construction residue that has been put on the surface during storage or construction. It is preferable to use 180-grit or finer sandpaper and sand with the grain to avoid unsightly marks in the wood, and then remove all sanding dust with a tac cloth. Never use steel wool. If glass has been installed be careful not to touch the glass with sandpaper. Use a sanding block or edger to protect the glass from scratches. If glass has not been installed remove the beading and prepare the wood surface for finishing. Always use protective equipment when sanding to avoid inhaling the sawdust and getting it in your eyes. 3. Cleaning of glass. Remove any sawdust, grease or any other material from the glass with mineral spirits. Wash the glass with a good quality glass and surface cleaner using a soft, lint-free towel (paper or cloth). 4. Installation. The long life of external joinery is dependent on proper installation. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and you have the best chance of the window lasting more than 30 years. Always check that the manufacturer’s handling and site care instructions are being followed correctly. The installer should be recognized by the manufacturer as being suitably qualified to do the job of glazing as well as installing. 5. Maintenance. Windows and doors can reward you with decades of beauty and good performance if you take care to carry out maintenance at least once a year. Remove any debris and clean the window and door tracks with a brush. To help prevent sticking you can apply a wax or dry lubricant. Do not use an oil lubricant because it will attract grime and dust. Check for leaks and do repairs as necessary. If the surface shows deterioration you may need to restain or repaint from time to time. Humidity and Condensation. There are many causes of condensation in the home. It is normally the result of excess humidity. It may be less of a problem in older homes where the air exchange between inside and outside is greater. However excessive condensation can damage any wooden product even wooden windows and doors. Proper ventilation will help to reduce condensation but it cannot be eliminated completely. The advantage of wooden windows is that they help block heat transfer through the frames, they have superior U factors and they have a warmer frame surface which helps reduce symptoms of condensation. Your main consideration should be to balance humidity levels to ensure your home is not too wet or too dry and prevent damage to your wood products.


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