How To Repair Rattling, Rotting and Sticky Wooden Windows

Wooden casement and sash windows will deteriorate over time but regular maintenance and prompt repairs will preserve them for a long time. You can easily repair wooden windows and cure three of the most common problems – rot, rattling and stickiness – in the following way:

Rattling of wooden casement windows is usually caused by an ill-fitting lever fastener. This is easily rectified. If the fastener is worn out replace it with a new one or reset the plate on the window frame into which it fastened.

Old wooden sash windows are notorious for rattling. This is usually caused by the bottom sash fitting too loosely in the frame. To cure it you have to remove the inner staff bead and replace it with one that it long enough so that it fits closely against the sash. Check that the rattle is cured by sliding the sash up and down before you drive in the fixing nails all the way. Rub candle wax on both sliding surfaces.

If the top sash is rattling, pack it out and adjust the position of the catch that pulls the sashes together. Alternatively, fit a new fitch or Brighton catch. You can also hold sashes together by fitting dual screws, a security device that will also prevent rattling.

The panels of wooden casement windows can swell in wet weather and this may cause them to stick to the frame, making it difficult to open and close the window. If the window hasn’t been properly painted yet or recently been stripped, it is often enough to let it dry out in warm weather and apply a clear wood preserver and an appropriate paint.

Persistent sticking in all weathers may be due to the build-up of paint. If your window wasn’t kept open when it was last painted it is probably glued to the frame by the paint. Free it by carefully sticking a scraper or thin knife between the window and the frame. Once free, you have to strip the old paint where the edges of the window meet the frame and apply fresh paint. Before painting you may also have to plane the edges a little so that the window fits without scraping the frame.

You shouldn’t have a problem with sticking wooden sash windows as the tolerances are such that they do not stick, unless the sashes have been painted while shut or the staff beads have been badly positioned.

Check your windows regularly for rot by poking a screwdriver into the frames. The bottom of window frames is particularly prone to rot. Any soft or spongy Double Glazing Sash Windows Thanet areas are rotten and should be repaired. Dig out any rotten wood with a chisel or scraper. Soften the wood repair compound you are going to use by kneading, press into the damaged area and smooth the surface. Repaint the area when the compound has hardened and dried. If the rot is widespread consider replacing your windows.

The problems above can all be cured through repair. In some circumstances a replacement rather than a repair may be necessary.

M. Ruthe is the creator of an online information resource dedicated to helping p