How Do You Know When It's Time To Replace Your Wooden Windows?

by Connor Pena

Wooden windows have a way of getting replaced over time, but that's not always the best choice. Many wooden windows have historic value as well as aesthetic beauty. Knowing when it's time to repair your windows and when it's time to replace them can help you improve the value of your home.

How do you know when it's time to replace your wooden windows?

Wooden windows are built to last for many years, but they do require regular maintenance like the occasional fresh coat of paint. If regular maintenance is not performed and the wood framing of your windows is allowed to become rotten, your windows may need to be replaced. 

A window repair person can replace the rotten parts of your windows without replacing the entire window. However, if the rotten parts of your windows outnumber the non-rotten parts of your windows, then it's likely time to replace your windows.

How can you tell which parts of your windows are rotten?

Inspect your windows inside and out. Press on the wood and visually examine its surface. Rotten wood will display the following characteristics:

  • Softness. Wood should feel solid. Wood that feels squishy or soft and splintery is rotten. You can tell how soft your wood is by shoving the point of a screw driver into the wood. If the wood is rotten, you should be able to drive the point of the screwdriver into the window. 
  • Discoloration. Rotten wood may appear to be gray and dry, or dark and stained. You may not be able to tell what color the wood is if it's been painted over, but if the wood has been stained, you'll be able to see whether or not it's discolored.
  • Cracks and splinters. As rotten wood starts to come apart, it will crack and splinter into many pieces.
  • Missing paint. Although missing paint isn't specifically a characteristic of rotten wood, it is still the means by which wood becomes rotten. Paint acts like a sealant that locks out moisture and protects the wood. When paint peels off and is not replaced, the material underneath absorbs the moisture, which begins the rotting process.

If you've inspected your windows and have found evidence of rot, contact a window repair and replacement company. Your window contractor can determine how much of your wooden windows are rotten. If the majority of your windows are rotten, your contractor can provide a quote for replacement windows. For more information about getting replacement windows, contact a local window replacement company.