Basic wood window maintenance

Wood windows are often preferred for their timeless, classic look. Much has been said about wood window maintenance, and with good reason – in order for them to stay in excellent shape, your wood windows do require a lot of attention. What steps should you take (or hire someone to take them for you) in order to keep them beautiful and their performance at the highest level?

Inspect thoroughly and regularly

Conducting annual inspections is recommended, best of all during the warm and dry season. It’s important to search for the smallest rot spots on the wooden parts, so that they can be removed before spreading further and putting your entire window sash at risk.

Other things to check for is the damage to the weather stripping and sealing. If there’s water between window panes, it also means that there’s definitely a reason to search further for the leaks or other damaged spots.


This is self-explanatory, just make sure that there’s no peeling paint or cracks in the sash underneath the dust or debris. In most cases a soft brush or sponge with warm water is sufficient to keep your windows in shape.

Staining and painting

Even if there is no rot in sight, you need to check for places where paint of finish may have thinned out or chipped away. Spots like that require sanding and careful re-application of primer, finish and/or paint.


Caulking is required to protect the house from moisture penetrating the frame from the exterior. Make sure you use the exterior caulking variety, as it’s the only one to be able to provide the protection against the weather.

As complicated as it may seem, regular maintenance and minor work are nothing compared to how much work and money will be required if the rot spreads and the entire sash needs to be replaced. We always suggest considering wood window repair and restoration over replacement not only as the less inexpensive option, but also as one that allows to preserve the historic look of the windows and the house as a whole. Also, a restored window may actually perform better as far as energy efficiency is concerned.