Sash windows are an important part of British heritage and the more traditional style add tremendous value and significance to period properties throughout the country. The use of antique glass, or true crown glass, is something that makes their exact appearance very hard to imitate using contemporary manufacturing methods. For many Georgian and Victorian properties, the windows form an integral part of the design and are a testament to the engineers that originally designed and manufactured the windows. Historic sash windows are often made with a higher quality material than today’s windows, which makes keeping them in a good condition more important than ever.
If you live in a property that is lucky enough to have sash windows, you may be worried about the amount of work involved in upkeep and maintaining the quality and appearance of your windows. Whilst it is important to maintain sash windows, the good news is that you can take a few simple steps to ensure they can be enjoyed for years to come. Below is a handy guide for the simple ways you can keep your sash windows looking fantastic.
Cleaning is an easy way to keep sash windows looking their best and you do not need any specialist equipment in order to clean. Simply use a soft cloth and some soapy water to clear the dirt and dust from both the wood and glass – if you wish, you can also use a window cleaner to clean the glass. A regular clean will improve the appearance of the windows and ensure they function as designed.
A by-product of regular cleaning is the ability to use the time to check that everything is in good condition and discover any defects or damage before it becomes an issue. When undertaking any work on your sash windows you should ensure that it is done so safely, this means lowering the upper sash to a workable height and being aware of your footing and surroundings.
The external side of any wooden framed window will need to be painted in order to maintain appearances but more importantly to protect the structure itself. It is recommended that wooden frames are painted at least every 5 years, or less depending on how exposed the window is. The most important thing is that they are repainted in good time and before there are visible signs of broken paintwork.
When painting your sash windows you should follow a few simple steps to ensure you complete the job to the highest possible standard. You should first prepare the surface, applying treatment to any knots or resinous areas of the wood. Following this you should prime any bare wood before commencing the painting. When painting you should only apply paint to a dry and clean surface that is free from any damage. With regard to the putty elements of the sash window, you should cover these and make sure that the putty-glass join is sealed with paint.
If you are looking to change the colour of the window frames you should check with your local council and local planning authority to see if there are any planning regulations regarding the change. As sash windows are often part of listed buildings there are generally conditions relating to their appearance.
Re-cording and repairs
Outside of the basic works surrounding the maintenance of sash windows, it is unlikely you will carry out the work. Due to the historic nature of sash windows it is always advisable to employ a sash window specialist to carry out any work outside of cleaning and painting. These types of jobs include re-cording and repair works to the frame and glass. They are all relatively specialist jobs, or at least jobs that need multiple people and carry a slight risk of damage.
Sash Windows look fantastic on many properties and as PVC window frames and double glazing came to the forefront in the 1900s, the amount of sash windows decreased. Many other sash windows fall foul of poor maintenance regimes and damage, so there is a real emphasis on ensuring that the sash windows that are remaining and the new ones being installed are maintained and kept in good repair.
Article provided by Sash Window Experts, a company based in South East England with over 20 years experience in the installations, repair, replacement and renovation of sash