Sliding sash windows are very common and have been in existence for more than three centuries. The best part about the sash windows is that the operating mechanism of a sash window is the same as it was in the later part of the 1600s. Only the components have changed with the advent of plastic windows. But wooden sash windows have withstood the test of time and those that have been maintained well, still work like a charm.
Plastic windows do not last long; they last for a maximum of 10 years and need to be replaced. The plastic windows have been created to last only for that period and the mouldings cannot be found if they get damaged, you need to replace the whole window. With wooden sash windows the problems are mostly related to are sticking or rattling etc. Proper maintenance can help and the details of how to do that are given below:
Ideally you should check your sash windows for problems every six months. Remember we have been told right from a young age, “a stitch in time, saves nine”. This holds true for sash windows too. If you can find the problem at an early stage, you can rectify it immediately and the window will last a lifetime.
The most common problem in sash windows is the painting getting cracked of the painting coming out in flakes. The simple solution is to paint the windows regularly. Nowadays there are very good quality paints available and you need to paint the windows once every three to five years only.
Another problem that occurs usually is windows sticking and not moving. This is a simple problem and can be remedied by properly replacing the staff bead or removing excess paint which could have built up and caused the problem.
Glass panes can easily break or crack, this can be easily replaced and your window will look as good as new. Sometimes the putty may fail, which can also be easily remedied.
A big problem which many people face with sash windows is broken cords. You can easily re-cord the window, but you should get good quality lead sash weights so that the cords last longer and the window functions smoothly.
Great care should be taken to preserve the wood. The wood can get decayed over time and if you do not take the necessary steps to stop the decay, the whole window can become unfit for usage. You can strengthen the corners of the window with many materials that are available nowadays.
If you do not have the time or the inclination to maintain the sash windows, you can get a competent sash window installer to come and check your windows regularly for any repairs. You can pay him to make the necessary repairs and you will have a wonderful sash window that will live on for centuries, like the ones that have withstood the test of time since the Victorian era.