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Do my sash windows need decorating?

Original sash windows add more than just value to homes. Their unique aesthetic appeal simply cannot be matched by alternatives. Which is why, if you own a property with sash windows, it’s highly important to preserve their beauty and functionality. Ensuring your sash windows are fully protected with a professional paint job is number one on the list.

If you’re wondering whether your sash windows are in need of paint restoration, there are some tell-tale signs to look for:

  • Flaking paint: Without an entry point, moisture cannot penetrate the protective paint layers. Any paint flaking away provides an opening for moisture and needs to be dealt with before it develops.
  • Broken down paint: Paint breakdown occurs when moisture penetrates the paint layers, or when the paint itself stops adhering to the timber surfaces. This can lead to growing sections of the timber going unprotected.
  • Torn construction joints: If a main construction joint tears on your sash window, it provides an opening for moisture, which will spread through the timber and cause paint to flake across the panel.
  • Broken down putty: Putty holds together the glass and timber on sash windows. If it breaks down, it can cause breaks in the paint and eventually expose the timber to water ingress.

Can I leave my windows untreated?

Paint on wooden sash windows is far more than decorative. It provides essential protection for the timber to stop moisture ingress which could eventually lead to decay. Moisture – either from weather or humidity – can seep through even the smallest flake in the timber’s protective layer. Once it’s in, it causes the wood to continually expand and contract, eventually creating pores in the internal structure. These pores are step one in wood becoming decayed. But all this can be avoided with a thorough and professional paint job.

While the tell-tale signs allow you to check windows for yourself, a professional surveyor is always the best option. They will fully inspect your windows to ensure there are no issues. If any damage is found, the surveyor can assess it properly and provide you with an effective long-term solution.

Problems with unprofessional painting

Many homeowners trust decorative or even DIY painters to paint their sash windows, but the reality is that this option is prone to several potential hiccups. Because these painters are not experienced specifically in sash window painting, they will make mistakes that could lead to more serious problems developing. Whether it’s glass damage, insufficient coverage or even paint affecting key features – a non-professional paint job is almost as bad as no paint job.

Ensuring timber is covered

Problem number one with unprofessional painting is a lack of judgement. Without experience decorating sash windows, decorative painters do not have sufficient knowledge of how much paint is required. Paint may be applied too thin or even too thick in some areas. Thin paint doesn’t provide adequate protection to the timber, while excess paint can cause jamming.

Similarly, non-professionals sometimes struggle with full coverage. Gaps in the protection will pose serious problems because they provide moisture with a clear penetration point for moisture. A specialist sash window decorating service will ensure your windows are fully and evenly covered to protect them for years to come.

Paint in the wrong places

There is a big difference between someone who claims to have a steady hand and a professional sash window decorator. Even the smallest amount of paint in the wrong area can diminish the functionality and appearance of your sash windows. Glass damage is a common problem with DIY painting, but this is the least of your worries.

If paint ends up on sash cords, it will remove their smooth motion, making the windows difficult to operate. Fasteners and handles may also fall victim to bad painting, which will make your windows tough to open and close. Believe it or not, we have even seen windows that have been completely painted shut.

One of the most important features on windows is the draught proofing system. Draught sealing is an effective way to make sash windows heat efficient. It also allows them to flow freely as they move, but poor painting can impair this too. Unskilled painters often paint over the draught seal without a thought. This removes the smooth motion as well as the insulative effect.

Failure to solve underlying problems

Before repainting your windows, it’s essential that you understand what has caused the problem initially. Paint can begin flaking as a result of cracks, tears and breaks in the putty. And repainting without solving these underlying issues will simply lead to a recurring problem.

With a professional surveyor, you will be informed of any damage to your windows that has contributed to paint complications. They will recommend a suitable course of action that will cover repainting as well as fixing the underlying damage. Taking this extra step will ensure your windows stand the test of time and won’t need repainting again and again.

Stripping paint

Another essential process before repainting (which is often sidestepped by non-professionals) is the complete stripping of old paint. Protective paint needs to be applied directly to the timber to have the desired effect.

Needless to say, failure to remove old paint can result in a non-effective top coat. But this error can also cause windows to function poorly after painting. A build-up of excess paint will remove the smooth movement of windows, leaving you with jamming windows that are inadequately protected. Obviously the removal of the old paint is not always essential, but a professional survey will help ensure the correct course of action is taken.

Fortis & Hooke: The Sash Window Decorators

With all these problems arising from improper painting, it’s clear that professional painting is the best option. Fortis & Hooke specialise in sash window decoration. Our expert painters are skilled artisans that deal with the decoration of beautiful, traditional windows on a daily basis.

They are experienced in decorating sash windows of all styles and sizes and take great pride in producing high quality, fully protected windows without affecting their heritage and functionality.

What are the advantages of Fortis & Hooke?

At Fortis & Hooke, we are more than just sash window specialists. We have a passion for retaining and restoring the beauty and heritage of original wooden sash windows. To achieve this, we have developed and perfected our methods over the years, which now allows us to provide the highest standard of restoration and repair work.

We start by removing the windows from your property. This enables us to complete work in the weather-free environment of our specialist workshop. Windows are protected from any interference that could impair the quality of the paint finish. The result? Your windows are repainted and fully protected to the highest possible standard before returning.

With a team of expert carpenters, glazers, painters and joiners, we can also offer bespoke solutions. Our service isn’t just a quick-fix paint job. We make sure your windows are fully repaired before repainting, to eliminate any recurring problems. Our painting service is even included in the full Fortis restoration service, which completely renews neglected windows that were seemingly beyond repair.

When it comes to painting itself, we hand strip all sash windows to ensure there is no impairment on the new coat, and no excess paint build up. Following this, windows are skilfully hand painted with the high-quality Dulux Weathershield paint system. The result is sash windows that look beautiful and work perfectly with long lasting protection.

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