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Fortis & Hooke specialises in the repair of original sash windows. In this article we handle FAQ’s in this regard. Contact us for a free survey. 

Why would a sash window need repairing?

With some still around from over 200 years ago, sash windows have clearly stood the test of time. That being said, there comes a time when repairs are required to keep them working well and looking great. Unlike uPVC alternatives, which usually need replacing for any problems, wooden sash windows can easily be repaired.

Anything from joint tearing to glass damage and even wood decay can be repaired with the right skills, expertise and experience. And it’s this added advantage that makes wooden sash windows even more long lasting, and consequently more cost efficient.

Does my sill need repairing?

One of the first parts of a sash window to show signs of decay is the window sill. Because it’s the bottom section of the window, the sill is the place where most water gathers. This water causes the paint to flake, which allows water to penetrate the timber. And when water gets into the timber, decay can begin to cultivate.

A tell-tale sign of a rotten sill are any water marks beneath the sash window. They indicate an opening between the timber sill and the window’s masonry sill. While this may have also been caused by bad sealing, it is usually a sign of developed decay.

So what can you do? Wood decay sounds drastic, but by replacing the sash window sill with a new hardwood section, the problem can be resolved instantly. This provides a new, solid foundation for your sash window, which will be resealed and protected to ensure the problem doesn’t reoccur.

How to spot decay on the sash window rails

Much like the sill, the bottom rails on sash windows are vulnerable to water passing over and gathering. Making up the bottom section of both your window’s sashes, the rails can become saturated by any internal condensation and eventually the timber may be penetrated. Upon penetration, this water will eventually cause wood decay on the rail. But this isn’t necessarily a call for replacement.

The full window doesn’t need replacing just because one section has become decayed. With the right methods, an experienced carpenter can replace the rail with a new hardwood section without damaging the rest of the window. After retreatment and sealing, your windows will be renewed to their former glory, with a new strong, durable bottom or middle rail and any wood decay eliminated.

Is a damaged frame a call for replacement?

The frame of a sash window is what holds all of the beauty together. It’s understandable, then, that some homeowners think a damaged frame means a full replacement is necessary. In reality, repairs on this part of the window are relatively straightforward with the right expertise.

Most commonly, problems with the frame arise nearest to the sill. Tears can occur where the frame meets the sill, which usually lead to water ingress. While this is a problem in itself, the water ingress can also lead to the much bigger problem of wood decay. After the water penetrates the timber, it will eventually begin to cultivate deeper in the wood’s internal structure.

Fortunately, this issue can be solved without a full window replacement. Because the tears are such a small problem, they can be isolated and repaired without affecting the rest of the window. Your windows will be renewed to their full function and beauty, without the harsh cost of replacement.

What if the construction joints are torn?

As well as tears between the window and sill, tears can occur on construction joints, causing them to become disjointed. These are points on the corners of the window frame where separate panels of wood have been joined. If they separate even slightly, they can allow water in. Again, this leads to paint breakdown and wood decay, which can spread further into the wooden section of the window.

Depending on the severity of the tear and decay, the joint may require new hardwood sections to replace those which have developed problems. In any case, this does not require full replacement. By isolating and replacing the problem areas, an expert carpenter can eliminate your window’s construction joint problems, leaving them perfect in both appearance and function.

Can glass damage be repaired too?

Glass damage on windows can occur for a variety of reasons, but it isn’t always clear why. Small, unnoticeable cracks may have been lingering since installation. Over time, they can develop into larger fractures, which make your windows unattractive as well as potentially dangerous.

These problems can be easily resolved, however. Experienced glazers can replace glass on existing sash windows without damaging the original frame. With options for double glazing and sound reduction glass, you can even benefit from modern glass features in addition to the heritage and style of your original sash windows.

What about underlying issues?

As well as visible issues like wood decay and broken glass, there are some underlying issues that can be repaired on your sash windows. An experienced surveyor will be able to see beyond the obvious problem and suggest repairs elsewhere that will ensure your problems don’t continually reoccur.

Broken putty is a classic example. Putty ensures that glass panes are held into the window as well as sealing open timber rebates. A break in the putty allows water ingress which can eventually lead to decay. But unlike other problems, it’s not so easy to spot for the untrained eye. A thorough repair service will ensure all problems are tackled, not just those that are visible.

How can Fortis & Hooke help?

At Fortis & Hooke, we have repaired over a thousand windows that would have otherwise been hastily replaced by other companies. Our repairs – covering everything from wood decay and tears to glass replacement and putty breaks – can completely renew the functionality and aesthetics of your windows.

We are passionate about retaining heritage, which is why we do our utmost to help you keep your original sash windows instead of costly, unauthentic replacements. Our expert carpenters and glazers can fix almost any problem with sash windows, so however bad you think it has got, we have a solution.

The advantage of Fortis & Hooke

Fortis & Hooke offer more than just sash window repairs. We specialise in giving your windows long lasting beauty and functionality. Forget a quick fix. Our expert surveyors will identify any problem with your windows, big or small, to ensure all the necessary repairs are made to your windows. After a free, no-obligation survey, they will supply you with a detailed quote for our proposed solutions.

All repairs are completed in our workshop rather than your property too. Why? This way, we can ensure the windows aren’t damaged by weather or humidity as we repair them. A specialist workshop environment means we can repair your windows to the highest standard. It’s also beneficial because you won’t have to stay in for long periods of time or live around ongoing work.

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