Wooden window frames advice needed

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Rosencrantz, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Rosencrantz

    Rosencrantz New Member

    We've a little problem with our wooden windows and will be indebted to anyone who can advise.

    Our Victorian flat has several sash windows with bare wooden frames. The trouble is that indoors they attract condensation, which rolls down the glass and has been causing black mould at the glass/wood join and all over the rebate.

    I'm in the process of sanding the interior of the frames down to bare wood, with the intention of using wood hardener and varnish of some kind all over the wooden frames. However it looks to me like the thin layer of putty between the glass and the wood is old and cracked and dried out, and is perhaps allowing water that rolls down the window to get into the timber.

    Before varnishing, I want to remove this old putty from inside and replace it but I don't know how to do it. The old putty comes off fairly easily, so I am thinking I might be able to just use tweezers and a putty knife to rake out the loosest bits, then replace the thin line of putty from the inside, using linseed oil putty. Is this a reasonable approach and if so how do I go about it? I do not want to do a full line of putty onto the glass as this will spoil the look of the frames, just maybe force some new putty into the gap between the wood and the glass to prevent ingress of water. Thanks in advance for any ideas.
  2. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    can you post some images to illustrate ?

    it seems rather pointless to just remove/replace sections of the putty, if it's failed there's a reasonable chance the remainder is in similar condition

    solving your condensation issue might be a more fruitful project
  3. Rosencrantz

    Rosencrantz New Member

    Here's one that I've begun sanding and one that's a bit mouldy:

    IMG_20131214_160603.jpg IMG_20131214_160506.jpg
    In the first image the streaky white line below the masking tape is the old putty.

    Since we moved in a year ago we've taken steps to solve the condensation (a dehumidifier plus we no longer dry clothes indoors), which has helped a lot but it still seems to be a problem on winter mornings.

    I would quite like to completely refinish the windows (take the sashes apart etc) but that would be a huge project for me and I don't think I have the time or skills to try it at the moment.

    My thinking was that by replacing only the putty on the surface I could prevent water penetrating through it.
  4. Rosencrantz

    Rosencrantz New Member

    Still haven't got around to dealing with this. I wonder if anyone has any further advice before I do?
  5. dwlondon

    dwlondon Active Member

    I do a lot of sash repairs and maintenance, draughtproofing and single and double glazing replacements. Much can be done to extend the life of good sashes and the boxes. I undo the box, change cords and weights, replace pulleys, replace beading, splice in new timbers, whole timber sills and replace stone sills with concrete castings. All these things can be done at any time during the life of a sash.

    I don't do the restoration process as its too expensive for general maintenance works. You can probably ascertain by now how much work you have gotten into, in doing all that sanding down etc. Would you pay someone to do it?

    Traditional woodwork will always need maintaining and repairing. Whatever you do with bare wood is going to show the work you have done on it.The simplest method of achieving a finish and protecting the wood is painting. If you paint you can do a lot more in the way of repairs. The paint hides the repair work.

    So if you want to proceed as you are, you will become the best guy to do the job. Some of the Scandinavian products can offer a reasonable blend onto bare timber. So check out Sikkens and such like.

    However unless you go for double glazed replacements, you will always have condensation problems and ongoing maintenance.
  6. jay bee

    jay bee New Member

    You may better of using a neutral two part filler, as the putty will take a while to cure. also the filler wont change colour. however a cure for the condensation is your best bet.

    email me at work and I will forward you some further information http://pembrokenash.co.uk/
    cheers Ryan.

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