Timber Windows & Doors Need Protecting

August 7th, 2018

Everything in your home that faces the outside world, including timber windows and external door frames, has to suffer the worst aspects of the climate that our environment has to offer. Wind, rain, ice and cold one minute, searing heat and direct sunshine the next. How to respond? This short blog from our team of experts explains why we recommend water-based paints for all our installations.

Prolonged exposure to rainwater, snow and ice can cause wood to swell, leading to warping and distortion. Excessive moisture also creates an ideal environment for mould, mildew and rot to thrive, further weakening the structural integrity of timber windows and door frames. Additionally, wind-driven rain can force itself into joints and cracks, accelerating deterioration.

Old window

The repeated cycles of wetting and drying can cause the wood to expand and contract, resulting in cracks and paint peeling. To combat these issues, proper maintenance, such as regular inspection, sealing, and repainting, is essential. Protect window frames from the damaging effects of wind and rain, ensuring their longevity and optimal performance. As such, it is very important to consider what products you use as an outer covering protective layer.

Options For Timber Window Frames

There are four main options to choose from when considering what product to treat your wooden window frames with. They are preservatives, paints, varnishes and exterior wood stains. Depending on the product and the desired effect, all these products have their pros and cons, though the Hugo team Carter strongly advocates the use of water-based paints in the final finish. Why? We outline the reasons below.

Most oil-based paints and preservatives that you buy will be high in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are employed to keep the paint in a stable state whilst not in use. These VOCs generally evaporate at room temperature giving off a strong smell as it leaves the paint to dry. When airborne they can accelerate the rate at which nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere react with Ultraviolet rays. This kicks off the creation of photochemical smog and low levels of ozone that have been linked to can lead to various health issues. VOCs have, over the years, been linked to numerous respiratory problems, headaches, and allergies. Unlike many other outdoor coatings, water-based paints are virtually VOC-free, thus minimising the effect of the industry upon the environment. Choosing low-VOC or zero-VOC paints helps minimise these harmful emissions, promoting better indoor air quality and healthier living environments all around.

Letting Timber Windows Breathe Freely

painting window

In addition to its environmental impact, water-based paints are also more beneficial to the timber you are covering. With varying humidity naturally occurring within a wood, timber often expands and contracts day to day. Oil-based paints are less malleable and so don’t react too well to this movement. It’s why they are liable to crack, blister and flake unattractively. Instead, water-based varieties move more freely and allow the surface beneath to ‘breathe’ more easily. This lets moisture out of the wood. Retaining water can harbour mildew which will cause your timber water frames to rot from within. This all points to the fact that water-based paints are extremely beneficial in harsh, wet weather conditions and will ensure a lengthier life for your timber window frames.

Some may argue that you cannot get the same finish with water-based paint as you can with oil. However, as regulations have been tightened on the use of VOCs in the industry, a lot more time and money has gone into developing water-based alternatives that will provide the same required finishes as their more harmful predecessors.

Water Based Paints Are Best For Timber Windows

As well as being VOC-free, water-based paints have a range of additional advantages when used on timber window frames. They are typically quick to dry, allowing for faster project completion. They also offer excellent durability and resistance to fading, cracking, and peeling, ensuring the longevity of the window frames even in varying weather conditions. Additionally, water-based paints are available in a wide array of colours and finishes, providing ample design choices for both classic and modern styles. They are easy to clean up too, with everyday hot water and soap. The absence of strong odours makes them suitable for everyone who wants a pleasant environment to live in.

New soundproof windows and doors are amongst the easiest ways to drown out life’s distractions. The good news is we don’t just understand how to create and install beautifully engineered noise-proof timber sash windows and wooden casement windows. We know how to make sure they last a lifetime too. Embracing water-based paints for our bespoke wooden range of sash windows and timber casement windows means we combine aesthetics, performance and eco-friendliness in a winning package.

It all starts with an enquiry, so if you’re interested in soundproof timber windows or doors contact our team who can start the ball rolling with a visit and no-obligation quote.

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