Timber windows are nothing short of amazing.
It’s the natural beauty of wood, plus natural insulating properties that support thermal performance.
Timber windows add depth and warmth to a home. They’re energy efficient. Provide insulation. Increase the value of a home. Improve existing décor and so long as they’re properly maintained, will last for years to come.
Whether you have them in your home already, or you’re considering timber windows in the future, our guide to keeping to them clean will help add value to your home, and make it a more comfortable place to live year round.
Windows are like any other apparatus or appliance. If they’re not getting routine maintenance and regular cleanings, they’re not going to perform at the highest level possible.
Timber windows are exposed to the elements 24/7, and weather conditions can change dramatically throughout the year. If you schedule regular window cleanings every three or six months, it can help to give timber surfaces and joinery finishes a good wipe down using a soft sponge or cleaning cloth dampened with water and a mild soap or detergent on a more regular basis.
Be sure to wipe vents and weather seals clean too; removing dirt, dust, insects and grime. Then use a second clean cloth to dry these surfaces off.
Inspect any hinges and handles. It may be necessary to treat those that are stuck or sticking with a dry lubricant, like silicone spray.
Check for shakes or open joints too, and address minor spot repairs as they occur. It’s not rocket science, but putting in a little upkeep can go a long way towards the longevity of wooden frames.
Timber window finishes
One of the reasons people love timber windows is because of their versatility.
You can paint them, stain them; use varnish, oil or wax.
If fashions change or it comes time to renovate, timber windows leave you with plenty of exciting options!
Good timber is always going to provide aesthetically pleasing, thermal insulating, cost efficient and long-lasting windows that are simple to keep clean. But different finishes can call for slightly different cleaning regiments.
Painted surfaces - Simple usually works best. So if the paintwork on your timber windows is in good condition, most times a soft brush is all you’ll need to lift dirt.
Warm water mixed with a mild soap or detergent is as complex a solution you’ll need to keep painted surfaces looking brand new. And for timber that’s painted white, you can use a sugar soap solution to fight stains and mould. Keeping white wooden surfaces bright as the day you painted them!
Now, if your paintwork isn’t already in the best condition, don’t despair. Often times all it takes is a soft bristled brush to knock away those old paint flakes. Once you’ve got surfaces cleared out again, a fresh coat of paint is never a bad idea.
Stained surfaces - Stained wood looks magnificent. However, with timber windows constantly exposed to sunlight and moisture, you need to be diligent about re-staining every couple of years or in accordance with the manufacturers specifications.
When it comes to regular cleanings, stained surfaces can be as easy to maintain as using a cloth or brush to wipe down with your standard, soapy warm-water solution.
Sometimes it helps to fill an ordinary spray bottle with your cleaning solution. This can keep you from using too much liquid. Whilst still hitting all the areas you need to really get all your surfaces clean.
You’ll definitely want to avoid using bleach with stained surfaces. As bleach can dry out stained timber and cause permanent discolouration.
Varnished surfaces - A good varnish can make wood shine and bring out it’s most pleasing attributes. If varnished surfaces aren’t cleaned regularly, they can quickly dull and stop looking great.
You’ll get the best regular results wiping down varnish the same way you would stained surfaces: by using a soft cloth with warm water/mild soap or detergent solution.
You may just need to be a little more careful with some varnish finishes. They can sometimes shift and bubble, so always be sure your varnished surfaces are sanded and completely dry before attempting reapplication.
Waxed or oiled surfaces - Rain water can be acidic. So waxes and oils applied regularly to timber windows help feed the wood, and protect it against the effects of weather damage.
Re-apply wax and/or oil often to treated wood. And then use a soft brush or cloth to wipe down with a warm water/mild soap or detergent solution. Be careful to never use bleach with waxed or oiled surfaces, because much like a varnished finish, using bleach can leave natural wood warped or discoloured.
Removing mould and mildew
We’ve established that bleach is a no-go when it comes to wooden surfaces finished with stains, varnishes waxes or oil. But even surfaces treated with those kind of finishes have to watch out for mould and mildew. But if you can’t rely on the cleansing power of bleach, then what?
Turns out mixing four parts water with one part vinegar results in a solution that’s tough on mould and mildew that grows on stained, varnished, waxed and oiled timber surfaces. However, it won’t dry out or discolour them like bleach can.
Leaving this vinegar mixture to soak mould spots for a couple of minutes before cleaning and drying with a fresh cloth can effectively help remove mould and mildew from timber windows and prevent long term structural damage.
Wideline Windows and Doors is Australia’s first name in sustainable timber solutions. Their eco-friendly products are renowned for style, simplicity, sustainability and functionationality.
Wideline Timber windows are highly sustainable and stylish. They use and supply Western Red Cedar as their preferred choice of timber due to its beauty, functionality and is GreenTag® Certified. What’s more, with their thermal insulating properties - timber windows are ultimately going to cost you less over the life of your home.
Wideline’s Natura range of entry frames are available in Western Red Cedar, Merbau or Meranti timber. So no matter your style, there’s a look from Wideline Timber for everyone.
So don’t forget, good maintenance and regular cleaning is essential. Be aware of your timber finish. Plan your cleaning protocols around it and you’ll be able to enjoy the luxury and longevity of timber window and door frames in your home for years to come!