How to Prevent Wood-Framed Windows from Warping

Wood-framed windowsFor savvy homeowners, one of the best ways to save money on repair bills is to prevent wooden-framed windows from warping over time. While that goal isn’t at the top of the maintenance to-do list for many, it can go a long way towards preserving resale value. Getting the most mileage from frames while keeping them in top condition comes down to a concerted effort in the areas of preparation and preservation. This quick checklist will ensure that warping doesn’t occur.

Choose Your Wood Wisely

Though it might not be “alive” in any meaningful sense of the word, the wood in your frames still breathes to a great extent. Certain types of wood expand and contract more than others. If you want to minimize that variability, choose a hardwood with a tight grain. If you’re serious about keeping your wood-framed windows from warping over time, you need to start at square one with something like oak or cherry.

Ensure Proper Installation

Installing window frames properly can save you a lot of headache further on down the road. Shoddy window frame installation practices put undue pressure on the whole package. Failure to account for expansion and contraction is often the biggest problem. A good tip is to install when air moisture is relatively low. Try to store frames where they’ll hang for at least two days before mounting. Gauge the expansion or contraction you observe and go from there.

Apply a Protective Finish

To prevent wooden-framed windows from warping, it’s vital that you apply the right finish when installing them, according to EZ Hang Door. If you want to stain them, do that first. Once the stain has set, apply a clear sealer to create a hermetic barrier against the elements. Just be sure that the windows are appropriately flush with the jambs before you sign off on the project. The wood types, stains and sealers that you use are all variables worth taking into consideration.

Regularly Maintain the Frames

No matter how many preventative measures you take, you’ll eventually need to overhaul those frames. Start by inspecting them for warping based on how square they are and how well they fit. If they’ve expanded to some degree, plane off some material to ensure a proper fit. Before making any modifications, strip the finish and sealer off. Whatever needs to be done, repairing and refurbishing wood frames should be done every decade or so.

Control Interior Climate

Keeping interior climate conditions at the appropriate levels is always tricky. Striking the right balance depends on a few factors including the wood involved, the average ambient indoor and outdoor temperatures, the humidity levels in play and the age of the frames. You’ll know your climate better than anyone else based on experience. A humidifier or dehumidifier located in the right place can be a godsend at the end of the day when it comes to protecting your frames from warping.

Related Resource: Difference Between Bay Windows and Bow Windows

A Little Goes a Long Way

With some forethought, keeping your wooden frames in top form doesn’t have to be a huge hassle. Looked after in a proper manner, high-quality wooden window frames can last for decades. The small amount of money and effort expended on frame care will provide excellent return on investment while keeping a home looking as beautiful as possible. To prevent wooden-framed windows from warping, all you need to do is pay attention and burn a few calories.