Things you should know in order to discover and repair a rotting timber window

Timber windows are a very popular choice for many different types of houses, as it brings a rustic feel to any type of facade. One thing you should look out for if you are an owner of timber windows is rotting, as these types of windows are rather prone to do it. This doesn't need to be a dire consequence, as it is preventable. If you have timber windows that you wish to repair or if you just want to prevent them from being damaged, there are a few things you should know.

Causes of rotting

The reason for timber windows rotting is fairly simple. Usually it's caused by water penetration. This can happen for a number of reasons. The corner joints in the wood might have come loose, allowing the protective seal of impregnation to be penetrated by the rain. Another reason is that you've failed to impregnate it properly to begin with, or have forgotten to reapply any type of seal when the old one wore off.

Signs of rotting

A good sign that you have a rotting window is that the paint suddenly becomes flaky. This also happens when your window needs new paint, but if it's a sudden transformation in the condition of your paint, you should investigate further. Paint that is flaky because of rot usually shows up on bottom rails and lower sashes. If your window is sticking and becoming hard to open and close, this can be another sign. The most prominent sign of rotting timber windows is that the wood becomes spongy and soft. If this is the case, you need to repair them as soon as possible.


The first step of repairing rotten timber windows is to remove the paint from the entire window, as it doesn't matter if you're repairing a small or a large piece of your timber frame; you'll still have to reapply sealer and paint. You might as well repaint the entire window frame while you're doing this as you'll otherwise end up with uneven colour patches. If you only have a small area of wood that has rot, it's easily fixed by digging the rotten area out with a screwdriver and then filling it up with filler or putty. If an entire board or piece of a board is rotten, you'll need to remove it completely and replace it. You should try to remove the entire board even if it's only partially affected, as it's easier to fit an entirely new board than to fit just a part of it to the window. It also creates unnecessary joints. 

You can also contact timber window repair specialists, such as those at Stop the Rot, if you feel you cannot repair the window yourself.