Wood Double Hung Windows
Wood double hung windows are a creature all their own. Or, they might feel like they are when something needs to be repaired, maintained, fixed, or otherwise jostled, painted or stained. It does seem like wood double hung windows do require more maintenance than their aluminum, vinyl or composite-based counterparts, because, well, they do.
That is part of their charm, and their pain. Wood double hung windows might also be something of an eyesore, or older and more decrepit, even with the most care and attention you can give them. This is especially true if the wood double hung windows face a part of the house or office that receives an extra dose of direct sunlight, moisture, or the like from the elements.
Creating Energy Savings
Sometimes it is easier to replace something rather than maintaining it or double glazing windows season after season and year after year. The cost of replacing wood double hung windows might be softened with a more time saving, Energy Star version, such as vinyl replacement windows.
Actually, while vinyl is very low maintenance, you can still find that the natural properties of wood have value even decades after the first alternatives were manufactured. Wood continues to be used even today because it is easier to create custom made variets, for various types of architecture, whether triangular or octagonal, there is a window that can be created for the wood lover. Wood double hung windows are naturally good at insulating against heat and cold too. That is probably their most beloved characteristic.
In addition, another added plus is that wood double hung windows do require care and maintenance. Heck, that is a great excuse to change up the color scheme, livening a room up just by changing around paint colors. There are some maintenance factors, other than painting and re-staining that are of importance, though.
These special factors include when wood double hung windows get stuck. Or, also, when they come crashing down once you have opened them. This can be dangerous, if there is a fire, or if you have young children who are just starting to explore the home. You want to be able to escape by any opening if there is a hazard such as fire. In addition, you would not want a child -- or anyone -- to push a window up, put their head out and get whacked by a sash.
So, it is important to know how to fix and maintain these wood beauties. The wood variety of double hung does stick, sometimes because elements cause the wood to swell or shrink, and the paint to become gooey then re-set. In the case of a stuck window, a putty knife simple tapped with a hammer around the frames of your windows should loosen the paint, and unstick the windows. Double hung windows are also prone to crashing down.
This happens mostly when the pulley or rope within the jamb of the windows frays or had been cut. On old houses, early to mid-twentieth century or nineteenth century, the way double hung windows were raised and lowered was with pulleys that had an iron weight attached to regulate the lifting and lowering of the sash within the jamb. That was great until people would just overlook repairing the rope and pulley, instead opting to cut the rope. They would then get a set of blocks to keep the sashes open.
A Crash Course in the Workings of a Double Hung Sash
These pulleys work on a cord that sits inside the jamb. However, most people probably do not access the jamb to cut the cord. Now days it is more likely that the cord has worn out and just needs to be replaced. Another issue is that this material can literally last ages and across generations if well maintained. Well, actually the maintenance itself can create an issue for homeowners inheriting the home from previous generations.
For instance, again, prior generations thought nothing of painting and staining their double hung sashes, and the jambs that housed the pulley system. The layers of paint combined with the weather elements (heat and cold) create a type of glue when the paint or stain is layered onto the jamb. This can keep the pulley system out of sight, or just make it difficult to access to stop a sash from continuing to crash down when opened.
Wood double hung windows have some special considerations, although if treated right they will last over many lifetimes. Because they out age one owner to the next, they are more likely to need repairs rather than being replaced. Otherwise, it is a great idea to have a professional expert who can properly care for your double hung sashes to ensure they work properly and safely during your stay in your home or office space.