Common window problems - Westbury Windows and Joinery

The most common problems we see with low-quality windows

French Window

For us, a quality product will always stand the test of time. We discuss the problems we frequently come across when manufacturers take shortcuts during the production process and use the wrong materials.

Your doors and windows have a significant impact on the look and feel of your home – after all, the first thing people see of your home is the façade, and there’s no reason why you should settle for anything less than outstanding. For over 25 years, we have curated a reputation for manufacturing exceptional timber windows and doors, with performance and longevity at the forefront of our designs. Within our workshops, we explore the future of design, develop exciting new techniques, and explore innovative new materials, and the results speak for themselves.  

Our products celebrate all that is best when it comes to traditional timber joinery. Unfortunately, not all timber windows are made equal. Over time, many standard door and window products develop issues, and some of them can require costly repairs. While it’s true that learning how to identify these problems can help you solve them before the damage becomes irreparable, investing in quality products means that you can be sure of their durability from the beginning. From shrinkage to condensation and peeling paint, all sorts of issues can reveal themselves when shortcuts occur at the manufacturing stage. 

Ensuring a window lasts for as long as possible means that a manufacturer must consider longevity at every stage of the process. For example, is the window painted correctly and has it been properly glazed? The paint and the glass should work together to protect the frame, but even the type of timber you use can make a difference.  

Deteriorating, rotten window frames

Water is a big problem for timber windows. It can make the timber to swell and shrink, causing joint movement and cracks. Cracks allow water to ingress into the frames, which quickly rots the wood. Repairing rotten windows can be a costly process, so it’s certainly worth avoiding.

By using the right kind of timber, you can easily avoid such issues. Accoya is an engineered, laminated timber that allows us to craft window frames with all the beauty of natural wood and traditional joinery, with none of the disadvantages usually associated with timber. Accoya timber is solid and stable, meaning it has a low risk of shrinkage, swelling and jamming, so repair costs are kept to a minimum. With superior thermal insulation, the heat lost through Accoya timber windows and external doors is also dramatically reduced. What’s more, it is an eco-friendly alternative to uPVC, aluminium, and unsustainably sourced hardwood. Accoya wooden windows and doors help remove CO over their life cycle.

All our windows feature a bottom glazing bead which also acts as a drip bead. The bead encourages rainwater to drip off the window, rather than to collect on top of the bead.

Peeling and cracking paint that requires a high level of upkeep

Painted surfaces can crack and peel through UV exposure, seasonal mechanical stress, or timber movement. Unless regularly maintained, paint can crack very quickly and will let in more water, which then rots the wood underneath. However, the process of periodically repainting all your windows is a lengthy and expensive one. 

Accoya’s dimensional stability has an additional benefit because the Accoya does not significantly expand every summer and shrink every winter, it’s an ideal timber for painting over, and coatings can last up to twice as long as a standard painted window.

We use Teknos, the best water-based microporous paint systems available. Mainly consisting of water and plastic, after application the water in the paint evaporates, leaving behind an exceptionally durable and flawless layer of colour. When applied in the right way, Teknos paint gives your windows and doors a protective layer, acting as a barrier against weather conditions, moisture ingress, exposure to high levels of UV and bacteria. 

In our factory, we pre-sand our products which are then sprayed for a full finish, as this is approximately four times thicker and more effective than a brush-painted layer. Three coats are applied with de-nib between coats which should result in a layer measuring 180 microns, resulting in a superior paint finish and optimum protection, and your windows won’t need repainting for 12 years or more. 

Timber windows that jam and are difficult to open

Poorly fitted windows bring cold draughts into the home and are difficult to open and close. You can even cause damage to the locks if you must exert force regularly. Made-to-measure windows and doors offer a superior fit, meaning that they will never jar or stick. They should have a tight fit with no gaps and should be sealed well with silicone. It’s also crucial that they are rendered into the wall correctly, with the window frame set back as far as possible. From the offset, you will notice the difference with soft closing doors and flawlessly smooth locking systems. 

Condensation and cold drafts

Condensation on glass occurs when you have hot air inside and cold air outside, which meet each other and creates moisture on your windows. It’s a common problem for single glazed windows. When you have a correctly insulated, double glazed unit, which is gas-filled with a low e-coating to reflect heat back inside, then you won’t have condensation.

It’s essential to keep the panes apart to prevent cold bridging. Westbury standard glazing is 28mm thick and is fitted into its rebated unit with double-sided adhesive tape and secured externally using a secret nail system through the Accoya® glass bead. We tuck the nails under the glazing beads to protect them from water, and then the external perimeter is permanently sealed with an appropriate colour silicone. Warm edge spacer bars insulate the edges of a sealed glazed unit.

Our bespoke doors and windows will bring a unique look to your property in a way that only traditional timber joinery can. If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of choosing high-quality timber windows, contact the team or download a brochure here.