We had some painting done on our wooden window frames, soffits,
fascias and cladding
about a year ago and the paint is already cracking in places (and
peeling in one place).
Some of the wood was a bit manky beforehand and the men replaced some
and filled it in other places.
At the time I noticed that the paint used wasn't a quality brand that
I recognise like Crown
or Dulux (it was just labelled something like 'White Gloss Paint') nor
did the filler they used
specify 'for exterior use' or anything similar on the tubs.
Also I saw no sign of any tins of wood restorer/preservative/hardener
being used on
the decayed wood before it was filled and painted
The painter now claims that the cracking is due to water ingress from
leaks at the edge
of the roof. This is plausible in one place where the paint has peeled
(rather than cracked)
off the soffit, but there are other places (such as window sills
(exterior window sills- not
sure if 'sill' is the right term) where there isn't anywhere for water
to get in other than
via the paint cracking.
Rambling a bit here, so I guess my key questions are
i) how rubbish was the paint and filler used
ii) Should they definately have used some kind of wood restorer/
on the manky bits before filling and painting - do such products
All I can add, is that many moons ago, I had rot in a couple of window
frames, where the uprights met the bottom of the frame. I dug all the
rot out and filled it with considerable amounts of Elastic Plastic
Padding and then filed it to shape. Several years later, there was
absolutely no sign of any deterioration. I suspect you need to get the
rot out, to provide a decent key. Doubt the paint matters much, as long
as the repair is good.
Did you specify (and pay for) at the time for them to use preservative?
What it really boils down to here, is that you have rotten wood in various
places and you don't want to pay to have it replaced. It's not the job of
the painter to go to all these extra lengths, free of charge, he probably
specified the usual for exterior work and that is rub down, fill where
neccesary, prime where neccesary, then 1 coat of U/C and 1 coat of gloss.
If the sills are cracking, it's probably due to water ingress, that is to
say, the paint hasn't cracked and *allowed* water in, the paint has cracked
because the wood has swelled *because* water has got in by some other means.
If you have rotten wood, either get it replaced completely, or have a joiner
come down and splice some new pieces in, anything else is a bodge, and if
you have asked someone to bodge a job, you can't ring them back a year later
to complain - it's what you asked for.
If you let timber get too far gone, you have a problem.
#1 - Putty protects very well - but cracks, hard to replace but worth
#2 - Remove rotting wood, apply wood hardener until it takes no more,
use wood filler, alkyd primer, alkyd gloss
#3 - Quality alkyd paint is Sikkens or more tolerant Dulux Trader
I say more tolerant because it will stick to linseed putty on the
glass-to-putty gap whereas quite a few Sikkens paints will not bond
very well and "shell off" long before the 5-6-7yr overcoat period.
If the wood is above a certain moisture content it will not take paint
Water lapping over the bargeboards? You need someone to lift the
bottom row of tiles and slip some new felt / DPC under the existing
felt so it laps into the gutter. This is sadly an increasingly common
job these days.
You basically need to do this yourself where possible in the spring
(May is good, you want above 10oC).
If you have very rippled wood then you have a decay problem on a
larger scale and may want to replace bits - window cills (or sub-
cills) should be hardwood but very often are not a durable timber. Oak
is good, but difficult to get paint to stick to it. Meranti is another
(although I think they can be difficult too (some gloss paints tend to
Wood is repairable, PVC is not. Economics of DG are very poor indeed,
unless your windows are falling out. Key thing is D-I-Y - if you have
really "rough" wood re rot & moisture penetration you have to get it
fixed and primer'd before the painter arrives. They want to paint and
bill based on that, not a complete restoration job.
If the downstairs is worst, you can rip out the old putty, strip off
what has been painted, do a proper repair job before the winter. The
low overnight temperatures will invite fogging of the gloss, but it
should last ok - easy to go over in 3-4yrs time. Wood bargeboards of
older houses (1940-1960) can be left bare and still do not rot, kiln
dried to petrufication it would appear or perhaps substantial
ventilation and vertical surface makes all the difference :-)
The ideal filler is a flexible epoxy, they exist but prices can be
quite substantial. Wood Hardener + Filler are good enough, you may
need to fill again if it shrinks but it will not open up again unless
you have a hidden water leak (overflow down a wall which borders the
window is a classic).
A split window cill will last about 20yrs if it is just progressing
from one end to the other. A rippled window cill from moisture getting
past the putty (looks like cadbury's flake, but firm not mush, paint
bubbling) is easily fixed by ripping out the putty. Tape the glass in
case you slip and bend a thin screwdriver and it will take a few
hours. When re-putty'd over alkyd primer (critical!) it will last
fine, one I did 25yrs ago when a teenager is in quite solid condition.
Wood is maintenance, do that yourself then a painter in - a painter is
not a restorer unless you pay thro the nose per hour.
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