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Sash & Case Windows Maintenance Advice

Click here to check out Historic Environment Scotland’s short guide on the maintenance and repair of sash and case windows and information on how they are constructed.

For all listed building and conservation area advice please click here.


Maintenance You Can Undertake at Home:


Regular cleaning of timber and glass surfaces will improve the appearance of your windows and ensure that they function effectively. Clean glass panes with a quality glass cleaner and microfibre cloth. The timber frame should be cleaned with warm soapy water. Ensure timber is completely dry once you have finished cleaning.


Timber sash and case windows should be painted regularly to prevent deterioration of the timber and to improve their appearance. However, the build up of paint layers over time can also inhibit the opening and smooth running of sliding sashes. In addition, if painting has been carried out incorrectly, working parts can become stuck.

To avoid this problem excess paint layers can be easily removed by rubbing with sandpaper and a thin bladed scraper. Alternatively, if further layers of paint need to be removed, this can be done with an alkali paint stripper or gentle heat from an air gun. Care should be taken not to damage the glass with the heat.

Further Sash & Case Windows Maintenance Advice

Some defects that may require expert maintenance that you should keep an eye on:

Gaps leading to draughts, Meeting rails not level,  Joints in sashes opening up, Broken sash cords, Timber missing or damaged,  Missing or defective glazing putty, Window will not stay open (closes by gravity), Timber decay in cill, parting beads or sash frame Shutters (if applicable) will not open, Split panels to shutters or lining, Timber decay to shutters or lining, Damp plaster in recess behind shutters.

Sash & Case Windows Maintenance Advice