HOW LONG IS THE LIFE OF WOOD WINDOWS AND DOORS?
The life of wooden windows, like anything on earth – even people – shows great variety depending on circumstances. Yet, in order to give an idea, we can quote that 80 to 100 years of lifetime is considered for wooden construction components in architectural literature. However, it should be born in mind that some of the historical works around us still preserve wooden structural elements such as doors and windows made many centuries ago.
HOW ARE THE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF WOOD WINDOWS AND DOORS DONE?
Unlike uPVC and aluminum, the maintenance and repair of wood as a structural material is possible. Repairing wooden windows and doors that are damaged by some negative effect such as impacts, wear, faulty use and harsh atmospheric conditions of use and making preventive maintenance before these damages happen may theoretically extend their life infinitely. On the contrary, windows and doors made of uPVC and aluminum which do not accept repair and maintenance in the same sense, need to be disposed after their economical life time, which is considered to be 25 years on average. It is possible for a carpenter to repair a damaged or decayed window by traditional methods. The rotten area is cut and thrown away and the new material is added in its place and the damaged paint is renewed. High screw holding ability and possibility of practically infinite number of paints is two of many unmatched properties of wood. Fenex users make maintenance of their products according to the Fenex maintenance instructions or use our repair service for the reparation of damages.
ARE WOOD WINDOWS BURGLAR RESISTANT?
Burglars do not like wooden windows. It is not easy to cut wood as PVC or to separate a wooden sash from its frame. To overcome this weakness, uPVC window manufacturers develop complicated mechanisms. However, wooden windows are “naturally” secure.
HOW SUCCESSFUL ARE WOOD WINDOWS IN THERMAL INSULATION?
The thermal insulation property of wood is 8 times better than PVC, 400 times better than steel and 1800 times better than aluminum on average. Actually, thermal insulation properties of a window does not solely depend on the frame or sash profiles. The type of glass, assembly, the space between frame and sash, fixings, the quality of installation of window to the wall are also very important. However, provided that all other conditions are equal, the thermal insulation value of a wooden window is again obviously superior to windows made of uPVC or aluminum with concern on thermal bridges. When the durability of these properties during the usage lifetime of a window is considered, the superiority of wood becomes beyond question.
IS IT TRUE THAT WOOD IS HEALTHY?
It is not a myth but a scientific fact that, use of wood in human environment instead of its synthetic alternatives is better for human health. The benefits of solid wood when compared to synthetic materials such as PVC and MDF can be listed as follows;
- Wood balances the humidity in internal space by releasing and absorbing (breathing) the moisture in it;
- Wood does not release poisonous materials such as Formaldehyde during use;
- Wood does not release poisonous gases such as Dioxine in case of a fire;
- Wood has superior acoustic and thermal insulation;
- Wood is warm both in the psychological and the physical sense of the word.
WHAT ARE THE MOST ADEQUATE WOOD SPECIES THAT CAN BE USED IN WINDOW AND DOOR PRODUCTION?
Another important property of the wood is that there are thousands of types of woods. There are more than 20.000 kinds of wood on earth. Wood types differ from each other by their colors, textures, hardness, ability to bear load, strength, ability to hold paint, ease of drying, regularity of fibers, shrinkage coefficients and economy. According to our profession, if different consumer tastes are considered, the most adequate wood types are Scotch pine, Meranti and Oak, and we, as Fenex, work with these woods.
WHAT ARE THE ENEMIES OF WOOD WINDOWS AND DOORS?
Of course the synthetic window and door manufacturers! Seriously speaking, wood, as one of the oldest construction materials, is subject to various types of decays by external factors such as extreme humidity, heat and salt since it is a biological material. These come beyond its perfect properties such as ease of processing, lightness, strength, acoustic, thermal and electrical insulation. Various protective measures that will be applied to wood protect it against these external factors. Wood also has many biologic enemies; fungi, bacteria and insects. Some of these cause total destruction of the wood and some only cause cosmetic deformation. At first glance, these properties may seem bad. However, consider that trees growing in the forests never vanish! Wood is a material “that can be naturally recycled”. It has no “residual waste”. When desired, you can apply to it the design and technology that will keep it alive forever or you can burn it or leave to degrading.
Fenex protects kiln-dried wood material against pests by appropriate surface treatment, takes the required measures against these pests by controlling the rise of moisture rate due to the external environment during use of the material by special paints.
HOW CAN WE PREVENT WOOD WINDOWS AND DOORS FROM BEING DAMAGED BY SUN LIGHT?
We wish that all of us could get aged as beautiful as wood. It pales and becomes gray by the effect of sun; dust and sand, carried by the wind, abrades the surface and when it is not excessive it creates a good “aged” image for most of us. However, this wear may cause cracks and fiber loss by the effect of sun and rain with time. Mold may form on the surface, dirt accumulates in the cracks, and water may diffuse through growing cracks. The way of protecting wood from these kinds of breakdowns is to cover the surface with a “surface protector”. Here, we use the term “surface protector” for all the products such as impregnating chemicals and paints.
WHAT KIND OF APPLICATION CAN BE MADE TO CHANGE THE COLOR OF WOOD WINDOWS AND DOORS?
First of all, the current paint should be removed. Usually, mechanical cleaning technique is used for this. The most recommended method is gently removing the old paint by using sandpaper. By this method, both the existing paint is removed and a healthy surface is prepared for the application of new paint.
ARE WOOD WINDOWS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN uPVC OR ALUMINUM WINDOWS?
Even though, the initial investment cost of wooden windows is generally more expensive than uPVC and aluminum windows, when their economical lifetimes are considered, it becomes clear that they are cheaper than all others. Besides, a common mistake we make when comparing prices is making a comparison between two products with distinct performances. Comparing a wooden window with a uPVC or aluminum window is like comparing a belt made of natural leather with a belt made of artificial leather.
HOW IS THE REACTION OF WOOD IN A PROBABLE FIRE WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER MATERIALS?
In contrast to the common belief, the resistance of wood against fire is superior to concrete and steel. Today, crowded places like closed gymnasiums are constructed with wood – or steel constructions are covered with wood against risk of fire. The researches and statistics on fires clearly show that wood used as carrier is one of the safest materials. The starter of a fire is not usually wood itself and because of carbonizing and lack of heat conducting properties it can be accurately calculated how long a wooden frame structure can hold in big fires. Wooden structures can be designed to cope with fires for 30-90 minutes. However bare steel structures can endure a fire for a very short time (because of high expansion coefficient of steel), the structure may collapse without warning.