How to Deal with Rotting Wood Window Frames

Rotting wood window frames and sills mean that your window probably isn’t performing as well as it should be, and is very likely on its last legs. A rotting wood window frame or sill isn’t a problem that you can afford to ignore for very long. In addition to your windows causing drafts to enter your home, rotting window frames can be an eyesore and, if left untreated, will surely become a home for mold.

If ignored for long enough, rotting window frames and sills could spread all around the affected area, leading to potentially widespread damage to your home. If you’re waiting on a window repair professional to inspect the problem, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the problem.

How serious is rot?
For homeowners with exterior wood window frames, rot is always a fear. No matter what measures you take, rot will eventually set in and diminish the natural beauty of wood window frames. Rot is caused by moisture coming into contact with the wood exterior over extended periods of time, weakening the frame over time and destroying it from the inside out. While rot is usually an inevitable part of wood being exposed to the elements, it’s not usually a problem that can’t be solved by a professional.

Rot is a timely issue though – failure to address a rotting window exterior can cause irreparable damage to the window frame and lead to lessen performance and mold growth, both of which can significantly affect the interior of your home. All it takes for rot to set in is a small gap that hasn’t been adequately sealed against the weather – once that happens, your windows are at risk. With time working against you, it’s important that you take the correct measures to solve the problem as soon as possible.

How to deal with rotting wood windows
The first step you need to take is to examine the extent of the rotting, as this will help you determine the most appropriate next step. Make sure that the rot hasn’t made its way to the majority of the frame – if the damage is widespread, it’s recommended that you replace the window frame completely. If the damage is contained to a smaller area, you can work to reduce the damage done.

Remove the rot from your window frame or sill using a chisel or screwdriver to dislodge it, and then use a brush to remove debris and dust from the frame. Once this is done, drill a number of ¼ inch holes into the affected wood – these holes will be used to secure an epoxy filler to the frame. When the holes have been drilled into the wood, apply a liquid epoxy consolidant to the wood. Finally, apply and pack an epoxy filler or another wood filler to the frame and mold it accordingly using a putty knife or a paint stirring stick. Once the wood filler has dried, you can go to work on sanding it down until it’s smooth and flat, and then priming and painting it as soon as possible.

While this measure can save your window frames from needing to be replaced immediately, the wood filler solution is considered to be a temporary fix. Eventually, it’s likely that rot will once again set in, and at that point, it’s recommended that you enlist the services of a window replacement professional who will be able to restore your home’s windows to their former glory, and recommend low-maintenance windows materials like vinyl that are far less susceptible to problems like rot and mold.

The window products featured in the showroom at Muskoka Window & Door Centre are manufactured with high quality materials that are built to last. To get started on your window replacement, contact Muskoka Window & Door Centre today.

How to Fix a Window Temporarily

Many homeowners know the frustration of having a window suddenly break at the most inopportune moments. Whether a stray ball has shattered your window or you experience an extreme weather event, you’ll be left with a broken or cracked window that is now exposing the interior of your home to the outdoors.

Cracked and shattered glass or broken window frames should be fixed immediately to avoid damage to your home, but it’s not always feasible for a window installation expert to assess the damage right away. While you’re waiting for a window replacement or repair, there are a few temporary ways you can minimize the damage and keep weather and pests out of your home. It’s important to note that these fixes aren’t permanent, so you’ll need to contact an expert as soon as possible so the problem can be solved professionally.

First steps to take when your window has been shattered
Once you’ve noticed that your window has been shattered or severely damaged, it’s important to keep the safety of yourself and your family in mind. If the glass has been shattered, put on a pair of heavy duty work gloves and remove any shards of glass that have made their way into your home. If there are still glass shards in the window pane, you should very quickly work to cover the broken pane or panel with plastic sheeting, cardboard, or even a heavy duty trash bag – you can use strong packing tape or a staple gun to secure this in place.

A secure cover ensures that the glass will not be hazardous to anybody inside your home, and that the problem is isolated until the glass can be removed. If you’re worried about intruders using the broken window to enter your home, it’s recommended that you use boards to cover and secure any large openings that can’t be secured using plastic sheeting or other means.

How to temporarily repair a cracked window
Windows can be cracked by impact, stress, or pressure. If you notice that your window has been cracked, you can use household items to temporarily fix it until a window replacement professional can visit your home. The first thing you should do is don a pair of heavy duty gloves and gently press the glass to ensure that it won’t fall out. If the glass feels sturdy, you can work to remedy the problem using clear packing tape. Apply the tape over the crack in the glass, and if possible, on the opposite side as well. Make sure to smoothen out the tape to ensure that there are no bubbles.

If you notice that there are small holes in your window, these can be temporarily fixed using clear nail polish. Brush the nail polish over the small holes in the window, applying it in layers and letting each coat dry between layers. This will temporarily patch the holes in your window, but will not serve as a long term fix.

Once the shattered or cracked glass has been safely and effectively addressed, you should immediately contact a window installation expert to book a replacement or repair. If they can’t visit your home for a number of days, they may advise other ways to temporarily patch or secure your broken window until they can send a professional to assess the problem. Window replacements can be complex jobs, making it important that you contact a professional to solve the problem quickly and effective to ensure that it doesn’t cause problems down the line. If your windows have been cracked, shattered, or otherwise broken, contact the window installation experts at Muskoka Window and Door Centre for professional and transparent service.

How to Keep Black Flies and Other Insects Out of Your Muskoka Cottage

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Muskoka cottage owners. While we’re all enjoying the beautiful weather and soaking up the sun, our little insect friends have a similar idea. While you want to get outside and enjoy the sights and sounds, they want to get inside and enjoy the free food, water, and shelter your cottage provides. Bugs are attracted to your home for the same basic reasons you are – they’re also naturally drawn to body heat, skin odour, and carbon dioxide, all of which can be found in and around your cottage throughout the summer season.

From black flies to mosquitos, Muskoka is full of unpleasant bugs that nobody in their right mind wants in the house. These uninvited house guests can very quickly overstay their welcome, keeping you up at night, annoying you while you’re trying to relax, getting in on meals without a formal invitation, and eliciting terrified reactions from the more squeamish of us. This summer, say goodbye to pests once and for all – here’s how to keep insects out of your cottage.

Take a look at your windows and make sure your doors are properly sealed
Your cottage’s windows are the biggest problem area when it comes to insects making their way inside. The first thing you should do if you’ve noticed an excess of mosquitos or black flies inside your cottage is check your windows. If your screens are damaged, you’ll need to repair or replace them to keep insects out – especially if you want to keep enjoying that lovely summer breeze. While you’re looking for damage to your window screens, keep an eye out for any loose weather stripping, as this can provide a point of entry for opportunistic pests.

Look for cracks and other damage to your exterior window frames, as this can also provide an entryway for your unwanted guests. If you notice minor damage to your window frames, seal it as best as you can until you can call a window repair professional. If the damage is more widespread, we recommend getting in touch with a professional as soon as possible to minimize the entry of pests, and to mitigate further damage to your windows.

Your entrance and exterior doors can also provide an easy entryway for insects, especially if they haven’t been properly sealed. If you spot any cracks or unsealed gaps in your entryway, you can guarantee that bugs are making their way into your home. To protect your cottage from insects, install weatherstripping or use a door seal kit around your door frame, and apply caulk to seal any joints where gaps may be present. Installing a sweep under your door is also a great way to deny entry to pests, covering up the gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold of your home.

Make sure your cottage is clean and dry
While this might seem like a given, it’s important to stress the fact that insects are making their way into your home for a reason – in the summer months, that reason is food and water. Keeping a clean home is a great way to combat the entry of bugs – sweep your kitchen daily, vacuum at least once a week, take out the trash when it’s full, and wipe up crumbs immediately. It’s also a good idea to avoid stacks of paper, cardboard boxes, bags, and other convenient bug homes – these provide bugs with a comfortable home, away from the light and out of your sight.

In addition to cleaning, you should ensure that your home is as dry as possible to eliminate the entry of insects. Fix any leaks that may exist in your plumbing, dry dishes as soon as possible,  and use a dehumidifier in your basement or attic if they contain excessive moisture.

Turn off the lights to discourage moths and spiders
Let’s talk about moths. You’re just about to drift off into a peaceful sleep after a day on the lake, and then you hear those wings beating. Nobody wants to go to sleep with a moth potentially chewing on the sheets or landing on your nose, so you have to go around and round up or kill the moths before you can relax. The best way to prevent this is to eliminate the lights they are attracted to.

A porch light is the biggest culprit in attracting moths. So how do you see your way inside at night? Flashlights can also attract them, but not as much as a bright porch light, so it’s a good quick fix. You can also look at installing a fake-out light a few metres away from your door that gives you enough light to see to get inside, but keeps the moths away from your door.

Light attracts many insects and not just moths, which makes the areas around lights spider heaven. If you don’t want your windows to get covered in cobwebs, turn off your lights at night completely if possible.

Our earlier advice about removing dust and dirt will reduce one of the other things that moths like about your home, and apparently they hate cedar, so spraying your entryway with some cedar-scented oil and lining your cupboards with cedar can help keep them away from your house and your linens.

Maintain and tidy your yard
Bugs that make their way inside your cottage have generally come from in and around your yard. Cleaning up debris near your home is a great way to reduce the number of pests that enter. Insects are attracted to stacks of firewood, standing water, weeds and plant debris, compost bins, and other yard waste. By tidying up and moving these things away from the foundation and walls of your cottage, you’ll be able to effectively reduce the amount of unwanted guests inside your home.

To learn more about how the high performance window and door products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre can protect your home from insects and pests, contact us today.

What Are the Benefits of Joining a Lake Association?

If you’re a Muskoka cottage owner, chances are good that you’re part of or looking to join a lake association. Muskoka lake associations come in different shapes and sizes, with just about every lake in the region having a formal or informal association for its residents. The role played by lake associations are critical to promoting environmental stewardship, limiting land disputes, and other key issues, though their importance often goes misunderstood by cottagers and those living in rural areas. If you’re considering the benefits of joining a local lake association, consider the following.

Promoting cleaner, healthier lakes
One of the most important roles played by these associations is protecting our bodies of water and promoting cleaner and healthier lakes. Without them looking out for the health of Muskoka’s lakes, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our lakes to the extent we currently do each and every season. Lakes are carefully monitored for quality and tested for phosphorus levels to ensure that lake water is kept safe for use by members. To promote healthier bodies of water, local associations work to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining your septic system, what chemicals and fertilizers shouldn’t be used, and how members can go about keeping their lake healthy and thriving for years to come.

Limiting road disputes
Private roads around lakes can present many complications for those who live on and use them regularly. In many cases, home and cottage owners situated on private roads own the road in front of their house, with property owners using and sharing the road in a tacit or explicit agreement to enjoy right-of-way. In these situations, homeowners are generally responsible for snow and debris removal and general maintenance on their portion of the road, though it’s all too often complicated by uncooperative or absent cottagers. In these situations, lake associations work with property owners to formalize agreements about road use, maintenance, snow removal for full-time residents, and other important issues so that everybody can continue to enjoy free use of the road.

Responsible land use
Muskoka’s lake associations have worked for years to ensure that the region’s lakes can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. A major part of that is ensuring that land use and development respects the land and its lakes, achieves modern environmental standards, and meets the unique needs and wants of the people of the Muskoka region. By working to protect the environment and fight for forward-thinking land use and development, lake associations ensure that cottagers can continue enjoying the region well into the future.

Fighting for cottagers on local issues
Making your voice heard on the local issues that matter most to you can play a major part in shaping local policy. Lake associations amplify your voice by fighting for you on local issues that affect lake roads and waterways, resources, land use and development, best practices, and much more. Protecting and fighting for these things is critical to the continued enjoyment of Muskoka’s many lakes.

Over the years, Muskoka lake associations have fought to protect cottage owners from the effects of toxic chemicals, worked to reduce boating hazards, created risk-management programs, and brought volunteer groups together with the intention of promoting environmental stewardship.

Putting the emphasis on fun
Lake associations don’t just exist to protect waterways and fight for you, but also to ensure that you and your family can do exactly what you came to do – have fun. Many of Muskoka’s lake associations hold annual celebrations and events for their members, including boating and sailing regattas, boat shows, bonspiels, and other family friendly events that everybody can enjoy.

If you’re interested in learning more about or joining one of Muskoka’s many lake associations, you can find many of them on the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) website, asking your neighbours, or by contacting your local municipal office.

To find out more about the high performance window and door products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, contact us today.

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