Replacement options for wood windows
There are two main types of replacement options for wood windows: full frame and frame-and-sash insert.
If you choose a full frame replacement, you can replace your current window with any type of window you want. You can also upgrade your insulation. The con is that it requires the trim and some of the siding to be removed.
Another option is a frame-and-sash insert. It includes a frame with factory-fitted sashes where you keep your existing sill and jambs. Your trim isn’t affected, and it installs from the inside, so it’s easy to do—but it’s very expensive.
Moisture is the enemy
Moisture is the window’s worst enemy. That includes wood windows, too. “Wood moves with moisture. It does not change. Wood moves very little with changes in temperature, but it does move,” Wallace said. “If you get liquid water sitting on wood for the long term, that’s asking for biological degradation to happen. It’s a concern for any material. If you look at vinyl, it may not swell and shrink with moisture, but if you’re in a moist environment, it’s going to mold and there’s going to be mold growth on it,” he said.
Here's how you can maintain your wood windows and doors. Remove surface dirt and check the exterior of your wood windows at least once a year to ensure that wood is not exposed to the elements by failing caulk or paint that has cracked, peeled, or bubbled. Remove superficial surface dirt by washing painted wood exteriors with water and a soft-bristled, long-handled brush (like the ones used for washing cars). A toothbrush works well to remove build-up from cracks and crevasses. Heavier accumulations can be removed with an approved cleaning solution.