SPAB’s National Maintenance Week starts on 18th November for one week.  Founded by William Morris in 1877, The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), aims to highlight the need for a regular maintenance programme whatever the age of your property.  Their website at provides property owners with straightforward, practical and safe advice giving them the confidence and knowledge to undertake simple DIY repairs or to instruct an expert.  It is perfect timing, before the onset of winter, to undertake a simple ‘MOT’ on your property including roof coverings, gutters and rainwater pipes, wall coverings and timber joinery.

Timber Joinery MOT

Inspect window and door surface coatings at least annually.  Whether the decorative finish is paint, stain or oil, it must be maintained and moisture should not be allowed to penetrate into the timber throughout its life.  Any exposed timber should be sanded and recoated immediately, especially prior to the onset of winter.

General cleaning should be carried out regularly (minimum twice a year) using a non-abrasive cloth with mild detergent and warm water ro remove any contaminates, whilst frequently changing the water.  After cleaning, rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all residues but do not use hosepipes or pressure cleaning equipment.  During cleaning, if any damage is noticed, then this must be repaired immediately.  Areas of general wear and tear such as window and door cills and door edges, should be made good and touched up as necessary.

Timber joinery requires re-painting approximately every 2-5 years depending on the aspect of the property and the recommendation of the paint finish manufacturer.  Employing the services of a professional painter and decorator is recommended but there is plenty of advice and guidance on the internet for the enthusiastic amateur.

Inspect window and door furniture, wiping away all dirt and debris, especially on moving parts.  Check all screws are tight and clean the handles with a damp cloth.  On the hinges, you can apply a light machine oil to all pivots ad wipe away any excess.  Apply petroleum jelly to all the locking bolts, guide slots and striker plates.  Where there are trickle ventilators, wipe clean with a damp cloth and clean away any blockages.

Whilst the most important elements to maintain are the coating systems and hardware, it is advisable to check the entire unit (interior and exterior) including the glazing unit and weatherseals for any signs of deterioration.

One of the distinct benefits of choosing timber joinery over upvc or aluminium is that, when damage is identified during the MOT inspection, it can be repaired by a qualified joiner.  Much of the damage will be sustained to the cills and areas where water may accumulate.  Rotten timber can be removed and new timber pieced in.  Once the repair has been undertaken and primer, undercoat and final finish has been applied, the join should no longer be visible.  Inevitably timber windows and doors may reach a point where they are beyond repair and will require replacement.  Please refer to our useful guide Replacement Windows for further advice or call to make an appointment.