Your beautiful Muskoka cottage deserves to look its best, but in lakeside conditions it’s not always easy to keep things ship shape.

Unsightly invaders like wood rot are unfortunately a common issue in Ontario’s cottage country. All those lakes might make for stunning scenery, but they’re not kind to wooden window frames which can buckle, swell, and rot in the damp air.

The tell tale signs of wood rot

Newer homes are increasingly using rot-resistant materials to combat this problem, but older cottages still tend to favor wood frames for their beautifully natural look.

Your Georgian Bay getaway or Huntsville home may look the part with its cedar sills and oak frames, but vigilant homeowners know that wood requires careful upkeep to maintain its glossy finish.

Knowing you have a problem, or the beginnings of a problem, is the first step. Watch your windows for any sign of decay – prompt action can prevent the rot from spreading and doing long-lasting, severe damage.

It’s not always easy to spot wood rot. Damage frequently starts from within the frame so by the time it’s noticeable, you may have a bigger problem than you think. Start by gently pressing a screwdriver or other tool against the frame. If the wood appears soft or spongy, it’s likely rotted.

Another red flag is chipped or peeling paint. As the first line of defence against the elements, this coating is the first thing to go and leave your wood vulnerable.

Pay particular attention to the corners and bottom half of the frame, especially if they’re exposed to the elements i.e. without a covering or overhang. This is where problems frequently start.

If in doubt, book a consultation with an experienced window installation firm as they can assess the damage and provide options about how to treat and protect your frames.

Window repair and replacement

If rot’s the culprit, it’s time to act. Rotted frames won’t just ruin the look of your house, they can also cause your frames to warp, leak and develop mold. They’ll also drive up your energy bills, making it harder to heat or cool your home.

And don’t forget pests – crafty critters can exploit the holes made by rot to come inside and cause havoc in your home.

If the damage is still relatively small, you can do a few DIY fixes like plugging holes with wood filler, repainting and/or adding a wood insert. Just be sure to completely clean out the area, as leaving any rot behind will derail your home improvement efforts.

In situations where the rot has progressed, it might be time to call in the experts. Replacing your windows is often the best option but it’s important not to choose a retrofit solution. Putting new panes into damaged frames is obviously a risky proposition.

Muskoka Window and Door Centre doesn’t just install windows, our team of experts also replaces rotted frames so you can be sure your new windows will last for years to come. We work with the industry’s top manufacturers to offer you the latest styles, products, and materials that don’t just look great, they’re also weather-resilient and reliable. Contact us today to see how we can transform your holiday home.