Windows and doors made from natural wood can last a lifetime if you take care of them properly. Regular maintenance measures include treating the wood properly and performing frequent cleaning.
Where your wood windows or doors are located makes a difference in the type and frequency of maintenance they need. Wood windows and doors facing in a southerly direction are more vulnerable to weathering than wood facing in any other direction. The best way to prevent weathering of your wood windows—especially those facing south—is to treat the wood, clean it regularly, and retreat it as necessary.
Treating the Wood
Treating your wood windows and doors with UV protected paint or stain to block sunlight will help protect the wood—keeping it looking like new for years. Some paints can block the sun completely, but they may also trap moisture, which promotes and accelerates decay. Semitransparent stains may be a better option, as they balance protection from the sun and moisture. If you are painting or staining your windows or doors yourself, you should do so within the first three weeks of installation.
Cleaning the Wood
Over time, moisture, dirt, and soot can build up on your window or door exterior. Without regular cleanings, the finish on your wood windows and doors could deteriorate. Most things that can build up on your windows and doors are not pH neutral, so they can degrade the finish, exposing the natural wood to the elements without protection.
To keep your windows or doors looking new for as long as possible, simply wipe down the wood with a soft damp cloth. If the build-up is excessive or stubborn, use warm soapy water—but be certain that you wipe with a clean, moist cloth afterwards to remove the soapy residue.