How to Spot Rotting Window Frames
If you’re a homeowner, you know that your home has ways of telling you when it needs repairs. Some home damage can be really obvious, like a broken window or a major water leak. But some home damage can be a little harder to identify unless you go looking for it, like rotten wood.
Rotten wood is especially dangerous because even if it starts at a specific point in your house, it can quickly and easily spread throughout, wherever there is wood. And the most likely place to find rotten wood is your window frames, as they are exposed to the elements on a daily basis. Here’s how to tell if your window frames are rotten.
1) You Can See the Rot
Your first sign for identifying rotting window frames is by looking at them. If you can see that the wood is rotting, you should have the frames replaced.
2) It Feels Soft to the Touch
If you suspect your window frames are rotten, go around to each of your windows and test them by how they feel when you touch them. We all know that wood should be hard and sturdy to the touch. Check your window frames for any softness, brittleness or crumbliness. If your window frames are very rotten, they might even disintegrate when you touch them.
Rotten window frames often lead to other problems, like fungi and mould. If you see any changes in the colour of your window frame, it’s likely a sign that it’s rotting. Also check for peeling paint, either directly on the window frame or surrounding it, as you may have a water leak.
4) Check the Window Sill First
Your window sill is the first place the window frame will rot, because water will often sit on the window sill longer than any other part of the window frame. Even if you don’t detect rot in the other parts of your window frames, pay close attention to the window sill. Check for signs of paint wear and any soft areas.
5) Check the mitre joints
The mitre joints are located in the corners of your interior casing trim. Check these corners for a gap. If the gap is larger in the bottom corners than the top corners, this is a clear indication that the wood was compromised by water in the fall and froze during the winter months, as the water expands and blows the corners apart. Leaving this unfixed for an extended period of time could result in drywall damage, followed by potential mould and electrical issues.
6) Prevent Your Window Frames from Rotting
After you’ve inspected all of your window frames, and had them replaced if necessary, the final step is to prevent rot from occurring again. First, make sure your gutters are properly maintained and guiding rain water away from your house. If you’re replacing your windows and rot is a concern, try installing vinyl or vinyl clad windows instead of wood. If you decide to stick to wood window frames, make sure you seal them with a good outdoor paint as a barrier. Keep your home well-ventilated to prevent moisture and condensation from building up and causing the frames to rot from the inside as well.
Need a window replacement? Contact Oakville Windows & Doors today!