Posted by: tomspage | April 19, 2010

I’ve Been Framed. . .

Rotted and leaking window frame.

Rain and sun in South Florida are a home’s two most destructive enemies and window frames are their favorite target.  Sunlight rapidly deteriorates the paint on window sills and any water sitting on them can make its way into the wood.  Once moisture starts to get into the wood the cycle of mold and rot is sure to follow.  Moisture in the wood also attracts termites and other insects.

The first line of defense is inspecting your window frames for deteriorated paint.  You may need a ladder to inspect the top of the frame which is sometimes overlooked by painters as well.  Pay particular attention to the sills as flat surfaces are more prone to deterioration,  also look carefully at any parts of the frame where the wood’s end grain is exposed.

If you at all feel that the wood needs to be painted do it or have it done right away.

New frame and caulk installed by McFixit. The air conditioner opening in the background had rot and termite damage due to water intrusion. It has been sealed and will be replaced with a window.

Painting and re-caulking window frames is cheap insurance.  While inspecting your windows make sure that the sills slope downward and encourage water to run off.  Also inspect the caulking around the frame and window (again make sure to check the top for caulk and or flashing). If you find any rotted wood have it fixed right away to prevent the problem from spreading.  Once moisture gets into a house’s structure things go from bad to worse in a hurry and the cost of repairs escalates quickly.

A little work now, and the only thing your windows will be letting into your house is light.

On a related note, pay careful attention to any cutouts for window air conditioners in the walls of your house.  Experience shows that these are often sloppily  installed and poorly weatherproofed and can lead to damage to the surrounding walls.

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