Window & Door Trim Rot in Massachusetts Can Make for Rotten Holiday Time

As we were starting to decorate our house I was thinking that this is such a great time of year for homeowners to take some time and give their windows and trim a quick inspection. Time goes by so quickly and before you know it your windows might be 20 years old and may have some issues that need addressing.

So while you are outside hanging lights, on the bushes, or across the front of the house. While you are up on the ladder anyway hanging those wreaths take a good look at your windows and trim and let us know if it is time think about getting some repairs done

What we’d recommend you check while putting up your Christmas decorations are:

1. Check your window casings and sills for rot. Some of the windows made in the last 20 years are constructed with finger jointed wood, and if not constantly being painted, water gets in and rots them.

2. Check that your windows or storms are all down and tight. Remember the top storm panel is the one on the outside. Make sure the weep holes at the bottom are clear to allow moisture and water to drain out.

3. If you have wood sashes, its time to check the putty on the outside of the glass. It should be soft and not cracked or missing. Damaged putty lets in cold air that you don’t need to be heating.

4. Check the meeting rails where the top of the bottom sash and the bottom of the top sash meet. They should have an interlock to stop air from getting in. A good sash lock should pull these two sashes together.

5. Vinyl windows have the same problems except for the putty issue. They need to have their weather-stripping checked. And if there is cold air coming around the space where the vinyl and wood stops meet on the inside, new caulking may be needed outside and or inside.

6. Now to doors. Wood doors swell up in summer and stick, and it’s normal to loosen the strike plate to allow the door to shut. But in winter wood doors shrink and the strike place allows the door to be loose. The door should shut tight enough that you can’t see light coming from either side. It may be time to adjust the strike plate to tighten up that door.

7. Storm doors are another source of cold air getting in. Over time the sweep along the bottom of the door wears out and needs to be replaced. The door does you no good if the sweep is damaged or missing. Oh, and its time to put the glass back in and take out the screen. When you do you may have to adjust the closer to make the door click shut.

8.Check the wood trim around your windows and doors. Is it rotted? How can you tell? Well some signs that rot is starting are: you will feel the wood is starting to soften, freshly painted paint (a year or less) will bubble, if you touch is with a pencil the head of the pencil will sink into the wood.

If you start to notice any of these signs or anything that just doesn’t look like it is in tip top shape it’s probably time to have an inspection done to see what options you have.