How To Replace Rotted Wood Around Window

Composite Window Frame Repair

How to Fix Rotted Wood with Epoxy | This Old House

Patching frames made from composite material typically has a price between $400 and $650 per window and takes three to four hours per unit. Repairing composite models is slightly more complex and limited. However, these units are designed to be durable in the first place and therefore much less likely to need repairs. Some composite materials may crack or split over time, which can be fixed with simple repairs in many cases.

Wood Window Frame Repair

Typically, a professional patch job on wooden frames averages between $175 and $300 per window. Wood is fairly easy to repair, but its also one of the most common materials to need repairing or replacement over the years. Wood is porous and can be affected by the elements. It can even become dried out by the sun and heat, leading to splitting and other issues. The repairs on wood may be anything from filling cracks and repairing splits to completely replacing the wood boards if they are too damaged or rotten to repair. If you paint or stain your wooden units, they can last much longer and require fewer repairs over the years.

How To Replace Rotted Wood Around Window

The location of the window makes it a perfect place for water to gather and cause rot in the wood. If you are handy with tools, then replace is an easy fix however, if you dont feel comfortable working on windows, try calling a professional. You can find one at a local hardware store or an internet search. Rotted wood must be removed for the window to fit properly in its opening again. For this, you will need Hammer, Palm Sander, Tape Measure, Screwdriver, Power Saw, Screws , Wood Glue and Drill.

Summary of Contents

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Saw Off The Original Sill

Slice through the original caulking and sill once you have removed the rotted areas. From here, you can simply pry off each piece of the casing until you are back to the bare bones.

Be careful not to remove the original trim, as this can be helpful as a template when installing the new sills. Also, make sure the flashing is intact. Otherwise, your new sills wont fix properly.

Window Frame Painting Cost

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The cost of painting window frames typically averages between $35 and $50 per unit. Painting or staining can be considered a reparation or upgrade for a couple of reasons. First of all, paint can add a protective barrier to the unit, giving it a longer lifespan and less risk of damage over time. Another benefit of painting is that it adds a touch of style and can increase the homes value.

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How To Replace Rotted Window

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Larger rotted areas in your window will require outright replacement instead of fixing with epoxy. Fixing a large area with epoxy will be expensive and will provide poor structural strength for your window.

Typically, when moisture is allowed unchecked for a long time, the wood will be badly damaged and will require the replacement of the rotted pieces.

Materials Needed

Steps to Replace Rotted Window

If you want to replace wood pieces that have rotted on your window, heres a simple guide to do it:

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  • First, determine which parts of the window have rotted by using the probing method. Usually, if it requires replacing, the damage will be visible at the point as it is extensive.
  • Using your pry bar or mallet and hammer, you can remove the damaged pieces. While fixing the rotted window, you only need to scrape off the rot.
  • Here, you may want to remove the whole piece that has been damaged. This is because the area is larger. Put your pry bar under the surface of the piece marked for removal and then pull to remove it.
  • Clean the Area and Measure the Gap
    • After cutting the wood, place the piece close to the gap the see if it fits. If you got your measurements correctly, they should fit flush inside the gap.
    • However, if it is too big for the gap, you can use the saw to chop off the excess part. If your piece is too small, you can fill up the remaining with a wood filler like epoxy or potty.

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    Learning The Extent Of The Damage

    Before you buy any supplies, you will need to start demoing, as you will not know what you need until you figure out the extent of the damage. Keep notes on how long the sill and apron are, as well as any other pieces that you are pulling off the side of your house. A list of everything you do is going to be helpful later.

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    Remove The Apron And Sill

    Using your pry bar, tap it behind the apron and work your way from one end to the other. Pry the apron away carefully in order to protect your siding. Once you have removed that, do the same thing with the sill.

    If there are any nails left behind, which is usually the case with rotten wood, pull them out. Matching the angle for the new sill will be easier if you save a piece of the old, so put that to the side for when its time to cut the new one.

    If your rot damage is severe, it may have affected your vertical trim. If this is the case, remove that as well. The other option is to remove the part that is affected and when it comes time to install the missing piece, you can use an epoxy wood filler to fill in the gap.

    Apply A New Coat Of Paint

    How to Replace a Rotted Windowsill | This Old House

    Congratulations, youve made it to the final step! All that is left to do is paint the finished product in the color of your choice.

    Before you begin, make sure to place taping strips along the glass to avoid any bleeding. The last thing you want to do is paint your glass.

    The paint will tie the entire process together, and once youve finished, you will never know there was even rot.

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    Aluminum Window Frame Repair

    Aluminum frame repair typically has a price between $250 and $500 per unit for a complete re-glazing. Many people choose aluminum models because they dont require maintenance like wood. They are also much more resistant to the elements. However, the expanding and twisting of the metal over time can lead to broken glazing, which is what makes the window weatherproof. This is why reglazing is the most common solution.

    Checking The Siding And Framing

    At this point, you will want to break out your chisel and start to work on any area of the siding and framing. Remove any areas of wood that are rotten and crumbling. If you find areas that are still solid and strong, but damp, leave these to dry in the sun for a few days. You can use a heat gun to speed this progress up, just be careful not to be close as it could start a fire.

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    Measure And Cut Trim Boards

    Now measure for your trim and cut. I like working from the top down, but I have no idea if thats actually better.

    Our old brick mold wasnt mitered in the corners so I followed the pattern and butt jointed it. Yes, I just said butt joint. Its a carpenters term, for real. To cut a straight line with a chop saw or miter saw is simple. If you are making the cut with a circular saw, draw a straight line on the board with a carpenters square to make sure you dont wander. Dont be a cowboy, you and I both know you cant eyeball it.

    Use your handy dandy carpenters square to make a nice right angle.

    While the left side and top of the window was a dead ringer for 1×5, the right side was juuuust too small for me to wedge it in there. Oh the joys of old houses! So I scribed the 1×5 to match the variation in the siding edge and ripped it with the circular saw. This I did mostly eyeball because I knew I would be covering the crappy edge with the decorative molding. Screw the boards in place with your nifty special screws and step back and admire how much more like a window it looks already!

    Prep And Paint The Frame

    How to Repair a Rotten Window Sill

    To prep the window frame for painting, youll want to use a rough-grit sandpaper to level the hardened epoxy with the window frame. Next, youll need to use a fine-grit sandpaper to create a smoother surface.

    Next, youll wipe away the debris and dust with a rag to ensure that the paint doesnt interfere with anything. Youll want to use a good exterior paint to paint over the frame. Exterior paint can keep the wood and filler protected from outdoor elements.

    Choose a color that complements the other exterior window frames. Before you start painting, youll want to apply painters tape alongside of the frame to protect the glass. Now you can start painting the frame with an up and down motion. Take your time and make sure that you use clean brushes.

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    Remove The Rotted Parts

    For this step, youll need the following tools: chisel or a flathead screwdriver, and a brush. Time to get started on removing the rotted material. First, youll use the chisel or flathead screwdriver to scrape the rotted parts. Youll want to scrape the rotted material until you see healthy parts. Next, youll gently use the brush to scrub against the surface and clean away the rubble.

    Repair Rather Than Replace

    In some cases, rot is more extensive than you can handle. When replacing the wood around your window, keep in mind that this is only temporary and it will need to be redone again as soon as future water damage causes them to rot again. This is a common problem for windows on houses near ponds, rivers or other large bodies of water. If you live in such an area, it may be best to use a window with a special sealant that prevents water and air from entering.

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    How Does Wood Rot Happen

    Wood windows are very vulnerable to the outside elements. If the wood is not painted frequently enough and maintained regularly, moisture can easily collect inside it. If the windows caulking has a gap, this can also allow water to leak in. Water can infiltrate and get behind the wood and rot it from the backside as well there are many ways that water could get into all the places it shouldnt be.

    Use This Method To Repair Dry Rot Damage In A Sill Or Frame And Avoid Having To Replace The Entire Window Frame And Sill

    How to Repair a Rotted Window Frame

    Product InformationFor more information on the wood filler used in this project visit the Minwax website.

    It’s not uncommon to find a window frame or sill suffering from dry rot. Ironically this condition is not caused by the wood being dry, but rather, wet, usually for an extended period of time. In this case the water entered through a joint between the window frame and the exterior shingles — a place where the caulk had failed. This kind of repair is made by first removing the rotten wood, hardening any adjacent surfaces that may have been affected and then filling the void, in this case, with solid wood and a filler called polyester resin. The resulting repair is durable, practically invisible and costs a small fraction of a window replacement. Just be sure to correct the source of the problem.

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    Some Signs Are Not So Obvious

    In many cases, rotting wood around a window frame does not drastically change the appearance of the frame or sill. However, there are a few key signs to look for. If the window frame is even slightly discolored, this can indicate excessive moisture or window mold, representing a severe health concern. Leaks allowing moisture to impact your window frame can cause the wood to rot and the window to malfunction. Any excessive moisture in or around your window frame can cause the wood to rot because thats how moisture affects wood, especially if it is untreated.

    How To Repair A Rotted Wood Window Frame

    Homeowners know that wood rot is a fact of life. However, it can be an uphill battle trying to keep your home protected from the elements. Rain and humidity find a way into your wood trim, doors and window sill. Soon you have unattractive decay and it may even set in. Stop the spread in its tracks. Read on to find out how to repair rotted wood window frame.

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    Prepare To Do Some Carpentry

    If you were lucky enough to get away with the easy fix above, your window repair job is nearly done.

    On the other hand, if there is more rot than wood, your job is just starting.

    Go to your garage or tool shed, and get out your woodworking tools. Youll need a comfortable workbench, clamps, saws, drill press, wood glue, and plenty of carpentry and joining skill.

    Easy enough, right? So, lets get started.

    How To Fix Or Replace Rotted Wood Around A Window

    Repairing rotted wood around window

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    Windows are efficient ways of letting in natural light and air into a building while also increasing the aesthetics of the building. Like most parts of a building, windows can get damaged. Wooden windows are more prone to damage, especially those caused by moisture.

    If you live in a wet area with a lot of humidity, your windows are susceptible to rot. One of the first areas to start showing signs of rot is the window frame. Windows made from other materials like metal, vinyl, and aluminum are more durable and will not rot. However, many houses, especially older ones, make use of wooden windows and frames.

    One thing you should be aware of is that when moisture damages a wooden window, it is not always visible at first. Oftentimes, it will remain that way till it has affected a huge part of the window. To get ahead of the problem and discover the damage on time, you can press a screwdriver into a window.

    A spongy feel indicates the presence of moisture in that part of the window. Usually, the lower parts of windows not protected by any overhang are the most susceptible to rot.

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    Drilling Holes Into The Frame

    For this step, youll need the following materials and tools: ¼-inch bit driller/driver. Nows the time to use the ¼-inch bit to drill holes into the healthy wood. Remember to space them out about an inch apart. Fillers will have a secure hold onto the wood if the holes are evenly spaced out. Once you finish, your next course of action will be to dust off any debris by using a brush.

    Seal Breaks In The Sheathing Underneath

    At this point, youll have a whole new perspective on the interior of your window. Windows are surrounded by a sheath that prevents water from getting into your home. If you see cracks or breaks in the sheathing around the window, use your caulk to seal it. Simply caulk line across the sheath, flatten it down with your finger, and allow it to dry. This measure will be important in preventing additional moisture from leaking in.

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    Signs Of A Rotting Window Frame

    Most of us are familiar with the advanced signs of rotting window frames and window sills in older homes: the paint is cracked or peeled, the wood surfaces are irregular, and there are large crevices or cracks and places where the wood is crumbling. Rotting wood around window frames are sometimes so dilapidated that you can tear off chunks of wood with your bare hands. If the rotting wood around your window is this obvious, then you dont need any specific advice on what signs to look forbecause you can see the rot.

    Installing The New Windowsill

    how to replace window sill, rotted sill and nose. easy!

    Most sills are designed with a slope, as this will help with water runoff. Make sure that the slope you cut with your new windowsill matches, as closely as possible, the angle of the previous. This is why we saved a piece from the demo.

    Cut all the other pieces to size, following the old adage: measure twice and cut once. Once finished, run sandpaper over all of the pieces. This will help them to take the paint better, giving it more to adhere to. Cover all the surfaces, even the ones that will not be exposed, with primer. This acts as a barrier between the wood and rain, helping to prolong its life.

    Making sure that everything is dry, start working from the inside out. Replace the sheathing and siding first, attaching these with galvanized nails. Make sure to caulk all the seams to prevent water from seeping in and damaging all the work you have done.

    Next to be installed is the sill, which usually extends beyond the side casing trim on each side. Make sure this is centered and nail it into place with galvanized nails. Continue on with all the other pieces, finishing up with 2 coats of paint.

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