Works Repairs Window Trim and Sills on the North Shore
April 3, 2016
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This winter on the North Shore of Boston has been mild—mostly. That milder weather hasn’t prevented weather-related problems for North Shore homes, but it means the WORKS team can address them faster. For windows, trim and sills are the most vulnerable spots exposed to the weather.
Signs of Damage
A sill is the slab of wood at the bottom of a window that runs from inside to outside. In older homes, the sills weren’t built with modern waterproof materials. Over time any sill can become vulnerable if the window doesn’t close properly or leaks water. But on the North Shore, a continual hard beating by Mother Nature is enough to damage outside trim and sills even if the window itself is in prime condition.
The signs of a rotten sill or trim include peeling, cracked or blistering paint; wood that is darker than the rest of the area or covered in algae; and siding that is working free. If you probe the wood with a screwdriver or other tool and it slides into the wood, you have rot.
Repairs in Manchester and Wenhem
In early February, we removed the rotten window trim and corner board from an attic window in Manchester-by-the-Sea. With four inches of snow overnight, we had to remove the snow off the roof before we started the repairs. But the day itself was beautiful, and minor snow removal is part of the job description for the WORKS team.
In another home in Wenham, we inspected the house for rotted areas, and found problems with the upper window sill and trim. We had to replace the upper sill but were able to simply epoxy the trim.
To epoxy trim, we first remove all of the rotted material until what is left is dry and sound. We may inject wood preservative into the area to prevent future decay if needed. Then we use an epoxy primer to ensure that the epoxy will bond to remaining, sound wood. Finally, we use a putty knife or similar tool to pack the area with epoxy until it is shaped to the rest of the trim. We sand it smooth, prime, and paint.
In every case of trim and sill replacement, we carefully caulk all seams, corners and edges; and then paint to match the trim on the rest of the house.
If your window trim and sills are showing signs of water damage or if winter leaves you with peeling and cracking paint, please contact WORKS by Jesse DeBenedictis. The sooner we fix the problem, the less damage will occur.