Indications of Rotted Wood Around a Window
The most common signs of wood rot around a window correspond with those of a window frame that is dilapidated. That is, peeling paint, cracks in the structure, irregular-looking wood surfaces, and wood sections beginning to crumble. Window frame paint that appears wavy or bubbled is another good sign of wood rot. Wood swells and warps when inundated with moisture, which leads to rot. Broken or damaged caulking also allows water to seep into the frame and your home.
On the inside of the home, a leaky window frame is another sign of wood rot which causes the frame to bow and not adjoin appropriately with the window. You might also see portions of the wall beneath the frame that are darker in color, indicating moisture that has permeated the wall. Slight discoloration of the window frame and windows that do not open and close easily are additional indications of wood rot in the frame. These conditions deleteriously impact the function of the window.
However, some signs of wood rot require a closer inspection to detect. If you suspect wood rot in your window frame, you can press a pocketknife or screwdriver into the sill or the lower portions of the window frame. If the wood has a spongy texture to it, there is definitely rotted wood in the frame. You can further gauge the extent of the rot by pushing the screwdriver into the spongy surface to see how deep it is.
Repairing Rotted Wood Around Windows is Essential
It is imperative to repair rotted wood; otherwise, the rot will compromise the wood structure of your window frame. If decay spreads around the window and window frame, it makes it less sturdy, less safe, and less effective. A rotted window frame will increasingly fail to protect your home from the wet weather and is not as effective as a wholesome frame at keeping out the cold.
Wood rot is not a static condition. Instead, it is an active phenomenon that progresses by gradually spreading throughout your window frame and eventually into the wood structure of your home. So repairing your rotted window frame is as equally important to preserving the integrity of the frame as it is to maintain the health of your home.
The CDC suggests repairing any leaks in your home as an immediate action to deter wood rot. Wood rot around any windows means moisture has permeated the frame and is likely to advance into the structure of your home. Rotted window frames eventually lead to leaks because they continually degrade the seals of the window frame and allow moisture to seep into the house. Catching wood rot around your windows early in the process will prevent the deterioration from spreading into the structure of your home, where it can inflict more significant damage.