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 don’t need any specific advice on what signs to look for—because you can see the rot.
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 could be window mold—which represents 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 that’s how moisture affects wood, especially if it is untreated.
Does The Window Frame Have A “Spongy” Feel
Another reliable way to check if your window frame is rotting is to inspect the frame by pressing your fingers around the entire frame to see if there is a spongy feel to the wood. If so, you’ve got rot. Your window sill is very susceptible to rot because, if there is a leak, water can collect on it and cause wood to rot. So inspecting the window sill with attention to detail is essential.
The Window Simply Doesn’t Open Or Close Properly
A window that will not open or close properly is another sign of rotting wood. Gaps in the corner joints of the window frame also indicate that water damage has compromised the structure and integrity of the wood. Remember that any unsealed area of a window frame may allow moisture and cause wood to rot.
Rotting wood around a window frame can also be caused by excessive moisture in the inner walls around your window and frame, which you will not be able to see until you take the window frame out. Leaks in other parts of your home may damage your window frames when they get inside your siding, so it’s essential to diagnose the cause of the leak and have it fixed properly.