Winter weather causes billions in damage each year, much of it to the roofs of homes. So, it’s no great shock that roofs get the lion’s share of attention when spring rolls around. On many homes, window trim often gets little more than a cursory hosing off.
The mild neglect can create serious and potentially expensive long-term consequences for that trim, such as wood rot.
If that sounds like something you’d rather avoid, keep reading for some tips on how to keep your exterior window trim solid for years to come.
Your best defense is an annual round of spring maintenance. Don’t just clean the window glass. Give the trim a gentle scrub to remove any accumulated dirt or dust that might obscure problems with the paint.
If you notice minor problems with the paint or minor damage to the wood, take action immediately. Fill any small holes in the wood with an exterior wood filler. Touch up the paint with exterior-grade paint.
Keep any bushes or shrubs cut back from your trim since they encourage moisture retention. If you use a sprinkler system, make sure the spray won’t soak the wood repeatedly every day. That kind of persistent dampness can encourage wood rot.
If you buy a house or haven’t kept up with the trim maintenance, you may discover that most of the paint on the trim has deteriorated. While someone can take this project on as a DIY project, it’s generally not advisable.
Most homes host far more windows than a homeowner realizes until they count them. As a rule, it’s not the sort of job you can knock out on a lazy Sunday afternoon. If you own a two-story house, it complicates the job even more.
For a full-blown repaint of all the trim, it’s generally best to hire a professional to paint your exterior window trim.
Replace the Trim
Sometimes, you find out the wood is irreparably damaged before you can do anything yourself or hire painters. In those cases, your only real option is replacing the trim.
Let’s say that you prefer to stick with wood. You’ll want a rot-resistant species of wood, such as:
- Western red cedar
If money is truly no object, you can even go with teak, mahogany, or ipe. For the most cost-conscious homeowner, you can replace the trim with PVC
Parting Thoughts on Caring for Exterior Window Trim
Caring for your exterior window trim can prove fairly simple if you follow a regular maintenance routine each year. The real trick is that you must ensure the paint provides a sound seal around the wood.
After the paint deteriorates, it lets water saturate the wood and the rotting process begins. Once the rotting process starts, replacing the trim is your only real option.
Fitzpatrick Painting, Inc. offers interior painting, exterior painting, and contracting in the Mid-Willamette Valley. For more information or to request an estimate, contact Fitzpatrick Painting today.