When wood and water meet, it causes damage. The trim along your roofline and around windows can outline your home’s most beautiful features – or it can distract from an otherwise attractive exterior. Over time, paint deteriorates and water contacts unprotected surfaces, creating wood rot. As moisture seeps in, fungi begin to grow. Left untreated, wood rot can extend to structural supports, letting moisture into your home and creating the need for more extensive repairs. Here’s how to know if your trim needs replacement or repair.
Perform an Inspection
Assess your trim with a screwdriver and a pair of binoculars. Examine places moisture is most likely to collect. Rot can hide behind cracked paint, so it isn’t always apparent. Probe wood surfaces with your screwdriver to check for crumbling or soft, spongy textures. Watch out for areas of discoloration or chipped paint. Check the following:
- Window frames – Rain tends to collect on window sills, wearing through paint and soaking wood. If trim feels soft, replace it to keep water from entering your home.
- Exterior doors – Doors become scuffed and chipped from frequent use. Check the threshold, door jam, and surrounding trim for soft areas. Inspect the kick plate area for signs of deterioration.
- Exterior wood – Use your binoculars to inspect trim along your roofline for signs of wear and tear. Check any decking components for signs of rot, especially where your deck attaches to the house.
If you find rot, call a professional. If you repair damage quickly, only a small section may need to be replaced.
Look for Other Signs
Most paint needs to be reapplied about every seven years. If you must repaint your trim more frequently, it may be because your trim has become soft and porous, causing paint to crack and flake soon after application. Unfinished wood is vulnerable to the elements, and the cost of repainting quickly adds up.
Damaged trim can also result in utility bill hikes. When your windows, doors, and siding have deteriorating trim, air and moisture leak in. Your home may feel cold and damp in the winter, and hot and sticky during warm months, causing you to constantly adjust the thermostat. If you feel drafts near windows and doors or notice your heating and cooling expenses are higher than previous years, replacing your trim could save you money.
Fix It and Forget It
Avoid the endless cycle of repainting and replacing wood trim by replacing it with rot-resistant options. Tri-County Windows and Siding offers long-lasting weather-resistant aluminum and composite trim. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate.