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Home Improvement Replacement Windows

Rotted Window Frame: Repair or Replace?

3 min read

It can happen without you noticing. One day, you’ll look up and one or more of your window frames are rotting. If you live in a wet, muggy climate where water damage on wood is an inevitability, this is especially likely. Older homes often have wooden frames for windows, so it’s worth checking over your windows if you’re at all concerned about rotting. 

Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to repair your window. However, the best way to take care of a rotting window frame is window replacement. That decision is up to you, so if you’re up to repairing your window, we’ve got the steps you’ll need to take below. 

Assessing the Damage

Before you start on window frame repair or replacement, you’ll need to figure out the extent of the damage. An easy way to do this is to grab your household screwdriver. Focus on the corners of the frame, as this is typically where problems first appear. Press the screwdriver into the frame, paying attention to the texture of the wood as you do so. If the texture is spongy, the wood is rotting. 

Don’t have a screwdriver on hand? Potential rot problems can also be spot-checked by assessing whether paint or polish is chipping off. This serves as a protectant for the wood against the elements, so if it’s missing, the wood rots much more quickly. 

If the rot is confined to a small portion of the frame—as in, just a couple of inches—you’re probably fine to repair the rotted window frame. If it’s a more significant problem spanning multiple sections of the frame or covering more than a few inches, it will likely serve your time and efforts better to look into window replacement.

Steps to Take When Repairing or Replacing

Getting started on repairing or replacing a wooden window frame may seem intimidating for the average homeowner. Take safety precautions as needed to stay safe, and only attempt repairs if you are confident you can do so safely. If you have any doubts, it’s far and away the better option to call in the professionals for a window replacement. 

Repairing a Rotted Window Frame

If the window or windows in question only have a spot or two with wood rot, an epoxy wood filler can patch up your problem area. Best of all, it leaves no visual trace afterward that the patched area is made of a different material. You’ll need gloves and a face mask as well as some repair knowledge to make the repair successfully, so if you’re at all unsure whether repair is a good option, replacement will likely be your best bet. Window rot is a serious matter! 

Replacing a Rotted Window Frame

Replacing the entire rotted wooden window frame is your best option if a significant portion of the frame is beyond repair. It’s also perfectly valid to not be sure if you’re handy enough to carry out repairs! If you have any concerns about repair or replacement, getting in touch to discuss your options for updated windows can’t hurt. It’s better to act than to let the rot get worse. 

Other Possible Window Frame Issues

It’s worth noting that older wooden window frames could use replacement or repair for reasons beyond simple rot. If you’re seeing any of the issues below around your home, it’s time to repair or replace. 

Don’t Ignore Rotten Frames

If you see a problem with your windows, it’s best to act as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse over time. If you’re looking to replace windows, our high-quality vinyl replacement windows are a great option to consider. Vinyl does not rot and is simple to maintain, making it a sensible long-term investment for your home. Reach out to us today to get your free estimate on replacement windows!