Rehab old wood sills and casing as practical

It is important to keep up on wood window sill maintenance. This is one thing old and new houses need to have monitored. And newer window from the 60′s-80′s with fingerjointed brickmold and sills can rot even faster than old growth doug fir casing. Scape, painting and redoing the caulk is an ongoing maintainance job.

Regrettably one of the worse things to do is caulk the bottom of the storm unit so water doesn’t drain away. This inevitable leads to rotten wood sill and side casing with the added liability of structural damage over time.

But be aware that most older homes  will probably have lead paint. Wet scraping and cleaning the sill should be done carefully to avoid spreading the lead. Using a vacuum with a Hepa filter would be good. And wet scraping,  wet misting and washing hands and clothes are important considerations.

window casing repair-clean out rot

window casing repair-rot patched

There is always a consideration of what condition the sill is. The window above seemed worth repairing by cutting out the bottom area of the casing and backband trim over the casing. Using miters to shed water, back priming the new material, back caulking joints, and such all seem reasonable measures to help the repair last.

If there is a 2-3″ hole in the sill, it possibly isn’t practical to patch with MinWax wood hardener and wood filler. Especially if the connection between the sill and side jamb is fairly gone.  Remember you may be only buying time and you will still need to monitor and maintain the caulk and paint to keep water out of the wall framing.

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