You probably don’t often think about your window frames. As far as aspects of your home that are susceptible to damage, window frames are reliable. That said, window leaks can develop and cause water damage to your window frames. Water damage due to a window leak can quickly become a big issue in your home, potentially requiring extensive repairs. 

A key sign that you may have a leaky window is water damage to the window frames. Let’s learn more about how to identify water damage to window frames so that you can protect the condition of your Denver windows

The Importance of Window Frames

Window frames serve the purpose of keeping the window panes secured in position. The frames play a large role not only in the structure of the windows, but also in the windows’ energy-efficiency. To be energy efficient, windows must be fully sealed so that air can’t leak in and out of your home. Without a solid, well-installed frame, the window panes may be slightly askew. Even if this isn’t noticeable, air can leak in and out through the tiniest of gaps in your window. This will prevent your home’s HVAC system from operating efficiently and, ultimately, lead to higher energy bills. 

It’s clear that window frames are essential to the structure and function of your home’s windows. So, we also know that damage to your window frames should be addressed promptly. Left alone, water damage to your home’s window frames can lead to damage to the walls of your home, too. This may require not only a Denver window replacement, but also repairs for the adjacent walls. 

Water Damage to Window Frames

Excess moisture caused by a leaky window can have multiple effects on the window frame. These may include:

Rot

Often made of wood, window frames are at risk of rotting because of trapped moisture. When a window leaks, the moisture can seep into the wood of the window frame and get stuck inside of it. The wood may not have a chance to dry out, given that the window will continue leaking unless it’s repaired. The trapped moisture will start to break down the fibers of the wood, causing the frame to rot. 

Rot is often visible. Rotting window frames may appear wet, cracked, and darker than usual. If you can see that a window frame is rotting, the water damage has likely progressed past the point of repair. In this case, you’ll likely need a full Denver window replacement.

Soft or Spongy

Rotting window frames are often soft or spongy to the touch. This occurs when the wood fibers have broken down, causing the window frame to lose its structure. A crumbly or brittle texture in wooden window frames also indicated that it’s rotting. 

Peeling Paint

When window frames rot, it often leads to paint damage. Paint doesn’t perform well under prolonged periods of moisture exposure. Specifically, the paint can start to separate and peel back from the wood. This occurs when the wood expands when the water seeps into it, forcing the paint to peel back from it. 

Mold and Mildew

Mold spores love moist environments. When condensation sits on your window frame, mold may settle on the surface and begin to develop. Mold can grow surprisingly quickly and often appears as black spots. The mold may also seem soft or fuzzy. While you can clean the mold off of your window frames with vinegar or bleach, these cleaning agents won’t stop the frames from continuing to rot. Your Denver windows will need professional attention to restore the durability of the frames. 

Damage to the Adjacent Wall

Water damage to the window frames can often also be identified by damage to the wall surrounding the window. Water may seep down from the window to the wall, possibly causing water stains, mold, and bubbling. If you do notice water damage to the walls surrounding your windows, it’s worth it to check for rot in the window frame.

If your window frames are rotting, your best bet is likely to replacement. With Denver window replacement services, window professionals will take care of the rot and install a new, durable window. Contact Clearview Exteriors today to schedule a window replacement.

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