Rx for Weather-Damaged Windows

Untreated, soft juvenile wood in window frames and trim will rot quickly if it’s in frequent contact with puddled rainwater—especially if the area can’t readily drain or dry out. End grain is particularly prone to soaking up water. And in hot, humid climates, the risk of rot increases.

It only takes a little air space to allow the base of a window or door unit to drain and dry when it gets wet. Use plastic shims to hold the foot of the unit up from the waterproofed sill framing. And cut brick mold or trim just a tad short to leave a drainable space at the bottom.

Borate-based wood preservatives such as Tim-Bor or Bora-Care protect wood from rot, but are nontoxic to people and animals. The effect isn’t permanent (the materials leach out of the wood), but it will buy some time. Borate crystal rods (like the brand-name product Impel) will protect for longer.

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