|Ask Norm: Rotten Window Trim|
Question: When the windows in my 1863 house were replaced 15 years ago, te old trim was in good shape. Now it's rotting. Why?
Norm Replies: Judging by your photos (above), a number of factors could be causing the rot. For one thing, the trim is touching the brick and stone, which hold moisture like a spong. And the storm windows don't appear to have any weep holes to drain away condensation.
But I suspect the chief culprit is the caulk along the bottom of the windows. It's blocking the escape of any water that gets behind the trim; a sure recipe for rot. If this caulk was added when the new windows were instslled, it could explain why the trim decayed so quickly.
Cearly, any rotten trim needs to be replaced or repaired, but first ask a contractor to determine whether the windows can be saved. If not, you'll have to replace them, too.