Wood-framed windows on your home can last for many years, as long as you maintain them properly and regularly. When wood rot begins to affect your window's frame and trim, it is important to remove the rot to prevent its spreading. Here are instructions to help you locate and remove wood rot and how to repair the window frame yourself. 

Locate Wood Rot

Wood rot can begin to affect your wood window frames any time moisture gets inside the wood. With wet weather continually in contact with your home's exterior wood-frame windows, any crack, crevice, or collection point on the wood can let the moisture begin to cause rot damage. Determine where on your window frames wood rot has begun to break down the wood by looking for several different signs.

First, if you notice the paint has begun to bubble up, crack, or flake off the wood, there may be rot in the wood behind it. Also, inspect the end grain of the wood frame to look for any signs of dark or green discoloration in the wood: both are signs of wood rot. Anywhere on your exterior window where water may be allowed to accumulate or drain slowly, such as a window sill, can have wood rot. Also, look on areas where two pieces of wood connect together for any wood-rot signs. 

Next, you need to probe the wood to determine whether it has rot inside. Use the end of a screwdriver and press it onto the surface of the wood. If the screwdriver easily penetrates the wood trim, then you have wood rot that you need to remove and repair. Leaving behind wood rot will allow the rot to continue to spread further and damage more areas of the wood window trim and frame.

Prepare the Area 

First, with a chisel or sandpaper, scrape off any paint from the wood frame's surface so you can access the rotted wood and determine the full extent of any rot damage. Next, use a router and a grinding bit to remove any rotted wood from the frame of your window. You can also use a chisel to remove areas of wood rot.

Continue to remove all soft areas of the wood that are rotted until only solid wood remains. This is important because any wood rot remaining on the wood frame will cause your repair to lift from the window frame, as the rot is not a stable repair foundation, and the epoxy you will be using as a repair filler won't adhere to the rotted wood.

Drill several small holes halfway into the surface of the wood's surface you are patching and filling for repair. These holes will provide you with injection spots where you can squirt some borate wood preservative. The wood will absorb the borate wood preservative to help protect it from future moisture and potential rot damage. Additionally, borate will protect the wood from fungus, termites, wood-boring beetles, and carpenter ants. Last, apply a wood bonding agent or epoxy primer onto the wood to help the epoxy adhere to the area. 

Repair the Window's Wood Frame and Trim

Because the wood on your home's windows can expand and contract with weather fluctuations, you want to use a repair product that will be flexible in the same way. A two-part epoxy can be molded to fit into any repair area of your window's wood frame and trim and will expand and contract with the wood.

Squeeze some of each of the epoxy's two parts onto a piece of plastic Plexiglas or similar material. It is best to combine the two parts to the epoxy on a hard plastic surface with a plastic putty knife, as epoxy won't adhere to plastic. Press the combined epoxy mixture onto the repair-area wood and use a putty knife to shape it to match the rest of the window's wood trim and frame. Allow the epoxy to cure and dry according to its package directions. Then, sand down its surface using a medium-grit sandpaper followed by a fine-grit sandpaper. 

Sunlight will break down any exposed epoxy repair, so it is important to prime and paint the frame within three days to help your repair look great and last long. If you would like professional help with this project, talk to a company like Morgan Exteriors Inc.