Outside window trims are an essential part of your curb appeal. A lot of thought usually goes into making them symmetrical, uniform and beautiful. Any sign of damage affects the whole look of the house. However, there is more to window trims than just looks. Window trims perform a very important function. They protect the window from the natural elements, as well as form an important part of the home insulation system. They bear most of the brunt of the harsh weather outside. For this reason, they are more prone to damage and decay. When the decay starts affecting the performance of the window or might start causing harm to the window, you must replace the trims.
When Should you Replace Your Outside Window Trim?
Replacing window trims are an expensive business. So, you should have some good reason for doing it. The most common reason for changing window trim is either damage or curb appeal.
Rotting – Exposure to moisture and other natural elements causes rotting of the wood, and the obvious signs for that is discoloration and splinters. Even when the wood is not rotten, splinters in itself can be a good reason for replacing the trim. However, discoloration does not mean replacement, as these can be painted over and given a bright and fresh look.
A New Look – Another big reason for replacing the trim can be to get it matched with your new windows. When you are putting in new windows, it is a good idea to change the trim as well, especially if the existing ones don’t match the new windows. Also, it might save you some money on installation costs.
How to Choose the Window Trim Material
Some materials last longer than others. While some materials require more maintenance. You will have to think carefully before making a choice.
Vinyl window frames last longer against long exposure to moisture. They also act as great insulators. With vinyl or plastic window trims, you will spend the least time and money on maintenance.
Aluminum window trims also provide great protection against moisture. However, they do need repainting time and again.
Wooden trims require more care than most. It is a good idea to seal or paint the edges before installing them. This will give a lot of protection against infestation or moisture.
How to Replace a Window Trim
Replacing a window trim is hard work. However, it requires more patience than skill.
Disclaimer: Before doing any DIY project to this extent, it is recommended to check with a professional for their opinion. Please note that ZebraBlinds is not responsible for any damage caused through DIY methods.
Step 1: Take the Old Trim Out.
You will need your pry bar for this. To avoid damaging the wall, hold a wooden bar or block against it. Carefully slide in the narrow end of the pry bar between the wall and the trim. Put some pressure and gently separate the trim and the wooden boards below it from the wall.
Step 2: Filling the Wall Gaps
When you have taken the trim out, you will notice that it has left a gap in the wall. In older houses, this gap tends to be bigger. You can use expanding foam to fill up this gap. Put on some gloves to protect your hands and using spraying can, fill up the gap with expanding foam. Wait for 20 mins, as that is approximately how long it will take to dry.
Step 3: Apply Flashing
Flashing helps insulate the wall and the windows against moisture. It is a good idea to get them on if it is not already there. You can find adhesive-backed flashing from DIY stores. Cut it to size and peel of the sticker on the adhesive layer and place on the sides of the window. Get them as much under the boards and window sides as possible.
Step 4: Measuring for a New Trim
Use a measuring tape to measure around the window. Use the measurements to mark the length you need on the new trim.
Step 5: Cutting the Trim
You will need a saw for this step. It can be easier to order the desired length from a store. However, a DIY enthusiast or a professional would prefer cutting the trim themselves.
To protect yourself, make sure you have all the safety equipment on hand. Protect your hands with gloves, ears with earmuffs, and eyes with sunglasses. Use the saw to carefully cut out the trim piece you need.
Step 6: Drill Holes
You will need to drill holes in the trim. The holes go on the outer surface of the trim, and there will be four holes in total. Two holes will be at the end, while the other two will be spaced at an equal distance between the two holes. You can use the drill to make the holes.
Step 7: Put the Trim Pieces on the Wall
Now you will need to place the trim on the wall around the window. Use a hammer to put the nails in the holes you drilled and secure the trim against the wall. For PVC frames, you will need trim-head screws. Start from the top and progressively move the side and then put on the bottom trim. Try to fit in the pieces as close as possible, to leave no gaps between the trims.
Step 8: Put Some Finishing Touches
Put some finishing touches with some caulk. Spread it all around the trim, between the wall and the trim, as well as the trim and the window. Put some putty or paintable caulk over the nail holes to give the trim a finished look. Give it a fine finish by scrapping off any extra caulk or putty with the help of sandpaper. Wait for it to dry.
Step 9: Paint the Trim
Wait for everything to dry, before beginning to paint. Wooden trims would need a wood sealant after painting. Painting is a messy job. So, make sure that the exterior surfaces are protected from drops or splashes.
Once you inspect your handiwork, you will be amazed at how good the whole house looks with the new window trims.
Disclaimer: Before doing any DIY project to this extent it is recommended to check with a professional for their opinion. Please note that ZebraBlinds is not responsible for any damage caused through DIY methods.