Can a Little Wood Rot Ruin My Windows?

Are you concerned you may have discovered wood rot on your windows or siding? Before you begin to worry about it being an issue, let’s review the signs of wood rot and the steps you can take to remedy the issue.

What Causes Wood Rot?

Wood rot is usually a symptom of a more significant problem with water damage in or around your home. If you discover signs of rot on your wood siding, doors, or window frames, the first sign to look for is areas where water might be collecting. Why? Water can pool around the exterior of your home when your gutter and drainage system is leaking or overflowing from clogging. When gutters begin to leak, water can pour into your wood siding and the frames of your windows and doors.


Because wood rot is a form of water damage to your home, any presence of water where it shouldn’t be — even something as seemingly harmless as condensation on your windows —  can cause rotting. If your windows are prone to condensation and are rarely dry, a dehumidifier can help solve this problem on the interior, but replacing your windows with higher-quality vinyl windows is a much more effective solution.

Signs of Rot on Wood Siding

Wood rot can start to form in places where you can’t visibly see the damage, making it difficult to diagnose. However, you can still uncover potential wood rot by looking for other signs of underlying wear.

Paint Chipping or Peeling

Although you may think paint chipping, peeling, or even bubbling on your window frames or wood siding is a sign to refresh your paint job, it is actually a sign of damage to the wood underneath. Even if paint chipping is just occurring in a small area, it can be a warning sign of much more extensive damage to the wood of your home.

Damp Window Frame

If a window frame frequently feels damp, even in dry weather, then the wood is likely not appropriately protected and may even be absorbing moisture, which can lead to rot. This may be accompanied by the wood feeling soft in areas or having a discolored appearance. If you see a discolored spot on your frames or wood siding, gently press on it. If it feels soft, you are likely experiencing water damage.

Presence of Mildew

If mildew is present around your windows, either inside your home or on the exterior, there is moisture collecting somewhere, allowing this mildew to grow. Although you can clean away mold with a bit of white vinegar to keep it from spreading further, this is likely a temporary solution if the wood is rotting underneath.

Wood-Loving Pests

Carpenter ants and termites love discovering soft wood to munch through. If you start discovering signs of these pesky pests in or near your home, there may be rot nearby. Don’t stop at calling the exterminator — get the damaged areas looked at specifically for wood rot and water damage!


What If I See Signs of Wood Rot?

If you’ve discovered even one of these signs of wood rot near your windows, don’t discount it as a fluke. Wood rot occurs beneath the surface, and ignoring it can allow it to spread and become a much bigger problem. So unless you want the hefty expense of replacing damaged windows, doors, roofing, and wood siding, you should call a professional to check for potential rot.


To prevent wood rot from ever occurring, ensure all of the exterior features designed to protect your home from water damage are functioning properly, and then consider ways to reduce the amount of wood exposed to rot on your exterior.


How Vinyl Windows Make a Difference

The high potential for wood rot during the wet months or humid summers of Kansas and Missouri is one of the reasons we at Rolox Home Service are such big fans of vinyl replacement windows! Vinyl isn’t susceptible to rot like traditional wood windows are, which can protect your exterior from the spread of this damaging decay.


If your windows are already damaged from rot in your wood siding or frames, or if you want to take steps to avoid rot, give us a call to learn more about our beautiful vinyl replacement windows!

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