How often do you inspect the window frames of your home? Most will admit that they never check. But, examining the window frames regularly means you can spot problems before they become a huge and expensive issue. In particular, cracks around window frames have the potential to be troublesome and lead to costly repairs and time-consuming replacement.
There are some cracks around window frames that are purely superficial and do not cause big problems. But, there is some damage you need to take seriously. For example, some cracks can lead to water damage, which can rot wood and cause mould growth. You also have the issue of reduced energy efficiency, making your home cooler and more expensive to heat during the winter.
The bottom line is that you need to pay attention to cracks around window frames. Here is a guide to better acquaint you with this subject and how to fix any damage you find on inspection.
Why Cracks Can Form Around the Window Frames
Most people want context and to understand why cracks have happened around the window frame. There are many causes for this type of damage.
Over time, your house can shift in its foundation. Often, this can happen with newly built homes and for other reasons in older properties, such as soil movements and foundation design. Consequently, there can be changes in the window frames, leading to cracking.
The weather conditions can lead to cracking around the window frames. Indeed, extreme temperatures can mean that the materials expand and contract. When this happens in a dramatic way, it can damage the window frames.
Did you know that excess moisture can lead to cracking? This is due to the moisture damaging the materials of the frame, and over time, they’ll crack. If you live somewhere in the UK with harsh weather conditions, your window frames might be prone to more damage.
Unfortunately, if you’ve had the windows cheaply installed in the first place, this can cause problems later on. Indeed, poor installation that has been rushed or carried out by novices can lead to cracks. They might have been there initially, and you did not notice them, getting worse over time. Alternatively, the cracks appear because they cannot withstand the same conditions as those properly installed. Thus, they’re damaged easily.
Different Types of Window Cracks
Know that different types of cracks can appear around window frames. This is something you want to pay attention to, and you want to examine its characteristics. It will give you a better idea of how serious the issue can be, and from here, you can consider the solution.
First, there are hairline cracks that can appear around window frames. These are often small and narrow, sometimes taking a while to spot. Generally, they are superficial and can be caused by temperature changes or home settlement.
The clue is in the name, and vertical cracks will be straight lines on window frames. Settlement can cause this type of damage, or structural issues can be the root cause. Some investigation might be necessary to figure this out and ensure it is not a sign of something serious.
If you discover horizontal cracks, this can be a bad sign. Namely, it can indicate some serious structural issues, and this type of damage should not be ignored. You should seek professional advice as soon as possible.
How to Fix Window Frame Cracks
To fix the cracks, you need to assess how bad they are. If they are small and just cosmetic problems, this can be a job that you can do yourself. However, if the damage is more severe, you must call the experts to fix the issue.
For example, if you suspect there are structural concerns, and this is why there is damage to the window frames, you want to consult an expert. They can understand what is going on with your home and the best way to carry out repairs. Again, if there is significant damage, such as multiple cracks, this situation is best left to the experts. This is particularly true if the damage exists near the corners of the frame.
DIY Methods for Fixing Window Frame Cracks
When there are no major structural issues, and cracks are minor, you can fix them yourself. You can purchase the equipment you need in DIY stores, which will not cost much money. In particular, this will involve caulk or filler to fill the crack. Here is the process you should follow.
Buy the Caulk or Filler and a Gun
First things first, you need to get your hands on some caulk or filler. You need to choose a product based on your window frame. In other words, ensure that this caulk or filter can be used on that material.
Clean the Area
Before you get started, clean the window frame. You will remove any dirt and dust that might be present and that could mix with the caulk or filler. Depending on the material used to construct the window frame, you can do this with a damp cloth.
Apply the Caulk or Filler
Next, it is time to apply the caulk or filler to the crack. You will want to ensure you fill all of the gaps. Then, the crack will no longer be visible on the window frame. Follow the instructions that are on the product to make sure you apply it correctly.
Smooth into the Crack
It will be necessary to smooth the surface where you have applied the caulk or filler. This is to ensure it blends in with the window frame. You want to smooth it into the crack and ensure it is level with the surface. You can do this with a putty knife. Alternatively, you can use your finger. Ensure you are happy with the area’s appearance and allow it to dry.
Paint the Window Frame
If your window frame is made from a material like wood, you will want to paint it after you have applied and smoothed the caulk or filler. Often, it is white in colour, which will not match a painted surface. Thus, you can apply paint over the window frame so nobody will know you have repaired the surface.