This project explains how to repair a rotted window casing with new sections of brick mould (a.k.a. “brick mold”).
How to Repair Rotted Window Casing
The single-light fixed transom window is on the south side of the house. I noticed the paint was peeling and the window casing was starting to rot in the top left corner. Water apparently had worked its way into the corner seam or wicked in at one of the metal staples that fastens the casing sections together.
The window casing is a standard profile 1-1/4″ thick by 2″ wide brick mould. A new section of brick mould was readily available at the local home improvement store. The repair steps are:
- Remove the rotted window casing.
- Cut and install new window casing.
- Caulk and paint.
The most challenging part is removing the old window casing without damaging the window.
Cut the Brick Mould Caulk Seams
The caulk seams are cut to separate the brick mould window casing from the wall and the interior window frame. A utility knife is perfect for the job.
Cut along the inside caulk lines of the window casing.
Remove the Brick Mould Staples and Nails
The brick mould window casing is fastened with several 2 inch staples in the corners and the face of the window casing. The casing apparently was pre-assembled at the factory and came as a single unit with the window. The staple divots in the casing haven’t been sealed with caulk – an invitation for water to wick in, rust the staple and rot the wood.
A close look at the face of the window casing reveals the location of additional staples and finish nails that have been caulked and painted over. I used the utility knife to dig out the wood around the staples and nails so I could pry them out.
A screw driver is driven under the staple to pry it out.
The finish nail is pulled with a nail puller tool. The pincer head of the nail puller is driven under the nail head until it “bites” into the nail shaft. Finish nails have very small heads and it’s easy to strip the head if the tool isn’t driven securely onto the nail shaft.
Pulling the finish nail from the window casing.
Staples and nailed pulled from the brick mould window casing.
A careful reader will note there is are two (2) staples in the corners that I haven’t pulled, one each in the bottom window casing and another in the top window casing under the drip cap. The staple under the drip cap is in the rotted wood section and will fall away. The staple in the bottom section of the window casing wasn’t remove because I don’t want to damage this good section of casing. I’ll pull the casing out and up leaving the staple in the bottom section of casing, to be tapped out with hammer later.
The brick mould is easy to pull away from the window frame. That last staple in the bottom corner is all that now holds the casing. A couple of upward pulls and the casing came off the staple. The staple was then tapped out of the good section of bottom casing with a hammer.
The good news is the rot is limited to the casing and did not affect the window frame or wall studs.
This project is continued in How to Repair Rotted Window Casing – Part 2.
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