Window sills decorated with flowers add a good deal of charm to a home exterior. However, they are very much prone to rotting. The sills are one of the very few surfaces on the exterior of your home to be set horizontally, and rain water simply sits in place, causing rot to appear over time. Windowsill repair is indeed possible if the rot hasn’t set in too deeply, or spread over a large area. If it has, it’s easier and faster to simply replace the window sill. It’s not a difficult task, doesn’t take too much time and can be undertaken by any tool-savvy homeowner.
The first, and perhaps most important step to take is to examine your window sills carefully and regularly. Considering how vulnerable they are to rot, it’s best done annually. If you find a spot, it’s relatively easy to evaluate the extent of the damage by poking around with a screwdriver. Wherever the wood is soft, rot has set in. Pay attention to the location of the rotten patches – if the window sill is rotting near the casing, the casing may be rotting as well. If there’s rot on the bottom part of the sill, look for signs of rot on the house framing or siding. If you’re doing any window restoration work, it’s a good time to examine the windowsills along the way.
Once the rot is localized, wood hardener and two-part epoxy filler will do the job. Replacing a sill does require basic carpentry skills, but if the old sill is rotten to the point where it can’t serve as a template for a new one, cutting and measuring will be complicated, but it doesn’t happen that often.
Here is a basic outline for windowsill replacement, see if it seems doable.
- Remove stool
- Cut sill into two or three pieces
- Remove sill pieces
- Mark new lumber for cutting
- Cut out sill
- Replace the windowsill by pushing it into the side jamb grooves
- Secure the sill with screws and shims
- Nail the sill in from top
- Install the trim and caulk joints
- Prime and paint the sill
If you’re in doubt, or decide at any stage of the process that you’d rather have professionals step in – call us for an estimate of the cost to replacement window sill in Chicago.