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Window Frames, Sills, and Sashes Unveiled


The inspector is observing the improperly slanted flashing that is directing water towards the window
Window Inspection

It is important to conduct inspections on window frames, sills, and sashes as their condition and the hardware within may change over time. In the provided inspection image, the inspector notices a concern: The flashing is improperly slanted, causing water to be directed towards the window.


Typically, residential buildings employ a variety of window types and frame materials. There are generally eight types of windows and six types of frame materials commonly found in use. Frame materials encompass plastic, aluminum, steel, wood, plastic-clad wood, and metal-clad wood (using steel or aluminum). The window types consist of double-hung, single-hung, casement, horizontal sliding, projected out or awning, projected in, and fixed windows. Additionally, there are jalousies, which are glass louvers mounted on an aluminum or steel frame. In the inspection image provided, the inspector is indicating the presence of wood rot on the window trim board.



Photo of glazing strip inspection
Window Inspection

When dealing with older sashes, it is crucial to carefully inspect the glazing compound or putty surrounding the glass panels. This area is particularly vulnerable, and repairing it can be a time-consuming task.


Take a close look at the glazing tapes or strips around glass panels in steel or aluminum sashes, checking for any signs of deterioration such as hardened sealant. For metal sashes, ensure that weep holes are not blocked by paint, sealant, or dirt. Cleaning weep holes is typically a straightforward process.


In regions prone to hurricanes, it is essential to assess all unprotected windows and glass doors to determine if they have undergone impact resistance testing against wind-borne debris. If they haven't been tested, it would be advisable to consult a certified Wind Mitigation Inspector who can assess the possibility of installing plywood panels for their protection in the event of a hurricane warning.


Inspect storm windows and doors for their operation, weather tightness, overall condition, and fit.


Check if any paint, sealant, dirt, or other substances have obstructed the weep holes. Clearing weep holes is generally a simple task. Failure to address blocked weep holes could lead to wood rot and water infiltration at the window sill.

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