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leogiannav
painting wood storms

Situation:
-I live in Rochester, NY
-I had wooden storm windows stripped and sanded
-I’m going to paint them
-the person who sanded them not only sanded the outside and inside faces, he also sanded the 4 edges that make contact with the window frame
-originally the edges were unpainted (I believe to allow moisture to escape)
-now the windows are loose in the frames
-there are gaps between the windows and the frames
-I measured the gaps from outside of window all the way back to the stop
-the biggest gap is 1/4 inch (on one side, not both sides)
-some other gaps are 3/16 inch
-most of the gaps are 1/16 - 5/32 inch

Question:
-should I paint edges to protect them from the weather
or
should I leave them unpainted to allow moisture to escape ?

goldhiller
Re: painting wood storms

I would advise you to paint all sides and edges. Prime first with a quality oil-based primer. It is far better in this instance to prevent the water from being absorbed into the wood in the first place than to "allow" bare wood because that would hypothetically dry out better.

Also, although the gaps you're speaking of are a bit excessive (1/8" per side), it is better in my opinion to have adequate gapping along the sides (and bottom) than to have a mostly tight fit. This because even small gaps along the sides can/will allow rain to enter and unless the gap is very uniform from top to bottom, the water can get trapped between the jamb and window frame before it has a chance to drain out nicely. This makes for some very wet/soaked wood that likely won't be able to dry out rapidly because the air flow is also impeded around those semi-tight edges. This can and does cause wood rot.

It is better, IMO...to have a nice uniform window perimeter gap of say 1/16" or so that will drain properly and allow for drying. The backside of the window should seal against the window stops anyway as that is where the air-infiltration is best prevented. Consequently, the gapping around the perimeter of the window should be moot as far as air infiltration goes.

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