Window Capping – Everything you Need to know

Philadelphia is a beautiful place to live with its rich history and Victorian architecture. That being said, the city’s old homes do require some maintenance to preserve their charm. Rotting wood is a common issue in older homes. Wood was once the material used for window frames and exterior molding, which rots and deteriorates over time. The rotted wood on these frames lets air and water seep through and causes drafts inside, and allows mold to grow.

An easy and cost-effective solution to prevent further deterioration to window frames is to install window capping

What is window capping?

Window capping is an aluminum or vinyl sheet that is cut and formed to fit over exterior wood trim. Compared to replacing deteriorated wood, window capping is the most cost-effective solution. Vinyl and aluminum capping come in many different colors and textures to give your home a fresh look without the need to touch up every few years.

  • Aluminum capping: cost-effective and low maintenance. Aluminum is also easy to bend around window frames for a finished look. Aluminum also comes in either a smooth or wood grain finish.
  • Vinyl capping: More expensive than aluminum but is more durable. Vinyl can withstand inclement weather better than aluminum which can be dented and cracked. Vinyl also comes in different finishes that are either matte or gloss.

Along with the cleaner aesthetic look capping gives a home, window frames and siding are protected more as well. The drip edge above windows directs water away from the siding and window frames, which preserves their lifespans.

How to clean exterior capping

When cleaning vinyl or aluminum, avoid any harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners. Products that have alcohol or ammonia should be avoided because these can damage the finish of your capping. Vinegar and water and soap and water are gentle but effective solutions to keep your exterior trim looking brand new.

Vinegar and water

Vinegar and water are great for any household cleaning, especially for aluminum and vinyl trim. Mix three parts distilled white vinegar and seven parts water for a gentle yet effective solution. Use a scrub brush with soft bristles to loosen the debris. Then wipe off the solution with a soft cloth.

Soap and water

Non-detergent soap in warm water is another effective solution for dirty trim. A quarter cup of soap mixed with a gallon of warm water should do the trick. You do the same as you would with the vinegar solution. 

Signs you should cap your windows

If the wooden exterior trim around windows is cracked or rotted, it is time to start thinking about replacing wooden window frames or cap it off for a much more cost efficient solution. Just like when a roof needs to be replaced there will be interior signs of window damage. Not only will capping protect your exterior structure it will protect the interior of your home. These signs include:

  • Interior water stains
  • Draft by windows
  • Mold and mildew 
  • Rising energy bills 

Note that if you are planning on replacing siding it might be best to replace the window capping as well because capping can be dented or damaged during the siding replacement process. Replacing both at the same time ensures that the exterior has a more uniform look. 

It is important to have any exterior capping done by a professional to ensure that there is no chance for air and water to slip into your home, causing more expensive issues down the road. Contact Philly’s Phinest Roofing for a free estimate to protect your home for years to come.