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  • Gap from Window to Sill

    I'm looking for any suggestions on what could be causing this. There are large gaps appearing at the corners of the windows between the windows and sills. The house is approximately 11 yrs old and not my house but I'll provide as much information as I can. The gaps started appearing about 2 yrs ago and have gotten worse over time. The windows work perfectly and are not racked at all. The sill seems to be tight in the middle but dips as you get closer to the edge of the window. This is happening on all windows on the second story. The pics aren't great but I did put a level in one pic so you can see where the sill dips and it is the sill that is not straight. The window is okay. Any suggestions would be appreciated. IMG_20160207_154243.jpg
    IMG_20160207_154636.jpg
    IMG_20160207_154545_edit.jpg
    IMG_20160207_154306.jpg
    Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com
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  • #2

    Re: Gap from Window to Sill

    If the exterior of the building is brick/masonry......my guess would be shrinkage (drop) in the first & second floor joists, wall plates etc....I fixed a bunch of 2nd story wood windows about 10 yrs ago....exterior masonry sills were tight to the window bottoms, couldn't move with the interior going down a little.

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    • #3

      Re: Gap from Window to Sill

      Thanks Ed. The exterior is brick. I had wondered about shrinkage but thought it would have shown up sooner. I guess there is the possibility that the shrinkage occurred and it wasn't noticed until the caulking let go a couple years ago.

      What was the fix? Remove all the sills, shim, and reinstall?
      Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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      • #4

        Re: Gap from Window to Sill

        Originally posted by jaywood1207 View Post
        Thanks Ed. The exterior is brick. I had wondered about shrinkage but thought it would have shown up sooner. I guess there is the possibility that the shrinkage occurred and it wasn't noticed until the caulking let go a couple years ago.

        What was the fix? Remove all the sills, shim, and reinstall?
        I would probably try cutting the bottom of the exterior sill.....a series of sawzall cuts to create a bottom exterior gap may help things......hard to know for sure without seeing it.
        Last edited by ED McDermid; 02-08-2016, 10:14 PM.

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        • #5

          Re: Gap from Window to Sill

          Looks to me like everything But the window frame is shrinking and the expanding with the different climate conditions> I would just get a good rubberized caulking and caulk the joints and don't worry about it.

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          • #6

            Re: Gap from Window to Sill

            Is all the brickmould on the outside of the window okay Jamie......nothing pulling away from the frame?

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            • #7

              Re: Gap from Window to Sill

              I do not know off hand Ed. I'm not going to be able to check anytime soon but can see if I can get somebody else to check it out.

              Thanks for the reply Wally.
              Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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              • #8

                Re: Gap from Window to Sill

                Originally posted by jaywood1207 View Post
                I do not know off hand Ed. I'm not going to be able to check anytime soon but can see if I can get somebody else to check it out.

                Thanks for the reply Wally.
                No worries Jamie.....got thinking if all is good on the outside.....the just a jamb extension/trim fix inside if one wanted.

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                • #9

                  Re: Gap from Window to Sill

                  Hi Jamie,

                  This looks like mold to me and if it is, then the fix made be an easy one.
                  If there is excessive moisture in the home resulting in condensation on the windows, then this condensation can easily accumulate and run down between the window and the jamb and wreak havoc with the framing. I hope that the answer is as simple as controlling a moisture issue.

                  Gord


                  .

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                  • #10

                    Re: Gap from Window to Sill

                    Used to see this a lot in the days of dimensional lumber joists. The wood frame house shrinks down inside of the brick veneer house. The place where the two connect is at the windows. The higher up inside the house you go the more pronounced the effect becomes. The vinyl part of the window is being held up by the brick while the wood jamb is trying to move down with the lumber.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Gap from Window to Sill

                      Gord thanks for that closeup. The side jamb looks to be longer/lower than the bottom corner of the sash rail. [if you'll let me use that terminology in this instance] To my eye the sash rail is bowing down and starts to bow just right of the crank. If you are right with the mold/water issue it may have froze under the sash and heaved it upwards. I don't buy the studs shrinking this much BTW.
                      "Do it Right!"

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                      • #12

                        Re: Gap from Window to Sill

                        Gord you are correct that there is a bit of mold on that window. That particular window is the bathroom window hence a bit more condensation. The other windows in the upstairs do not have any signs of moisture and are all in bedrooms and the office. The picture with the level and another is the office.
                        Rusty the windows are perfectly straight and the picture is playing tricks with you. When we put a straight edge on the sill you can definitely see where the sill drops on both edges of the window. The gaps in all the pictures are about 1/4" and this is consistent on all the windows in both bottom corner of each window.
                        Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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                        • #13

                          Re: Gap from Window to Sill

                          Jamie I should have known they were different windows according to what's visible outside but I didn't. The Pic with the level shows to me what looks like a similar gap under the whole level. However if the sill is bowed, how come the casing isn't bowed and opened at the miters? Then the side jambs are sticking down lower than the sash which to me suggests the sash is lifting. Are these windows replacements?
                          "Do it Right!"

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                          • #14

                            Re: Gap from Window to Sill

                            Hopefully this will clarify Rusty. The sill is not flat and slopes down into the room (back to front). I held the level on the sill on the back edge to try and show how much it drops at the end of the level. It isn't as evident in the picture with the level but the gap at the far end of the level is more than the gap at the near end of the level. The sill across the front is straight but at the back of the sill the ends drop down. Basically it is the back corners of the sill that dips down from the window and the front of the sill remains straight (flat). Hopefully the picture clarifies what I am trying to say. This is why you aren't seeing the trim or casing separating at the front. Window.jpg
                            Jamie www.turneddesignsbyjamie.etsy.com

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                            • #15

                              Re: Gap from Window to Sill

                              It looks to me like whoever trimmed the window didn't support the sill properly and it's warped.
                              If it was my house I would probably caulk it.

                              If it was a clients house I would plan on removing the trim and sills and redoing it all.
                              If you're carefull and they didn't use a ton of caulking you might be able to reuse a lot of it.

                              I find it hard to believe that this much of a gap could be caused by shrinkage but it's possible.

                              Nathan

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