How to know a good window wrap from a poor wrap?

salsrodOctober 28, 2012

How can I tell a good window wrap job from a poor one? Is thin aluminum acceptable? Should there be air space between the old wood and the aluminum, and if so how much? Should it be caulked at the edge that meets the brick? Caulk at the corner seams? Where should nails be placed? Anything else I didn't think of?

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Windows on Washington Ltd

That is a pretty broad based question.

There are no requirements for an air space behind the cladding and it would normally be sealed at the junction of cladding to brick.

It does not need to be sealed at the corners.

Nails are out of necessity and depend on the window details, size, and capping style.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:47PM
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So, normally it is sealed at the junction of cladding to the brick. So, if an installer doesn't do that is it wrong?

Also, if you can take your finger and press in aluminum somewhat, does that mean there is too much space, or just the aluminum is thin? Or is vinyl covered aluminum preferably.

Everybody doesn't seem impressed with Window World's windows, but I liked their wrapping best so far, as it just seemed clean, sealed, and I think was vinyl covered.

Or am I just being picky?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:59PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

It is normally sealed at that junction. Can't say for certain if it being unsealed is wrong without seeing it.

Most capping will not be tight to the trim and will have some air behind it as you describe.

I don't prefer the vinyl trim coil stock but that is a personal preference.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:19PM
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The capping job has nothing to do with the windows and everything to do with the specific installer's skill level.
As WoW said, it is really difficult to answer those questions as every home is different, and the areas that require caulk will vary by installer, method, and home. For instance, often times installers will back-caulk some trim so you don;t even see a bead. Nails should be used sparingly and hidden when possible.
On the trim types, the PVC coated aluminum is a nice product and offers a more "rigid" feel. The only complaint that I see with it is that the texture can retain dirt more easily than the smooth trim coil.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 6:03PM
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No wrap with coil stock is a good wrap. Junk. Maybe not now, but in the future....

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 9:25PM
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I guess metal flashing and wood/aluminum windows must be "junk" as well... Please elaborate.

Here is a link that might be useful: bad call

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 9:42PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Is all the rake and fascia wrapping junk took?

Is another cladding better? Are clad windows bad as well?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 10:21PM
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So, Jumpilotmdm. What makes coil stock junk? Is it because it's 'old school'? Not necessarily a reason not to use it. I just want it to look clean and keep the water from getting to wood, therefore am asking what to look for in order to make sure I get that.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 8:08AM
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Some feel that wrapping with aluminum will eventually lead to rotted wood and you won't notice it untill it's to late because the damage is hidden.Pictures of the wrap before they caulk will often reveal the quality.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 9:46AM
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I can't speak for others, but aluminum wrapping (much like vinyl windows and siding) gets a bad rap (pun intended ;)) due to how prevalent it is and its relatively low cost. There are a lot of hacks out there that do poor work and will actually direct water into the window opening rather than shed it away. A proper wrap job will 1) remove any rotted/soft wood prior to wrapping, and 2) be flashed/lapped in such a way that will not retain moisture, while accomplishing the goal of reducing maintenance.
All that said, some people prefer the richer look of wood brickmold or cedar trim, and will sacrifice the fact that it needs a bit more attention and often comes with a higher cost if it is being replaced. There is nothing wrong with that option either, just depends on your goals for the project.
To say that either method when executed properly is "junk", is just plain wrong.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:28PM
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