Have you ever heard your home “settle,” perhaps as a floorboard creaks upstairs or a door squeals on its hinges? Beyond these features, your home’s windows can also settle–in other words, shift in their frames–just like other appliances or fixtures. However, settling windows can actually lead to headaches for you as a homeowner, since windows that shift even slightly within their frames can create gaps where water or the elements can seep in and cause damage.
If windows are not properly installed, then there will be spaces between the frame and the wall, and this extraneous space is what causes the window to settle. It can also cause water to build up inside your walls, and this water exposure can cause the wood in your home to shrink as it dries, which exaggerates the problem of settling: This is because as the wood shrinks, it pushes the window down under the weight of the house itself, but since the window has nowhere to go, it will more than likely begin to bow and create a space at the bottom that creates an access for water, snow, air, and other forms of weather.
To address this problem, ask your installer to hang the window with a slight gap between the frame and the window to account for shrinking; this way, your windows will have some room to move before they begin to bow. Be sure to regularly check if new caulk or weatherstripping is necessary.
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