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Ginette 09-05-2010 05:21 PM

Rotted window frame bottom: Do I need to replace the whole window?
This is my first post here and I hope to learn many things on this site....

The bottom of a basement window frame is rotten. Completely. I was almost able to take the rotten wood out completely with my vaccum. It came out in bits and pieces.

I put in a 2 X 2 for the moment to hold the window in place.

The side and upper frame are ok.

My question is this: Can I repair this by putting a 2 X 4 under the window and foam insulation? The window sits in the cement opening of the foundation. Would I need to take the whole window out, frame and all to do this?

Or should I just call a window company and replace the whole thing?

It is a basement window and is covered in snow most winters for many months. It is below ground level and there is a drain in front of it. One winter the drain was frozen solid and we had major rain fall. The only way for the water to go was through the sides of the window and inside the basement...:(

I have owned this house for 10 years and it is the only time I had water coming in through that window. But I have a feeling this probably happened to previous owners as well.

If I replace the window, should I go for a window frame that is not wood?

I am a bit overwhelmed by this. Any help is greatly appreciated!!


oh'mike 09-05-2010 05:53 PM

That problem can be fixed by a moderately skilled do it your selfer---

See if you can take a picture or two and post them.----Often it is not that difficult to replace the bottom piece--or pull out the whole frame and build a buck and then add a new window.

Basement window are usually available at the big stores at fair prices.---Mike---

Ginette 09-05-2010 06:17 PM

Thanks Mike! I'll take pics tomorrow in daylight...

The window itself is still good. It has a PVC inner frame.

If I decide to put in a wood piece myself and not take the window out:
1) Do I need to secure that piece to the concrete wall below? I know I can screw the PVC framing to it by removing the sliding window.
2) Should I use foam insulation around the wood piece once it is in place? Or something else? There was pink fiberglass insulation under the rotten wood.


oh'mike 09-05-2010 06:34 PM

I'll be able to give you the best advice after I see the pictures.

I'm guessing that you may want treated lumber and a Butal caulk--Foam breaks down with water and cold--If you can use pvc board--all the better (azek)

That sounds like a wet area,If you can use water proof materials,then this will be a permanent fix and not just a patch job.---Mike---

I hope Kwickfish Ron and a few others look in--He has more window experience than I do---M---

Ginette 09-15-2010 08:52 AM

I did it!!
I wasn't able to post pictures but I finally repaired the rotten window frame from your advice and reading up on eHow.

I used 2 X 4 treated wood and smaller pieces to fill the metal skirting on the outside. I screwed the 2 X 4 to wood pieces inserted into the concrete wall and glued in place with construction adhesive (there were two 2 X 6 X 2 holes in the concrete under the frame). I shimed the 2 X 4 in place so it was level. I used spray foam for insulation around my new frame and Mono caulking on the outside and silicone caulking on the inside for finish.

All that I am missing now is the inside bottom frame for a nice finish. But it is a basement window in an unfinished part of the basement so I can do for now. And besides, I like looking at my work :-)

Thanks guys, you gave me confidence I could do this. When I get my cam back (my daughter used it at school) I will post a pic of the finished work.


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