A home’s trim occupies the frontline against bad weather. Trim starting to show its age is often the first sign that the elements are taking their toll. By replacing it, a homeowner can prevent rot from spreading throughout the house’s frame. Also, keeping trim in good repair preserves a home’s curb appeal and value.
To help, here are five signs that it’s time to repair or replace your trim:
1. Fails screwdriver test. Some trim damage may not be visible. If you suspect a section of trim may be rotting, press the end of a screwdriver against the surface. If it easily yields to the tip of the screwdriver or feels squishy, it’s time to replace it. It’s a good idea to inspect trim’s edges every two years, especially where it meets the roofline, windowsills or ground.
2. Frequent repainting. Extreme Midwest weather can wreak havoc on trim. Subject to both the icy chill of winter and summer heat, trim wood may soften, allowing moisture to build up behind its paint. Flaking or peeling paint on trim, especially within a couple years after painting, could be a sign that your trim needs to be replaced.
3. Presence of rot. Beyond soft wood or some paint flaking, the presence of rot—to which Midwest heat and humidity can make trim susceptible—is a certain sign that trim needs to be replaced. Once rot begins, it can spread fast. It’s often found along roof lines, by doors and windows and under gutters. Catching rot before it spreads further than the trim is essential to protecting your home’s structural integrity.
4. Higher utility bills. Trim is a home’s first defense against drafts and bad weather. If it isn’t doing its job of helping insulate, that will show up on your utility bills. The good news: When you replace trim, especially with an upgrade such as AZEK trim, you’ll likely raise the home’s R-value, providing savings on future utility bills.
5. Increase in indoor humidity. Failing trim allows the humid outdoors inside. What’s worse, this moisture can lead to mold, exacerbating some health conditions. If you feel that your home is more damp than normal, check for dark spots on wood in the attic and basement. Look at joints and any wood that’s close to concrete or masonry.
If it’s time to replace your trim, a good choice is AZEK, which is a durable, low-maintenance solution that won’t rot, split or warp. Here’s why AZEK benefits both homeowners and contractors:
1. Versatility. AZEK trim is an engineered polymer, meaning it’s easily made to trim boards, skirts, exterior crown moulding, sills and casings. AZEK’s composite material can also be used for exterior beadboard panels for porch ceilings or wainscoting and can be wrapped around columns.
2. Durability. AZEK’s PVC material won’t rot, splinter or warp. Moisture- and pest-resistant, AZEK trim doesn’t require sealing or staining.
3. Natural good looks. With the look of real wood, AZEK can match traditional home styles around windows and doors. Its uniform, prefinished matte finish provides UV protection to resist fading or yellowing.
5. Easy to install. AZEK trim offers one-piece corner boards, column wraps and other trim designed for quick, easy installation. Contractors can save time on the job site because no painting is needed on AZEK trim.