Tag Archives: deterioration


You know them as the world’s greatest artists. Van Gogh. Monet. Rembrandt. Da Vinci. And…your window?  

Yes, it seems windows are not immune to creating art (albeit without intention). 

In this case, the canvas is the walls of your house, and the paintbrush refers to deteriorating window gaskets. As you can see in our example pictures from a recent inspection in Sedro-Woolley, the seals have gone full Jackson Pollock.

Unlike most art, however, this piece has only critics because window gaskets perform an essential function: they help to keep the cold and the heat out of your house. Gaskets are typically comprised of neoprene or butyl rubber and are installed to seal and lock windows in place.

If the seals do deteriorate, air and water can also breach the window elements. While the scene may look dramatic, keep in mind these windows may not have reached the end of their serviceable life, and there may be options for repair.

If you have questions or comments about windows or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).


I recently came across a common issue during a home inspection in Eastsound on Orcas Island: deterioration and fungal growth at window head trim elements. Unfortunately, in this case, there was the possibility of underlying damage not visible without invasive inspection.

The builders on this home used Spruce Pine Fir (SPF) trim, as opposed to cedar wood. I recommended the owners consider replacing any deteriorated SPF with cedar because cedar is naturally rot resistant and will have extended serviceable life upon installation.

In other words, cedar is ideal for homes in the northwest. It may come at a higher price up front, but its long-lasting features will make it a great value down the road.

For homeowners debating between cedar and SPF trim, there is no contest when it comes to quality.

Do you have questions or comments about window trim, construction materials or home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

Deteriorated and water-damaged door jamb and trim

Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections discusses a door jamb that has seen better days during a recent home inspection in Bellingham. Unfortunately, this type of damage may mean there is underlying damage not visible without invasive inspection. Whenever homeowners start to see deterioration, it’s always best to address the issue as soon as possible. Thanks for watching, and enjoy!

DETERIORATION at Window and Trim

Tim Hance with All Islands Home Inspections recently discovered completely deteriorated trim, with the real possibility of underlying structural damage, at a recent home inspection in Mount Vernon, WA. Keeping your exterior elements properly sealed (e.g., painted and caulked) will prevent deterioration. It’s all about protecting your home from the elements! When deterioration is discovered, it should be repaired and replaced as necessary, and then painted and caulked. The longer one waits, the more expensive the issue becomes.

Deteriorated metal structural support column

When I pulled back an interior plant box, I discovered a completely deteriorated metal structural support column base at a recent home inspection in Bellingham.  This metal support column happened to be in a moist environment, interior swimming pool room, and was definitely compromised. I recommended further evaluation and repair by a qualified contractor.