If you are a homeowner, your primary goal is to keep your house in a good condition so that it can provide you with a comfortable dwelling. For this purpose, people use many different methods and installing aluminum around windows is one of them, especially in certain parts of the United States where the climate demands that.
So what is a window wrap exactly? Why would you need to install it? Today we will do our best to answer these and a few other questions that you might have. You are going to find out more about window wraps, as well as about the purpose of their use. Also, we will explain what factors and nuances you should take into account should you decide to get your windows wrapped with an aluminum “coat”.
Aluminum Window Casing. What It Is
First of all, we find it necessary to figure out what the term “wrapping windows” actually means since not all homeowners are aware of it. You might think that “wrapping windows” means covering them completely with some kind of protective coating, but in fact, this is not quite so. See, this term means that the windows will be covered or "wrapped" with the thing called Trim Coil. It's typically done on homes where new vinyl siding is being installed.
Window aluminum wrapping is usually installed when it is time to update the siding of your home. Depending on the type of siding you are installing, it is often recommended that you have the wood trim around doors, windows, fascia, soffits, and other elements wrapped with aluminum.
This type of window wrap has a specific design that allows it to be formed around your trim and fit right in. Thanks to this, you don’t have to paint your wood trim every so often after you install aluminum covers. Also, they help you reduce the amount of time you spend on maintaining the exterior of your home.
What Is Aluminum Coil Wrap?
We have mentioned above that aluminum wrapping uses the material that is called Trim Coil. Now we suggest you learn a bit more about it so that you can better understand what it is and how it works.
Trim Coil is basically a thin sheet of aluminum or vinyl. This material is rather flexible, thanks to which it can be cut and bent right at the site and then applied directly over your existing trim.
When installed properly, the trim coil provides decent thermal insulation and weather resistance. In addition, it can improve the appearance of your home quite well because it comes in a wide variety of colors! This is why you can easily pick the color that will match your current color of the house or will be the same as the current color.
There is only one demand that this material comes with. See, the worker for this kind of job must be skilled. He should not only know how to bend, cut, and install the material on the existing trim but be skilled in miter cuts. The cleaner miter saw cuts will be, the more chances your windows are going to withstand any weather and look beautiful.
Now you have at least some general impression of what aluminum window wrapping is and what material it uses. Like that, you will be able to imagine what kind of job is waiting for you should you decide to get your windows wrapped.
What Is Metal Wrapping On Windows Used For?
But why would you need or want to install such window wrapping, some of you may wonder? Some of you might think that these wraps serve as window protectors or that they are needed as decorative elements. To a certain point, you will be right if you think so. But let us explain in detail why these covers on your windows are truly needed for.
If you decide to get wrapped windows, this is definitely a good idea and a reasonable investment since window wrapping protects the window, as well as the house, from water damage.
Even though your home’s siding serves as the main protection against the elements and weather conditions, windows and other openings require additional waterproofing since they can let water through the siding. This is why wrapping (whether it’s on a window, roof, or chimney) is used. It is usually installed in a layered sequence, which is similar to the way shingles are layered on a roof. Each layer overlaps the layer below, which helps to direct the flow of water down and away.
Things to Consider When Installing Aluminum Wrapping
If you decide to install window wrapping made of aluminum, you should note that this kind of job should be done by a professional only! Even though aluminum is the kind of material that is quite easy to work with, bending it to make it fit around your windows is a fine job that requires skills and experience!
But even though you should hire a skilled pro, it doesn’t mean you need not to be aware of some basic nuances that come with the installation process. When you know about these, you will be able to better control the work your specialist is doing. So here are the installation guidelines your aluminum wrapping installer should follow to ensure the longevity and water-tightness of the wrapping.
- It is better not to wrap pressure-treated lumber. When aluminum gets in contact with pressure-treated lumber, it can deteriorate fast
- If you have to wrap treated wood anyway, first of all, your worker should apply a protective layer of house wrap
- The aluminum should not be installed too tightly! To expand and contract, it needs enough space, otherwise, it will ripple, buckle, or bulge
- Where there must be joints, they need to be overlapped in the proper direction and the proper amount to ensure they are watertight
- At rakes, windows, and doors, the wrapping needs to be installed in pieces from the bottom up. Each piece should be overlapping the other like fish scales so that water drains from one piece to another
- The wrapping should cover all underlying wood
- To prevent water penetration behind the wrapping, caulk should be applied where necessary
- The aluminum wrap should always be installed over solid wood that is in good condition. If there is any decayed wood, it should be removed and replaced prior to wrapping it
With all these tips in mind, you will be able to make sure that the professional you hire will do the job efficiently and you will end up with properly wrapped windows that will serve you long.
Is Aluminum Wrapping a Universal Remedy For Keeping Your House Safe From Water?
We know that now many of you might think that aluminum window wrapping is a universal way to keep your windows properly protected from any trouble that might come with rain or other weather conditions.
However, here is a downside of this method: aluminum window flashing can’t be used as a go-to option for all homes! For sure, aluminum is an affordable and flexible metal (which is why it is used for window flashing). Nevertheless, it is not the best choice for any type of home and location.
For example, if you live in a coastal area, there is salty air which can cause aluminum to pit and oxidize. Because of this, it is not recommended to opt for this metal as a flashing/wrapping material in these locales.
Another “enemy” of aluminum is that polluted urban air, which is as tough on this metal as its salty sea “brother”. Unpainted aluminum wrapping can corrode when it comes in contact with some building materials, such as concrete, mortar, and pressure-treated wood. This is why should you still want or need to use aluminum in the city, it is recommended to paint it as a protective measure. But that is also not the ideal way to solve the problem because you will have to repaint your wrapping regularly.
This is exactly the reason why you should hire an installation pro! They should know about these potential problems that may come with aluminum window wrapping. And of course, an experienced professional will be able to help you decide whether it’s a reasonable solution in your situation.
If you decide that it is, be sure to ask your installer about the thickness of the coil stock (which should be no thinner than .022 to .024 inches is preferred). Also, make sure to ask him whether the flashing being installed is prefinished. See, if it’s not prefinished, it might not be able to withstand urban pollution or contact with potentially corrosive materials!
Finally, there is always a chance that your window pro advises against aluminum flashing, for example, if you leave in a megapolis or at the seaside. But this is not a reason for disappointment! In this case, you should simply consider copper wrapping instead. Copper can be soldered easily (aluminum cannot) and besides, it resists corrosion greatly even when it’s used in conjunction with most building materials!
There is only one downside: copper is much more expensive than aluminum. However, considering its benefits, you might forgive its high price since it is a really good investment that will serve you for years!
Well, now you know what window wrapping is and what it is used for on your windows. And since you now also have a bunch of tips and handy recommendations regarding its installation, you will be able to choose a skilled worker to get it installed for you, as well as make sure that the work is done properly.