Sherrie S
Sherrie S
  • Hometalker
  • Debary, FL
Asked on Jan 5, 2012

gap below window

Sherrie SWoodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.comKen H
+18

Answered

This time I posted a picture so I don't confuse the issue. There is a 3/8" gap between the window and the ledge. I need something to fill the gap - The white item on the ledge will be placed in front of the gap after I fill the gap to stop the hot/cold air that is pouring into the room.
gap below window, windows
21 answers
  • I must have missed your first post or thread on this subject.. are these replacement windows? If they are, te installer goofed up. If this is new construction, the trim carpenter goofed up. Go buy a can or two of low expansion spray foam to fill the gap. DO NOT overdo it. Might be a good idea to run painters masking tapre on the finished sill (ledge) and the white window first. A day later, when the foam has hardened, cut the ooze off neatly with a knife and add your white trim piece

  • Sherrie S
    on Jan 5, 2012

    Oh this is a long story. Yes these are replacements by big box company. This should never have gone this far but I let it. More tomorrow.

  • This is a good example of the cost point when you purchase big box store installation. They cut corners all the time to be able to make the price. Sherrie, not a real big issue here for you to fix. You want to purchase blue spray foam in a can. This product only expands slightly more once it comes out of the can. It is designed to fill spaces just like this around windows and doors. In any case fill this space as much as you can without going overboard. No need to have it spill out past the front of the window frame. Once its done you can purchase white plastic molding such as a 1/4 round or even a shoe molding at most of the big box stores. This can be cut to fit from end to end. Simply using a very little thin bead of contractors adhesive along the length of the molding where it will sit on the ledge set it into place then using a few trim nails fasten it into place. If any tiny gaps still remain you can use a latex caulk with the end cut so it just comes out and fill the tiny spaces. Rub any excess off with finger and little water and once dry you can paint it if need be. If your real careful you can just glue the molding into place with the adhesive and if it fits well, your done!

  • What a crappy job. This is why we do not match prices with hacks that purport to do a good job. I can only assume that the contractor will not respond to your calls. Next time, when hiring a contractor, don't make a decision based upon price. Find out if the contractor has a brick & mortar office or is it a mobile office. If there were a permanent place of business you would be able to stop in and speak with someone about the problem.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jan 6, 2012

    Woodbridge, thank you. I will get the blue spray foam & follow your directions. Thank you so much. One Man, yup crappy job but the windows open & close nicely & that is more important to me than the gap. I trusted the Big Box boys to send qualified people. I should have complained then, too late now. I do not only look at price as I have Pella windows installed in my bedroom & I will post about them later - far worse job than Big Box job & I know it is not the windows. Not Big Box installers either. I also have Anderson windows in the Sunroom & they are perfectly installed and the oldest windows in the home installed by a wonderful contractor that became so busy he quit "little" jobs. It all comes down to buying good material & finding a qualified installer. It's OK because it could be much, much worse & I'm learning a lot and I may find a great person at Hometalk. I'll pay more attention next time.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jan 6, 2012

    Woodbridge what is the name of the foam sealer? I just read reviews on these products and I think we will have to be very, very careful. I don't want to mess up the window ledge/shelf.

  • Ricardo B
    on Jan 6, 2012

    Spray foam may just be the best application. If you will do it yourself... be sure to "practice your technique" first on "mock" application with scrap materials. You'll have only ONE opportunity to get it right without having to clean up a self made mess. Here's another suggestion: Try cutting out "benign" strips of styrofoam board and filling in the rest with basic caulking that is flexible when it dries. What you want to do is fill the long 3/8 inch crack with something that will give the area strength, structure and bulk before the final application of caulking or even the "blue spray" mentioned above.

  • Its called Great Stuff. It comes in all sorts of types. The red can with yellow top is NOT the stuff you want. That expands way to far. It is made for windows and doors. You will find it in Home Depot and Lowe's usually by the insulation area. The red can high expanding product is usually found all over the store. If not sure ask any at the pro desk and they will help you out.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jan 6, 2012

    The more I read about spray foam the more I worry about my nice shelf below the window being damaged. We don't want to remove a 20' shelf under the windows to do the job so the foam seems to be a problem. We are not professionals (as you already know). Is there any easier way to plug the 3/8 gap and also insulate this area?

  • The foam that is used for trims around windows and doors. Is not anything like you think. It comes out rather slowly and expands very little. Nothing like the stuff in the red can with yellow top that seems to just keep growing once its discharged. in fact it does not even come out anything like shaving cream. it will come out of the can in a bead about the size of toothpaste and expand about one half that size more. Simply put down a news paper if your worried about it dripping which it will not. And use this. Anything else such as packing with foam strips and caulk is simply not a professional method of sealing. You will be fine with this method.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jan 7, 2012

    Woodbridge I really want thank you again. I read your comment to my friend & he admitted that he used the other foam and it was an ugly mess. I saw the results but fortunately nobody else will ever see it as it is hidden by a valance. We decided to do the window job tomorrow with the blue product . I'm positive it is the right thing to do. I am so happy to do it the right way.

  • Glkirk Builders Inc.
    on Jan 7, 2012

    Why don't you just chink it like we used to and still do? Carefully stuff the cavity with fiberglass building insulation. Not too much and not packed too tight. Just a good full cavity. A little caulking wouldn't hurt either. What does the outside look like? Makes me wonder if insulation is missing all the way around the window. Did they install "Stop"on the sides? Did they insulate before doing so? It's critical to properly insulate bay windows and large window walls. What was the situation they started with?

  • Glkiirk, While packing with fiberglass can work, It really is not the best method of air sealing which I believe was one of the issues that Sherri had. Also in her case, she only needs a very little amount and I am not sure if she would have access to that little amount of fiberglass without buying a whole roll. But I agree using the fiberglass along with a sealant of caulk to stop and prevent air movement in the wall would be fine as well. My guess the rest of the window is also not properly sealed as well. Its anybodies guess on this.

  • Harold M
    on Jan 7, 2012

    I'd seal it with whats suggested above. You'll still need a little trim pc or you'll be looking at the foam. Possibly a small shoe mold or cove mold?

  • Ken H
    on Jan 7, 2012

    I see one construction job that I would not sign off on and pay for. This is beyond disgusting. I would have taken a picture to the store management and demanded proper replacement. I would have also reported this to the local building department - permits are required for window replacements in most areas. This should have never been passed by an inspector.

  • Ken I agree with you on the photo to the store, but the building department in most townships could care less about the quality of the finish work. All they care about is the hole in the side of the house filled with glass. However realistically the owner is the inspector in this case. They should not have paid for the job until it was complete .

  • Sherrie S
    on Jan 7, 2012

    Believe it or not the outside is done well & looks good. Ken, I've noticed that the inspectors only know what they read in a book. Windows all passed with no problem. I don't remember seeing the gap with the older windows. But obviously I've been unaware so I can't swear to it. I became aware of the gap when Hometalk people helped me properly finish the cedar shelf under the window. All of a sudden I saw the big gap and wanted it fixed. Like I said, I am at fault for not seeing a problem so I have to fix it. I'm smarter now because I come to this site.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jan 16, 2012

    We got the blue great stuff & it was great. However, it came out a little fast on the first window and some great stuff is stuck on the bottom of the window frame. What can I use to remove it without damaging the vinyl? Next we will put what I think is quarter round to cover the gap. It will be so nice looking.

  • Look on the can for the product that will remove the foam. Just dampen a rag and wipe it off. It should do no harm to window if your careful. Once its dry any large amounts that stick out can be cut quite easy with a sharp razor knife.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jan 16, 2012

    We were reaaaaaaaaaaaaal careful so there is little to cut off. It's almost done, thank you for all the help. Photo tomorrow.

  • Sherrie S
    on Jan 18, 2012

    It is finally done & done beautifully. We are so very slow doing these jobs but learning as we do a job because of all of you wonderful helpful people. I hope I can help someone as much as you have helped me. I will save a lot of electricity with this change. I've seen a 5 Degree difference in a large room.

    gap below window, windows, finally done
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