What Is Window Capping? Do You Need It?

The day has arrived! You just got your windows inspected by an expert because your windows have been having problems with drafts and condensation. They’re talking about weird things that you need to do to your windows to fix these issues.

Things like… do you want your windows capped?

What on earth is that, you wonder. Windows don’t need caps. They’re windows. Not baseball players.

Window capping is when you use a durable material like vinyl or aluminum to cover up the wooden frames of your window to protect them from the elements. It’s also called window cladding or window wrapping.

What is Window Capping?

window cap
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Really, what is window capping? You sort of understand the general definition. It’s a cover for your windows. What part exactly? And what does it look like?

In this article, we’ll refer to this process as window capping, but keep in mind that it’s also called window cladding and window wrapping.

First of all, window cladding mainly applies to wooden windows or windows that have parts of it made out of wood.

You then take another material that is weather-resistant and moisture-resistant and cover the wood parts with that material. It could be vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum. These materials are resistant to rot, mold, and mildew.

You see, over a long enough period of time, real wood deteriorates when it’s exposed to moisture and other weather elements. That’s because wood is porous and lets water in. However, manufactured materials do not do that.

Capping windows makes sure that your windows will last longer, save more energy, and not require as much maintenance. It’s definitely a win-win for you to cap your windows. Although there are downsides too…

Advantages and Disadvantages of Window Capping

Now that we know what it is, what are the benefits and downsides to capping your windows?

Advantages of Window Capping

Capping Windows Increases the Lifespan of Your Wooden Windows

One of the main advantages is that you can decide to cap your windows instead of opting for completely new replacement windows.

Wooden windows can be expensive to replace, especially if you’re doing a full house window replacement.

However, with capping, you can prevent further damage to your wooden windows for a fraction of the cost. Sure, eventually, you’ll have to replace them. But in the mean time, capping your windows lets you save up for the project while knowing that your current wood will be protected.

Capping Windows Prevents Water Damage

When water gets into your home, it can lead to a large host of other problems. These include mold, water stains, water damage, and other problems. All of this can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in home repair.

Capping prevents water and moisture from entering your home via your wooden windows. The capping directs water away from your home, which protects your home for longer.

Capping Windows Requires Less Maintenance

Wood as a window material requires regular check-ups and maintenance such as restaining and resealing.

Vinyl and fiberglass don’t need to be repainted or regularly maintained. Aluminum does, but it’s a much easier process than with wood.

Disadvantages of Window Capping

Window Capping Removes The All Wood Look

The biggest disadvantage of window capping is that it makes your windows no longer look wooden.

After all, people want wooden windows for that classic and cabin-style wood look.

After window capping, it just looks like any other window: vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass.

Despite this, it’s still worth it to cap your windows if it means increasing its lifespan and decreasing potential water damage to your home.

Window Capping Is Just a Cover Up

Eventually, you’ll have to replace your wooden windows with all new windows.

So that means you’ll be paying for the window capping NOW and then the full house window replacement LATER. That adds up.

When you cap windows, you no longer can see what’s happening to the wood underneath it.

Window capping is something to consider when you’re getting new wooden windows. That way, you get all of the benefits of window capping and new windows all at once.

Types of Window Capping

The main types of window capping are aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass. Each type varies in pricing and performance as well.

Aluminum tends to be the most budget-friendly, but it also needs a bit more maintenance. Aluminum needs to be repainted and cleaned often.

Vinyl, on the other hand, is the lowest maintenance and is one of the most popular choices for homeowners. It sites in the middle of the road in terms of pricing.

Fiberglass is the best material, but it also costs the most. Fiberglass is good for the following reasons:

  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Best for energy efficiency
  • Low maintenance
  • Resistant to moisture, weather, warping, and more
  • Last the longest

But being the best, it’s also the most expensive. You also need a professional to install fiberglass. It’s not a DIY project. There are a limited number of companies that manufacture fiberglass for windows.

To read more about aluminum, vinyl, and fiberglass for windows, check out the following articles:

You’ll be able to compare each material in terms of lifespan, maintenance, durability, energy efficiency, cost, and more.

Do You Need Window Capping?

If you live in an area with lots of rainfall on a yearly basis, window capping is something you need to seriously consider to improve the lifespan of your home and your windows.

If you don’t have wooden windows, then you don’t have to worry about it.

In areas with storms that have wind, rain, and snow, window capping will protect your wooden windows from moisture penetration.

Not only does it increase your home’s curb appeal, but it also eases your anxiety when it comes to thinking about potential home repairs that need to be done in the future.

How Much Does Window Capping Cost?

Window capping is much more affordable than new replacement windows, but it still comes at a price.

The price depends on labor, materials, window size, and the current condition of the wooden window. However, the average cost varies from $1 to $2 per linear foot of window that needs to be capped.

It takes approximately 30 minutes to cap each window, depending on the size of the windows and the location of them.

Find a Professional for Window Capping

window capping
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Window capping is something that you can DIY. However, contacting and working with a professional is the best way to ensure that the quality of the work is high and actually works to protect your home.

Getting multiple estimates from different contractors will get you the best price, as well as the best consult for which course of action is best for you.

You don’t want the outside of your home to be messed up, just because someone did a poor job capping your windows. Getting a professional will also come with labor warranty, letting you rest easy for many years to come.

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