Questions and Answers on the House

By Morris and James Carey
Saturday December 15, 2001

Q. Roy asks: Help! I recently moved into a house that has a wooden front door with a large oval window, which takes up most of the door. In the past two months a gap has slowly formed and grown between the door and the window molding. It is about 3/4 of an inch at the top of the window and tapers down as it follows the contours of the window. You can see through it to the outside. It appears that the window is settling. Is this possible? What can I do to fix it? Is there a caulk I should use, or will I have to replace my front door? 


A. There is a very good chance that the base of the window was originally placed on wooden spacers — a very common practice with glass. It would probably be a good idea to remove the trim and inspect the window to see if the spacers have slipped out of place. Our guess is that this is what has happened. If you aren’t handy, you might want to pop the door off its hinges and take it to a door company. Someone there will know how to deal with the removal of the trim without damaging it or the glass. If you are able to remove the trim yourself, simply make and install new spacers, caulk the window to door joint with clear silicone and replace the trim. This job is easier if the door is on a table. 


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