Wood Storm Relish
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caleb.maas



Joined: 21 Apr 2019
Posts: 9
Location: St. Paul, MN

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:49 pm    Post subject: Wood Storm Relish Reply with quote

I’m fixing on some old storm windows and wondering if I should be plugging up the holes between the upper rail and stiles. I understand the relish on bottom rails is partly intended to allow the joint to dry out when necessary. I guess the top could be serving the same purpose but also seems a convenient pathway for water to enter the joint. What say you, knowledgeable community?
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 3008
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2021 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have any signs of water getting into the top relishes, like paint peeling to bare wood at the joint of the rail and stile, or decayed wood at the joint?
If the storms are recessed into window casings then the open relish is somewhat protected from direct rain water. But, if the storms are mounted on the face of the casings then the relish might be exposed to directly collect rain water. If that's the case I might a simply add flashing of thin sheet metal along the top edge of the storm, or seal the relish with caulking.

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caleb.maas



Joined: 21 Apr 2019
Posts: 9
Location: St. Paul, MN

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Condition varies with most storms showing at least some signs of decay in upper joints. Storm faces sit flush with inner edge of casing and outer edge is ~1/2” proud of stucco, so water doesn’t have to work especially hard to find a pathway down the side of the house and into these joints. The mounting hardware seems to offer another route. While making epoxy repairs I plugged up the relish on the first windows being restored. I’ll keep an eye on how those joints respond and update everyone in a decade or so. For windows where the joints can remain free, I’ll opt for the flashing or caulk. Thanks for the help and look forward to any further discussion around this topic.
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johnleeke
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sealing with a flexible sealant will keep the water out longer than an epoxy filler, which can eventually loose it's bond with the surrounding sound wood and let water into the joint.
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