Why Does Trim Get Damaged and How Can You Prevent It?

calander Apr 28 , 2021 user-iconAnderson Painting
Damaged housing trim in North Carolina

The trim that outlines some of your key exterior and interior features greatly contributes to your property’s overall appearance. But because these additions protrude from the surface, they’re extra susceptible to various forms of damage. Over time, what began as a minor issue with your trim can grow into a more significant problem that affects your walls and other surfaces, so it’s essential to address these concerns as soon as possible. Of course, prevention is even better. Let’s explore what causes trim damage in the first place and how to prevent it, so you don’t have to deal with wall or siding replacement on top of trim repair.

How Housing Trims Get Damaged

Impact

No matter how secure and well-protected your trim is, a strong enough physical force can crack it, break off a chunk, or remove it from its fasteners entirely. When it comes to exterior trim, falling limbs and branches pose the greatest threat of impact damage, and wind-blown debris can do a number on your trim, too. Interior trim is protected from these forces of nature but can still take a hit from human activity.

Moisture Exposure

A little water can go a long way toward damaging your trim both inside and outside your home, especially if your trim is composed of wood. If water from rain, snow, leaking pipes, or any other source is allowed to linger on or near your wooden trim, it can lead to rot and encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Moreover, moisture intrusion can cause wooden trim to warp and crack. Whatever the case, it’s important to keep water away from your trim.

Dry, Hot Conditions

Moisture is bad for your trim, but so is the opposite: dryness. Arid outside or indoor air can lead to dry rot in wood trim that’s not properly pressure treated. Exterior trim must also contend with the hot sun, which can dry things out even more, warp wood, and cause paint to fade, chip, and peel over time.

Prying Pests

The last major threat to trim (namely exterior trim) consists of a variety of pests that feed on or live in wooden surfaces. These wood-boring insects such as carpenter bees and ants, termites, and powder post beetles can eat away at trim bit by bit, usually forming numerous small holes that leave the surface open to moisture, rot, all while diminishing your trim’s structural integrity.

Preventing Trim Damage

Knowing the many potential causes of trim damage will allow you to better protect your trim from harm. The best approach to trim damage prevention is a holistic one, taking all threats into account (i.e., impact, moisture, dry air/sunlight, and pests) and keeping up with regular maintenance like cleaning (power washing and/or scrubbing), painting/touch-ups, and caulking.

For starters, you’ll want to carefully inspect your trim for signs of damage and determine the root cause(s). From there, amend the primary problem, whether it’s insect control, leaky pipes, looming trees, or whatever the case may be. Once you’ve taken care of the main issue, repair the damaged areas themselves -- this may involve not only trim repair but wall, roof, or siding repair. Then, thoroughly clean and sand your trim. To keep your trim safe from future problems, prime and paint it with multiple coats (waterproof and pest-proof coatings are ideal) and caulk any gaps to keep moisture and insects out. In addition to performing residential exterior painting, make sure your exterior is optimized for proper drainage to prevent water from pooling on outside trim.

Protect Your Trim

Your property’s trim is more important than we often give it credit for and is vulnerable to many forces. If you want to fortify your trim this season and/or need help fixing it up, Anderson Painting is happy to help. We offer a wide range of painting and repair services to suit your needs. To learn more about us and all we do, call today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!