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Sealing around windows

When I was remodeling a house built in the 1920s, I made the decision to replace all of the leaky, double-hung sash with new windows. My new aluminum windows came with 1-1/2-in. wide flanges that, in new construction, are covered by the siding. In remodeling, however, the flange is nailed on top of, or next to, the old siding, and it has to be covered by trim. However, the trim isn't enough to solve the problem of leakage around the flange. To make matters worse, the building that we were working on had deeply relieved triple-lap siding. A piece of trim nailed to the old siding simply sat atop the high points, leaving enormous gaps that invited water damage.

One possible solution would have been to stuff caulking into all the gaps, but my carpenter had a better idea. He attached 2-in. wide strips of Peel-'n-Seal (Hardcast Inc., 8242 Moberly Lane, Dallas, Tex. 75227) all around the windows, covering both the flange and the old siding. Peel-'n-Seal, which comes in rolls that range in width from 2 in. to 12 in., is a strip of aluminum covered by a 1/8-in. thick layer of asphalt adhesive. It can be easily tooled to conform to any surface, and it will seal wide gaps. We finished our installation with wood trim, entirely disguising our solution.

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