Window boxes are supposed to add colour and beauty to your home. They may be replanted throughout the year to keep blooms visible in every season or serve as an easy-to-manage herb garden. But if not cared for or installed correctly, a window box may cause water damage to your wall in which it hangs that will need to be repaired.
Check for Damage
The first place to search for harm is that the window box itself. Boxes made of wood will gradually decay and deteriorate. Wooden poles will last for many years when made with moisture-resistant cedar or redwood, but even they will rot eventually. If the boards of the window box are splitting from each other or feel soft to the touch, water damage is present and may be causing damage to the home. Apart from window box materials such as painted metal or plastic won’t deteriorate, but they can still drain water on the wall underneath or trap moisture onto the wall behind. Look around the edges of these boxes to get staining on the wall, which could indicate long-standing moisture.
Brick is sometimes presumed to be maintenance-free, but it can still be damaged from water when it remains damp. If water is spilled behind the window box throughout watering, it may soak in the mortar and then cause it to crack. Salts from the soil may also remain on the brick and mortar over time make the bricks and mortar to break down. Freezing and thawing will also cause cracks if the bricks are damp from water. Repairing brick is known as repointing and entails new bricks and mortar that have to be matched to the colour on the rest of the wall.
Wood siding supporting a window box may decay like the window box itself can rot. It could even rot faster than the window box when the box is made of treated wood and frequently traps moisture between the back panel along with the wood siding. The paint on the house’s siding will discard water until the paint starts to crack. The paint may also get scratched during setup of the window box, which damage would remain concealed, allowing water to seep into the cracks and stay in the wood, causing it to break down. Wood that holds more than 20 percent moisture will rot, and this is possible behind window poles because the poles need constant watering to keep the plants healthy.
The damage that window boxes cause to homes can be prevented. Whenever possible, a window box should be installed together with 1/2 to 1 inch of space between the back side of the box and the wall of the house by mounting it on shelf brackets as opposed to straight to the window. This will allow water to operate freely and air to circulate and keep both wall and box from remaining damp for long intervals. Brick walls may also be covered with a silane or siloxane water repellent supporting the box, which will dry clear and not discolor the brick. Paint on the timber siding near the window box should be monitored for cracking and repainted as necessary.