How to Repair a Gap in Exterior Wood Trim

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Most gaps in exterior wood trim are caused by poor installation of the trim or shrinkage in the wood trim. Gaps in exterior wood trim must be repaired with a material that flexes with the natural expansion and shrinkage of wood. Repair material should not create another gap or crack. Before deciding to fill a gap in exterior trim, determine if it is possible to remove and match a piece of the trim--cutting a new piece to eliminate the gap. In most cases, removal and trim replacement is not cost efficient. Repairing by filling the gap with a silicone-based caulk is usually the preferred course of action.

Things You'll Need

  • Putty knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Exterior silicone-based caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Sponge
  • Towels and rags
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Scrape dirt, paint and old caulking out of the gap in the exterior wood trim, using a putty knife, screwdriver or utility knife.

  • Snap the caulk tube into the caulk gun. Squeeze the trigger to fill the gap with caulk.

  • Smooth with a wet sponge, small putty knife or your finger while the caulk is still pliable. Tidy with a towel.

  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for caulk cure time and temperature installation parameters.

  • Finish with primer and paint to match.

Tips & Warnings

  • This process can also be followed for gaps created by a loose trim piece, window trim gaps, fascia board and soffit gaps or siding issues.
  • Do not use wood filler to repair a gap in exterior wood trim as it shrinks, falls out and cracks in extreme weather conditions.

References

  • Photo Credit glazier image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
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