All About Trim: The Fairfield County CT Guide to Trim Repair & Installation

Almost everywhere you look inside or outside your Fairfield County home, you'll see trim. From window frames to baseboards, it's an important part of your house that does more than just sit there and look pretty. It is often taken for granted because we just expect it to be there and don't pay much attention—but when it has suffered damage or is missing altogether, it becomes glaringly obvious that something's not quite right.

Many homeowners assume trim is only there for the sake of appearance, but some types of trim provide important functions that keep your home protected against everything from pest intrusion to the dreaded moisture damage. If your exterior or interior trim is in bad shape, trim repair services from a qualified Fairfield County handyman may actually reduce your energy costs, raise your property value and increase your satisfaction with the beauty and function of your home. And, if there are places where you don't currently have it at all, you'll be surprised by how trim installation can dramatically transform the look of your house.

When you need Fairfield County trim repair, painting or installation services, you can always depend on the team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County to deliver the highest standards of quality workmanship and excellent customer service. We have years of experience with trim repair, installation and refinishing, so we know exactly what to do to get your Fairfield County home back in fantastic condition.

What Is Trim?

The term encompasses a wide variety of building components and elements, and is generally divided into two broad categories, exterior and interior. Both types perform similar roles, but some kinds of trim are more critical for the protection of your house, while others are mostly for show. Both interior and exterior types give your Fairfield County home an attractive, polished look by covering gaps where two different types of material meet, or where two planes intersect at a 90-degree angle. Regardless of where it's located, it will require trim repair or painting services over the course of its lifespan.

The exterior elements include parts of your house such as door frames and jambs, window frames, drip caps that sit above the frame, frieze boards, and other elements that exist to make your house look more polished and complete. Exterior trim also helps to keep pests from getting access to the inside of your walls and blocks moisture incursion. Some house styles such as Victorian-era homes have more elaborate decorative elements such as spindles, corbels, scalloped gables and custom window shutters.

Interior elements include parts such as crown molding, base molding, window sills, frames around interior and exterior doors, chair rails, wainscoting, wall paneling, handrails, balusters, spindles and much more. You could also argue that components such as fireplace mantels or built-in furniture like china cabinets or window seats are also part of your home's interior trim.

Is Trim Just For Decoration?

No it's not exclusively for decoration, though there is a lot of decorative trim, especially inside the house, that is mostly there for the sake of appearance. Exterior elements cover gaps and cracks between differing materials, keeping out moisture, pests and other potential issues that could cause major problems for the stability and safety of your home, not to mention make it a lot less hygienic. That's why trim repair and installation services for the exterior of your house need to be taken care of sooner rather than later, ideally by an experienced Fairfield County handyman.

Interior components tend to be more on the decorative side, because they aren't typically positioned in an area that could suffer from moisture or pest incursion. One exception to that is interior window frames and door jambs, which do play a part in protecting your house. The reason why decorative trim such as crown molding and baseboards exist is mainly to cover up the unsightly joining point between two materials such as your flooring and drywall, or the ceiling and wall. Some parts such as wainscoting and chair rails are completely decorative in nature and can go a long way toward giving your home an elegant, sophisticated design aesthetic.

Are Soffits and Fascia Boards Part of My Home's Trim?

Soffits and fascia boards are sometimes considered to be part of a building's trim, and they are a perfect example of elements that play an important role in keeping your house safe and dry. Fascia boards are the pieces that cap off the edge of your roofline, running parallel to the exterior walls of the house, and they are almost always where gutters are attached to the roof. Fascia boards prevent excess moisture from seeping in underneath your roof and causing wood rot damage, and they also block entry points to the roof for insect and rodent pests.

Soffit boards cover the underside of the roofline—they're what you would see if you stood next to an exterior wall and looked straight up—and they are ventilated with holes or slats. Those vents are very important because they allow excess heat and humidity to vent out of the attic space. That prevents moisture damage, protects your roof from the effects of wood rot and helps to keep your home cooler in the summer so you don't have to pay so much to keep your air conditioner running constantly. Want more information? Here's everything you need to know about soffit and fascia boards.

What Are the Signs I Need Fairfield County Trim Repair?

Wondering if your house is due (or long overdue) for trim repair services? If you are aware of the signs of trouble, you can call your Fairfield County handyman for professional service before the damage worsens and spirals out of control. Here are some of the major indications that you need exterior or interior trim repair:

  • Peeling, flaking paint or wood stain
  • Faded colors
  • Dents, scuffs and holes
  • Cracks and gouges
  • Missing pieces or segments
  • Rodent, bird or insect nests or increased pest activity
  • Warping such as cupping or bulging
  • Water stains
  • Rust and other signs of corrosion
  • Air drafts coming from closed windows or doors
  • Sagging or dangling pieces
  • Excessive grime that can't be easily dusted or wiped away

What Caused Damage to My Trim?

For wooden elements on the outside of your home, wood rot is by far the biggest problem. That's because it's a form of decay caused by wood-eating fungi that require timber to have a moisture content of 20% or higher in order to begin growing. Any wood on the outside of your house is constantly being exposed to water from rain or snow melt, which is why it's so vulnerable to rotting while timber that remains dry can stay solid for hundreds of years.

That being said, it is certainly possible that you may need interior trim repair for rotting wood as well. Elements on the inside of your house can be affected by excess moisture from a leaking roof, hidden plumbing leak or moisture seeping in from deteriorated window and door frames. It can also come from less obvious sources, such as condensed steam from the shower in a poorly ventilated bathroom.

Not sure if you need trim repair for wood rot? Grab a screwdriver and flashlight and closely examine the timber outside and inside your house for these signs:

  • Wood is crumbling into "sawdust" or breaking apart in cube-shaped pieces (this is called cubical fracture
  • Some patches appear lighter or darker than the surrounding material
  • There are patches of wood with a white, yellow or light purple hue
  • Timber appears spongy, stringy or webbed with cracks
  • In very advanced cases, there may be mushrooms sprouting from the wood

If you spot any of the above signs of wood rot, take your screwdriver and gently press it against the suspicious area. If it sinks right in with little or no resistance, you are definitely dealing with wood rot. It's best to call your handyman and get it taken care of right away because it will only get worse and can spread to other parts of your house. Some types can even travel over masonry surfaces like brick or plaster, and wood rot can cause serious structural stability issues for your building. There's no way to restore rotted timber to its former condition, so wood rot repair generally involves replacing the affected timber altogether. However, if you only have a couple tiny spots of rot, your Fairfield County handyman may be able to do trim repair by scraping out the rotten parts and filling the holes with epoxy wood filler, followed by a couple coats of paint.

Other potential causes of damage that requires trim repair include:

  • Destructive pests or wildlife such as carpenter ants, termites, rats and woodpeckers
  • Pressure changes that are affecting the overall structure, such as the weight of a heavy dump of snow on the roof
  • Impact damage from careless accidents or falling tree branches
  • Sudden temperature fluctuations that can cause material such as vinyl to expand and contract, pushing against other pieces and possibly causing warping or cracking damage

What Causes Cracks in Crown Molding?

Crown molding doesn't typically need trim repair because it's up at the top of your wall, well out of reach for most common types of damage. However, cracking can be a real problem with crown molding, especially the type that's made with plaster. The damage is unattractive, but much worse than that, it can indicate big problems with structural parts of your house that don't have anything to do with trim repair.

All the parts of your building's structure are interconnected, and when the foundation of your house begins to sink into the ground or heave upward because of issues such as soil erosion, underground water leaks and other potential problems, it can put stress and strain on parts of your house such as the walls that causes cracking in crown molding and other components. The same effect can be the result of damaged or sagging floor or ceiling joists as well. The reason plaster in particular is so susceptible to cracking under these circumstances is because it's a rigid, completely inflexible material located right at the point where two planes intersect at a 90-degree angle, so it can be affected by pressure from either direction.

Does Trim Installation or Repair Increase Property Value in Fairfield County?

If your interior or exterior trim is in rough condition, or it's missing altogether, trim repair or installation services can actually increase your property value when it comes time to sell your Fairfield County house. When a prospective homebuyer views your property and sees that the trim is in excellent shape, inside and outside, it is a sign to them that the house has been well-cared for and they won't run into major issues once they move in. Trim repair or installation represents an opportunity for a solid return on investment in the selling price.

There's another way that trim repair can help you save money. Some types of damage let in air drafts that can change the temperature in your home. That forces your HVAC system to operate for longer in order to compensate, which significantly increases your monthly utility charges. We can restore your house to a more energy efficient state that will help to reduce your energy costs.

Call Your Local Fairfield County Handyman for Expert Trim Repair and Installation Services!

Whether you're in Stamford, New Canaan, Easton or another part of Fairfield County, CT, you never have to deal with tasks like interior or exterior trim repair alone. Trust the team of handyman experts at Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County for outstanding workmanship and customer care that goes above and beyond.

Pick up the phone and get in contact with us today to schedule trim repair or installation services at a convenient time, or to speak with our friendly customer service staff and find out more about all the things we can do to transform your house and get it back in top-notch condition.