Finishing of plastic windows from the outside implies the improvement of soffits. In addition, they allow you to ergonomically combine the window opening with the facade-facing material, logically completing the house's design. Various building materials and technologies provide many opportunities, varying performance and decorative qualities of the lining. At the same time, many questions and nuances greatly complicate the process when trying to do the work yourself. Let's consider why you need to trim plastic windows outside the house, what materials are used, and its peculiarities.
Why is exterior window trim necessary?
The importance of trim is due to two factors - aesthetics and protection of materials and the structure. To get a neat and attractive look at the facade is impossible without an excellent design of the joints between the wall structure and window frames. In this case, the slope can be a unique style component, decorate or effectively complement the architectural ensemble.
The need to protect the joints of the window opening is due to the installation technology. However, how well it will be done depends mainly on the comfort of staying inside the building and the longevity of construction materials.
Windows are never set against the wall. There is always a technological gap - the space between the window opening and the frame. It is necessary to compensate for shifts and deformations of the structure caused by shrinkage, seismic activity, or deformation of the window profile due to temperature changes and other factors.
The absence of a technological gap does not guarantee the functionality and integrity of the insulating glass unit. At best, the sash may begin to fall in or stop opening. At worst, loads may destroy the glass. When installing wooden window structures, space between the building and the frame is also needed.
With proper installation, the technological holes are not left empty. They are filled with assembly foam. Its structure provides high insulating characteristics. The disadvantage of this material is the rapid destruction in contact with moisture and ultraviolet. A few months of use is enough for the foam to lose its performance characteristics and break down.
Loss of insulating properties is not the only problem. The resulting hole begins to leak moisture and accumulate condensation in the gaps, creating ideal conditions for developing fungi and other microorganisms. As a result, the building materials of the walls begin to deteriorate, and an unpleasant odor of dampness and mold can appear in the room.
For these reasons, finishing plastic windows outside the house is one of the most critical steps. The quality of its performance plays an essential key role in ensuring the durability of glass and indoor comfort. Various materials and technologies make it possible to perform it without significant expenses. You can save maximum money by ordering services together with window installation.
Methods and materials for finishing plastic windows outside the house
Conventionally available technologies can be divided into two categories:
wet - when solutions and mixtures applied in a liquid or viscous state are used;
dry - installation of different panels or plates, fixed by special fasteners.
Mineral wool and polymer seals are used as insulation in the dry method. More often, the technology is combined. On a layer of dried mortar, applied for decorative or functional protection in the form of a slope of metal, plastic, or other materials. The exact choice of method depends on the size of the technological holes. The materials used can summarize the process of selecting decoration methods.
Plastering the slopes is the oldest method that allows you to save on materials. However, with the work's apparent simplicity, high-quality performance requires compliance with technological norms and the ability to use tools and experience. The disadvantage of the method is the poor adhesion of the mortar with the plastic of which the insulating glass profiles are made. To solve the problem, specially modified mixtures are used.
To finish plastic windows with plaster look presentable, it is essential to ensure uniform geometric parameters of the material. To do this, you need to use a unique tool, expose beacons, which will serve as reference points for the surface level.
In the first stage, it is vital to remove the excess foam so it is completely covered with the solution. Then, the mixture is distributed with a rule or a wide trowel.
When applying thick layers, reinforcement is necessarily used. A special mesh is placed in the mortar's structure, preventing the plaster from cracking. After drying, the surface is sanded, and an additional decoration layer is applied. This can be paint, panels, or plates imitating different figures and materials.
Plastic soffits are very popular, perfectly combined with insulating glass profiles and the building materials of the supporting structure. The advantages of this method of finishing include:
- easy installation technology;
- resistance of the material to different types of load: temperature fluctuations, ultraviolet, chemical reagents, impacts;
- easy care, the material does not lose color, does not burn out, it is enough to wipe or wash the slopes sometimes when dirty;
- The minimum load on the walls of the building due to the low weight;
- natural combination with the window profile;
- it is possible to laminate, paint in any color, imitating the texture of the finishing materials, window frames;
- Low thermal conductivity reduces the likelihood of condensation as much as possible, increasing the insulating properties.
With an impressive list of significant advantages, finishing windows with plastic does not guarantee perfect results. It is essential to use high-quality materials. Low-grade products will quickly become yellow, warp, and buckle, violating the original shape. At sub-zero temperatures, cheap cladding becomes brittle and easily destroyed by the impact of mechanical stress. Therefore, it is essential to trust the work of professional companies that provide warranties.
Features of work
If there is an open technological opening, by analogy with plastering, it is necessary to close the access of oxygen, moisture, and ultraviolet to the installation foam. Depending on the size of the technological opening, mortar or sealant may be used.
Soffits are made to a specific size, so pre-measure the opening. The joints between the frame and the reveal are arranged by fitting a unique starter profile. On the outer side of the sheet is an installed platband that neatly frames the opening.
Sandwich panels are unique, multi-layered structures with high insulating characteristics and aesthetic qualities. This method of finishing is popular because of such advantages:
- simple installation technology that does not require working with mortars;
- the decorative properties of the material perfectly complement the plastic windows;
- the surface can be laminated, imitating the color, texture, and pattern of the trim and profile;
- high insulating properties due to the use of polyurethane foam as a heat insulator, which not only reduces heat loss but also provides decent soundproofing;
- long service life due to the resistance of polymer material to moisture, UV, temperature fluctuations, and mechanical stress
- Easy care, which does not require regular updating of the face coating or maintenance.
Features of work
Sandwich panels adjust to the shape of the opening, completely closing the slab. The inner space - the gap between the plate, the wall, and the window frame is filled with foam. Accuracy of arrangement of joints excludes contact of isolation with air, moisture, and ultra-violet.
Metal soffits are also on the list of the best materials and ways to finish window openings from the outside. They are made of galvanized steel. The exterior is powder-coated for added protection and a neat look. Key benefits of the material include:
- easy installation and maintenance, consisting of wet or dry cleaning when dirty;
- durability and resistance to moisture, ultraviolet light, and temperature fluctuations;
- Aesthetics is the ability to choose different colors, taking into account the design of the window profile and the facade of the building.
Features of work
The scheme of metal lining installation is similar to the plastic panels' structure. However, the design allows for a high degree of insulation when cladding the facade with slabs, clapboard, and other materials.
Artificial or natural stone
Natural stone is the most expensive way to finish. However, artificial materials can reduce the cost to the detriment of durability and reliability. Therefore, the method is rarely used, given the high cost and complexity of technology. Preparation of materials also requires a lot of time and skill, as any inaccuracies in the dimensions are difficult to eliminate.
At the same time, such soffits are not affected by moisture, temperatures, chemicals, and ultraviolet light. As a result, they retain their original appearance for the entire service life.
Slips are small strips with an L-shaped profile designed to cover joints or gaps between the frame and the window opening. Installing this type of soffit allows you to reduce the cost of the work significantly. They are often used for wooden houses—the disadvantage of the method is weak aesthetic properties. Tightness is achieved by processing the seams with sealant.
Foam is also used in finishing soffits as the primary material, covered with a layer of mortar. The disadvantage of the method is the relatively short duration. However, this method also has advantages:
- simple technology of installation and processing of blanks, allowing you to adjust the desired shape quickly;
- high thermal and sound insulation characteristics;
- the material is not subject to rotting;
- the minimum load on the frame and walls of the building.
Features of work
When finishing plastic windows with foam, it is vital to ensure a reliable connection of parts of the structure with the walls and each other. For this purpose, adhesive mortars and reinforcing mesh are used. The outer parts of the foam must be covered entirely with mortar, primer, and facade paint or decorative framing.
What is essential to know when finishing plastic window soffits?
Installation of soffits, as well as installation of windows, should be performed in dry weather. Otherwise, moisture can accumulate in the opening, leading to the development of fungi and mold. Using cheap materials is fraught with rapid loss of insulation and aesthetic effects. We are talking not only about slopes but also mortars, sealants, and adhesives.
It is important to remember that the apparent simplicity of technology in practice has a lot of nuances. For example, minor breaches may cause the loss of insulating properties of the protective material. As a result - of increased cold penetration into the room, condensation may form.
Important nuance when performing exterior work
Installers often do not remove exterior soffits when installing plastic windows and performing dismantling work. However, even the most careful work leads to the formation of chips and cracks on the old soffits.
The gaps between the new window and the building wall are filled with installation foam, resulting in a certain amount of it. After the window structures are installed, only the inner lining is installed, and the outer cladding is wholly forgotten.
It would seem that this option is acceptable for apartments on higher floors - no one from afar would see the foam's absence of external lining and slight protrusion.
Reduced protection from external influences will exacerbate your comfort and impact the windows themselves, significantly reducing their life. In the end, the principal protection from the cold will be the internal soffits, which play a decorative role and are not designed for thermal insulation. So there will be moisture and chill in the apartment and constant condensation on the windows.
To remedy this situation, the following steps should be taken:
- remove the interior soffits;
- Remove the exterior soffits where the installation foam protrudes;
- Remove the damaged foam, and re-caulk the gaps with new foam;
- Remove all paint from the soffits;
- Remove the drip moldings and fill any cracks and pores found;
- all chips on the outside are conveniently caulked with tile adhesive, which is sold in every building store;
- In the last step, you should apply putty so that all the installation foam is hidden from view and external influences. This is the main point of finishing the exterior slopes of plastic windows.
Required accessories and trim elements
Various filler elements and accessories for plastic windows are used for the external finishing of windows and window aperture, except for the facing material. Consider the example of sandwich panels, which may be required in the process.
So, when choosing a sandwich panel, it is recommended to pay attention to the following characteristics:
- thickness - 1 cm;
- insulation - extruded polystyrene foam;
- outer sheet - rigid PVC with a thickness of 0.7 mm;
- an inner sheet - rigid polystyrene.
To improve the appearance, additional decorative elements are used, which are a variety of types of corners:
- C-profile - white, dimensions - 2.6 x 2.6 cm;
- CL-profile - white color, dimensions - 2.6 x 4 cm;
- J-profile - technical element for the previous two profiles. Performs the role of mechanical fixation.
If the sandwich panel can in no way be behind the window frame, then the outer cladding is supplemented by the installation of starter profiles:
- P-profile - white, attached to the structure itself;
- PZ-profile - white, attached to the frame with a unique groove on end.
Finishing with the use of slips
If the finishing of plastic windows from the outside is made in a house made of wood, the process of installation works has a slightly different appearance. This is obvious because even externally, the opening for a PVC window in a panel or brick house differs from that in a place made of wood.
Performing exterior work, it will be necessary to install sills and slats. Therefore, exterior finishing should begin only after the interior is finished.
It is best to perform the installation and finishing of plastic windows in dry weather. After all, until the end of the building, the elements of the structure are undesirable to expose moisture.
In addition to the sill itself, to install it, you will need tools such as:
- metal scissors;
- measuring tape;
- angle piece;
- self-tapping screws 2 cm long.
The width of the opening determines the length of the sill - plus, the sill must have an additional length of 5 cm on both sides. The drip moldings must be cut precisely at right angles. The edges of the drip moldings must be bent down.
After these manipulations, the sill must be brought under the frame and lifted to a stop to get into a unique groove. Then the sill is fixed with self-tapping screws and placed under the low tide to go through the assembly foam. It is best to apply it with a particular gun.
The low tide must fit tightly to the bottom of the window. If the sill is installed below the frame, you must use a mounting profile to increase moisture protection.
The final phase of the external finishing of the plastic window is gluing the sill. This element is a strip to cover the installation foam. Before gluing, the foam must be pre-cut. There is no need to use any adhesive material because the slit is a self-adhesive element. The only rule during this stage - you should not glue at temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius.
Let's describe the process step by step:
- We measure the height of the opening;
- Cut two strips of the required size;
- Clean and dry the surface on which the slips will be glued;
- Remove the protective film and partially glue the slat until we reach the end.
- After that, all left is to remove the protective film from the plastic windows.
- Facing the use of polystyrene foam
- The cladding of exterior soffits can be performed in various ways. To describe them all makes no sense, so let's take as an example cladding with the use of extruded polystyrene foam.
So, implementing this method requires:
- adhesive mortar;
- tools and components for plastering and puttying.
Now let's describe the whole process step by step:
Prepare the adhesive solution. To do this, mix the dry mixture with water using a drill with a mixer attachment. Carefully dissolve all lumps - they should not be in the solution;
Priming the window opening, apply the adhesive solution on top;
We cut the polystyrene foam or polystyrene foam into strips with a width of more than 10 cm;
Apply adhesive mortar to the ready strips - it is best to use a toothed trowel with a tooth size of 1 cm for this purpose;
Glue the strips to the wall. The evenness of finish checks the construction level;
We cover with a solution of a slope and the bottom of a window aperture. All surfaces to be treated must be completely smooth and even;
Glue the strips on the slopes;
Reinforce all with fiberglass mesh. This is done by applying mortar to the polystyrene foam and sinking the mesh into it. The mesh should be pressed in with a trowel, not just applied to the surface of the mortar. In the corners, the mesh is laid overlapping;
Everything is reinforced along the perimeter with a corner, which is used for plastering corners;
Wait until the mortar dries, and then prime everything with a unique exterior paint;
Apply the finishing plaster with a spatula.
The technology of installation of soffits
It is crucial to install the lining properly by carrying out the window with a window strip or reproducing any other finishing method. According to Swedish technology, these works are better performed after the windows have been insulated. This will give a complex effect in the form of increased energy savings inside the room.
The process begins with installing the starting profile in the window opening. Next, the sill is attached to the wall with self-tapping screws and mounting tape. After that, the finishing is carried out.
Therefore, before finishing, it is advisable to consult with experts on what material will have the most extraordinary adhesion to the surface to be completed. Most likely, the more suitable option will be PSUL tape or slips.
Now you know how to finish a plastic window. Any above work with a professional will only take a few hours. Self-work can last longer - the main thing is to ensure maximum compliance with the installation technology.
The video will show you all the nuances transparently if you want to see what a competent plastic window trim looks like from the outside.