Shim shim shiree, Shim shim shiree, Shim shim shiroo…

Shim shim shiree
Shim shim shiree
Shim shim shiroo…
With no shim ‘neath your windows
The rain will come through-oo.

Shim shim shiree
Shim shim shiree
Shim shim shiroo…
But caulking and shimming
Mean a dry house for you!

Thankfully, the window saga is resolving expediently. The rain entered our dining room Sunday, and the first of a wave of three men came Monday. He was the original installer, sent by Home Depot, through whom we purchased the windows. He arrived in a properly mortified and humbled spirit. He brought his gun — the caulking kind — and caulked around all the windows, a sort of duct tape solution until he could effect a proper one in a week. He was terribly sorry about it all, and even more terribly when my husband tactfully mentioned that most of the many, many construction defect cases he worked on as an attorney were about water intrusion.

I asked the installer how it had happened that the rain got around the original caulk, which turned out to be kind of a dumb question, because part of the good fellow’s embarrassment lay in the fact that the original caulk had been a step that somehow was missed the first time.

Tuesday, we hosted the manufacturer’s representative and the Home Depot windows boss. The manufacturer’s representative was there to assess whether the problem originated with the actual product or with the installation. The product was vindicated.

Everyone who builds anything here understands the local wind vectors and the directions storms and dust blow, etc. When we had our shop and carport built, the contractor advised me of the best aspect for placing the carport that would minimize blowing dust landing on my car. All three window men who responded to our warranty call had a profound understanding that uncaulked west-facing windows in our neck of the prairie are not a good thing.

It turned out to be a really fascinating quick tutorial for me, because I had never before realized that shim could be an actual structural component, and not merely a bandaid jerry rig. Vinyl windows will shift and slump if not sufficiently supported with shim between the frame of the house and the frame of the window. I would liken it to arch supports preventing flat feet.

The manufacturer’s representative decreed that the installer should return and shim around all of the slider windows so that they would fit the house frame properly, and then caulk again. When this is done, we should see no gaps, but flush, straight windows in their snug frames; and no more interior raindrops should offend our sense of order.

But I don’t know whether Coolidge will ever trust that northwest corner of the dining room again.


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