Window sills are an essential part of any home, adding key support and preventing possible water damage. While there are a variety of materials and designs to choose from, natural stone window sills are considered to be the best investment. Why? Keep reading to find out more.
Window Sills – The Basics
It’s nearly everywhere we go. We may not notice it but it is literally there every time we look at a window. The window sill is the horizontal structure found at the base of every window. It is both indoors and outdoors. It looks a bit like a flat shelf, extending outwards from the bottom of the window’s frame. Though a small, and often unnoticed, feature, it’s an area that should not be overlooked and is actually an integral part of any build.
Source: Thiago Matos
So, why are window sills so important?
This can be summed up in one word: Water.
Most if not all window sills are slightly angled to the outside to help drain the water properly instead of coming into building. In fact, the Canadian Institute for Research in Construction
Here are some sample basic costs of building repair caused by water damage (excluding the cost of water removal). These are estimated costs and will vary by geography when repairing your home after a water damage claim
- Replacing damaged drywall: $1.40/sq.ft.
- Repairing damaged plaster walls: $6.25 – $18.75/sq.ft.
- Refinishing hardwood floors: $10.45/sq.ft.
- Replacing carpets: $4.70 – $5.50/sq.ft.
- Woodwork: $70 an hour for carpentry work
- Mold remediation: $5/sq.ft.
*US dollar figures
Whether it be water from rain itself, hail or snow, a well-pitched window sill will ensure that water runs directly off the ledge and doesn’t drip underneath it and onto the buildings exterior walls. This avoids a build-up of moisture beneath the window unit.
This is paramount because a little moisture can quickly turn into a much bigger problem. If it settles into the structure of your building, it could eventually lead to mold. Often, this happens slowly and silently, becoming a big problem long before you realize it’s there.
It is important to note that mold damage may not covered by many home insurance policies. Mold remediation can be a costly and complicated process that includes moisture control, assessment, and containment of areas with mold to prevent additional contamination from spreading spores.
Exposure to mold can be dangerous for your health. With symptoms like coughing and stuffiness, it could be easy to dismiss your body’s reactions and blame them on the common cold. However, exposure to mold over time can actually lead to serious lung infections, especially for people with underlying health conditions like asthma. That’s one of the reasons why window sills are so important, not only for the health of your home, but for the health of everyone inside!
Additional Benefits of Sills
Window sills are nothing new. In fact, there is evidence that window sill have been in use since the days of Pharoah. Since that time is that sills are now used to protect the home in more ways than just water.
Window sills help with structural support, ensuring that each window unit is held firmly in place. A window without a sill could move and shift over time as a building’s foundation settles. This could result in cracks and other damages to the overall structure. Basically, if you want your window to perform properly, it needs to be fitted with a sill!
Window sills can also help you save on energy costs. Most of the heat we lose through our windows in the winter isn’t from the actual panes of glass. It’s primarily due to drafts and air leaks that occur between the glass and the window’s frame.
A professionally fitted sill that works well in a window system creates a barrier at the bottom of your window unit, helping to obstruct any air currents from leaving or entering your home. This not only helps you stay comfortable, but also saves you money. Without any drafts, your home will stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Lastly, window sills offer a way to express your desired design aesthetic! They not only complete the look of each window frame, but can add a decorative element to any building. Sills can also be used in alternative ways, and aren’t just reserved for windows. Whether you’re looking to create ornamental accents for landscaping or spruce up a door frame, sills can offer endless design potential.
Source: Indiana Limestone Company
Why Are Stone Sills Are A Popular Choice?
Window sills are available in a wide array of materials, but natural stone is considered the best investment. This is because natural stone is extremely durable and performs well against the elements.
Window sills protrude outwards from structures, and because of this, are continuously exposed to all types of weather. Choosing a heavy-duty material for your window sill is essential because it means it will cost you less in repairs down the road. Stone sills are long-lasting and resistant to deterioration.
What makes stone perform better than other materials? Natural stone is non-porous and helps increase water resistance. On the other hand, materials like wood and brick tend to absorb moisture, which can lead to a lot of future problems. Wood, in particular, is highly prone to rot and unfortunately, by the time you notice any mold or decay, it’s often too late for a quick fix.
Metals are another option on the market, but while they stand up well to the elements, they come with their own set of issues namely noise. Each time it rains, the droplets will create a clatter as they fall and hit the metal sills. Some people may find this bothersome over time.
All in all, natural stone is not only visually pleasing but also easy to care for, and that’s why more and more people are choosing this material when picking out window sills.
How to Choose the Right Stone
If you’ve decided that natural stone window sills are the right fit for your build, the next step is to choose the type of stone. The options could include marble, granite or limestone.
Indiana limestone is widely considered to be the best choice by designers, installers and owners. This is because Indiana limestone offers the most creative flexibility. It’s one of the easier materials to erect and fabricate, and perfectly balances timeless beauty and durability.
Source: Indiana Limestone Company
Indiana limestone provides the longevity that many people are looking for. Its beautiful natural colour is easy to maintain, whereas other options like marble tend to fade or become stained over time. The softness of the calcite in marble also makes it more susceptible to chipping, especially when installed outdoors.
Marble and granite can also be tricky to work with, as their stone is more difficult to carve out, and both options can become extremely expensive depending on which slabs are chosen. In addition, their smooth surfaces (although appealing) can be an issue when it is wet as it can become extremely slippery.
As a natural stone, Indiana limestone is the same composition throughout, meaning what’s on surface is the same on the inside. Over the decades, it wears evenly to retain its texture and tone. This makes Indiana limestone a reliable product that’s attractive, easy to maintain and still budget-friendly.
Indiana limestone has been a premier choice in North America for hundreds of years. The first official quarry was erected in 1827 and since then, the product has been used to create a host of iconic monuments including the Empire State Building and The Pentagon. In addition, 35 out of 50 state capitol buildings in the United States are made from Indiana limestone. Canada has also seen its fair share of Indiana Limestone used in various buildings including some iconic hotels, museums, and homes. It’s established a reputation as a consistent product that always delivers.
Source: Royal York Hotel
Source: Royal Alberta Museum
Where to Buy Indiana Limestone Sills
Certified Indiana limestone is a premium product that only comes from the state of Indiana. Because of this, it can be difficult to acquire in Ontario without a good supplier. At Outside Stone, our streamlined shipping procedure for Indiana limestone allows the extracted product to arrive at our location in Mississauga, Ontario in a matter of days.
The color selection comes in standard grey limestone finish or a full-colour blend that combines the full range of buff to medium grey shades. All colors include subtle veining from the natural stone. We also offer two different edge styles, with clients able to choose between a smooth finish or a more rustic rock face option. A variety of window sill profiles are also available. These include a classic slanted edge, a double slope or a bullnose finish. This range of choices ensures that clients can find the perfect window sill to compliment the design of their exterior.
Outside Stone makes it easy to secure high-quality Indiana Limestone for any project and we work hard to provide our clients with all the tools and information they need to enhance their properties.
It’s easy to see why Indiana Limestone Sills is the go-to choice for so many people. It’s practically maintenance-free and simple to install. Investing in this natural stone will save money down the line, as its appearance deteriorates little with age. In fact, some say it only improves with age. Plus, using this quality product on your build will increase your home’s resale value over time.
Now you know that for a window to properly function, a high-quality sill is necessary. Outside Stone can help make that happen by providing you with the very best Indiana limestone window sills.