Do you cringe every time you hear rain or high winds forecasted? Do you have an abundance of towels and buckets ready to go every time the weather is inclement? Leaking windows should not hold you back from enjoying a relaxing day at home listening to the rain tap against the glass.
Leaking windows can cause major structural and cosmetic damages as well as resulting in larger than life heating and cooling bills. Instead of laying down towels and setting up buckets, it’s best to address leaking windows as soon as you see the issue arise.
Window Mart has put together this brief guide to help you understand everything from causes to locating and dealing with leaks.
What Causes Windows to Leak
Most window leaks occur in older homes with windows and siding that has weathered years of extreme temperature changes, a myriad of weather conditions, and foundation settlement.
In these homes, many windows lose their ability to effectively create a water and air-tight barrier between the inside and outside of your home. Likewise, over the years window frames become damaged, glazing seals get broken, and gaps can open up from the window not being completely square anymore.
And even though water leaks mostly happen in older windows, newer windows can also have issues. The three things that often cause leaking windows are installation, maintenance, and home design.
Underlying Causes Usually Responsible for Leaks:
- Installation: Windows that are poorly installed or that have breaks in the flashing will cause water and air to come through. Also, if house wrap was used instead of window flashing, this may result in letting rainwater seep behind the paper and into the wall behind the windows.
- Maintenance: Be on the lookout for windows that lack caulking at the window flange and seems. Also, cracked glazing putty can cause the glass seal to break and moisture and condensation to seep in between double-glazed windows. Finally, paint should just slightly overlap between the window moulding and the glass in order for a tight seal to occur.
- Home Design: If your house doesn’t have any overhangs to drain water from the roof or to protect wind-driven rain from getting into the windows, this can contribute to window wear and leaks over time. Similarly, if the fascia is improperly angled above the window, water will have a better chance of getting in through the window unit.
Finding the Leak
Before you can figure out why you have leaking windows, you must first try to figure out where the leak is coming from. Leaks that are on the wall above, below, or around a window can indicate that the water is coming in from somewhere within the wall itself.
In older homes, the leak could be originating from the roof or from upstairs. When trying to figure out where the leak is coming from, it’s usually a good best practice to remove the entire window in order to eliminate any underlying rot or mold that may be festering underneath.
If you have a window that visibly shows signs of leaking, the water may be coming in from the jamb, window frame, or from the window itself. Leaks in older windows come from general wear and tear on the window, old and worn out sealed areas, or deterioration. There may also be issues such as clogged drainage channels, a misaligned sash, or worn out weather stripping.
Fixing and Preventing Window Leaks
There are many ways to fix leaking windows. You could replace weather stripping on slider windows, rebuilding rotting wood walls, or having windows replaced with vinyl windows.
Some things you can do before you replace windows are:
- Remove old caulking, clean the area, and then re-caulk.
- Inspect the gasket between the frame and the glass, then use silicone caulk to re-seal the glass to the gasket.
- Double check that the window sill at the bottom of the window is properly pitched downward so that water will drain toward the exterior of your home.
- Remove all dirt from weep holes in the bottom of the frame.
If, however, your window is leaking through the unit and the structure surrounding the window is damaged, then it’s best to call a window replacement professional who will clean and repair the area and install the latest in vinyl windows to protect your home. Window replacement experts, like the ones at Window Mart in Edmonton, AB, will set you up with the most unique, custom vinyl windows that are best-suited for your home.
Vinyl windows, unlike the traditional windows, are:
- Energy efficient
- Low maintenance
Don’t spend too much time agonizing over your leaking window. Call the experts at Window Mart to request a free quote today.