Windows should not leak. They should be airtight when closed and they should be watertight or waterproof. Windows should be completely sealed and they should be weather-stripped. All types of windows undergo some wear and tear over time. In some windows, the deterioration may be cosmetic and there may not be any structural damage. Some windows may look fine but they could be seriously compromised. There are many correlations between leaking windows and rain.
While leaks in windows become evident when it rains and water seeps inside a room, a leaking window is effectively a perennial concern. The insulation is compromised so the energy efficiency in your house would take a hit. At times, it is not the window but the surrounding components of your house that may cause the leak. Let us explore the various ways leaking windows and rain are connected.
Causes of Leaks in Windows
Old or aged windows will be the most vulnerable to leaks. Exposure to extreme temperatures, the varying weather conditions throughout the year and lack of maintenance can lead to substantial degradation. New windows can also have issues if they were poorly installed or if you have chosen the wrong type. Any leak is basically a symptom of a gap, crack, hole or an opening somewhere in the structure that is allowing the water to seep in. You must focus on the most pertinent issues to know the exact cause of leaking windows.
• The design of your house may be the root cause of the leak. Some homes do not have overhangs. It is necessary to have overhangs to conveniently drain the water runoff from the roof. Overhangs also protect the windows from slanted rain, which is mostly facilitated by prevailing strong wind. You may have an angled fascia board that is improperly installed atop the window. The fascia board should be angled in an outward direction. Nothing should direct the water inward towards the windows.
• Windows usually leak if there is some kind of gap or crack in the unit. Improper installation of windows is a common cause of such issues. The flashing could be damaged, which will allow the water to infiltrate into your room. If you don’t have any flashing, then it is high time to rectify that. Damaged windows will obviously leak. The frame may have become unsettled, there may be some misalignment, the caulk may be damaged or it may be substantially compromised, the glazing putty may be cracked and the paint seal may be missing.
Identify the Leak before Contemplating Remedies
Do not presume anything unless you know for certain where the leak is and why you have the problem in the first place. Leaking windows do not necessarily mean you have a huge problem to deal with. At times, the remedy is simple and inexpensive. However, ignoring leaks will lead to a serious crisis. Your property can be subjected to some severe aesthetic and structural damage. If you are unsure of how to go about identifying the leak, then you must hire a professional.
If you spot leaks around the window, on the wall, below or above the window, then there could be some problem in the wall. Even when walls look absolutely fine, there may be some concealed damage. There can be structural issues that will allow water to seep in. The eventual leak may appear to be at the window, its frames or the sill, but the actual leak could be in the wall. Look for signs of pooling or water accumulating anywhere close to or around the window. Leaks can happen at or around the roof, in the siding, at the attic or many of these fixtures.
Physically inspect the window, check the sash and if it is firmly set with the jamb, assess the condition of the frame of the window, check the weather-stripping, caulk, the alignment of the window or the sash and the drainage channels that should not be clogged. The exact cause of the leak will determine the type of response you must have.
Remedies for Leaking Windows
Leaking windows can be fixed with weather-stripping. You can re-caulk the window. You can fix the alignment of the frame. You may go for a new seal. You can get rid of damaged caulk, rotten wood, cracked panes and other worn out materials before replacing them.
Should the leak be caused or facilitated by a rotten wall, completely damaged window or multiple issues, there has to be a more comprehensive response. The ultimate solution is window replacement. This will be expensive but it is unavoidable if there are too many minor issues and fixing various components would anyway cost a lot of money. Be sure to attend to the additional and interrelated components around the window.