Rainy days are best enjoyed from inside your home, with a good book and a comfy couch. But nothing ruins the view like seeing water on the wrong side of your window. Buckets and towels may be an immediate need on those rainy days, but what causes your leaky windows?
Window leaks can happen for multiple reasons. Typically, window leaks are due to poorly installed windows or windows that have worn parts—causing a breakdown of sealing components. If your windows leak, then you have a significant problem. Window leakage is more than just annoying—it can cause damage to your home, including mold and mildew growth, wood rot, or even foundation problems. With the moisture of the Eastern shore, it is important to never ignore leaky windows. If you notice water around your windows after it rains, you should consider having your windows repaired or replaced.
Common Causes of Window Leaks
Window leaks are common in aging homes. After years of extreme temperatures, varying weather conditions and building settling, windows are no longer air-tight or waterproof. Window frames become damaged, glazing seals break or the entire unit can become out of square (leaving gaps where water can seep in.)
Window Leaks When it is not Raining
Many people notice water on their windows even when it is not raining and assume there is a leak somewhere. Chances are it is simply window condensation.
Interior window condensation is caused by excessive moisture in the house, and it often occurs in the winter when the warm air inside the house condenses on the cold windows. Exterior window condensation is simply dew and occurs when the window is colder than the dew point. Condensation between window panes occurs when the seal between the panes is broken or when the drying agent inside the windows is saturated.
Bad Glass Seal
If you are seeing water inside your window between the panes of glass, you have a bad glass seal. This does not always mean that water is leaking into your home, but it does mean that your windows have lost their insulating gas—making them significantly less energy-efficient than they were when they were new.
Bad Window Sealant
If the window sealant—or caulk—around your window has cracks or gaps, water can seep into your home. Leaks can damage the frame, causing additional damage.
It is possible that your window leaks are not window leaks at all. If you notice stains on the top part of the window frame, chances are the leak is due to a leak in your walls. Inspect your walls for sealing gaps or cracks and re-seal them to fix this problem.
Window Leak Prevention Tips
Hire Professional Installers
The easiest way to prevent your windows from leaking is to ensure that they are installed properly the first time. Always hire a certified and experienced window replacement contractor.
Use Weather Resistant Windows
The next best thing you can do is install windows with superior weather resistance features. Look for windows made with moisture-resistant materials, a fusion-welded sub-frame, and thick multi-chamber sub frame components.
Caulk Your Windows
For a short-term solution, it’s simple to fix your window seals. Start with an inexpensive caulking gun from your local hardware store. Examine the window all around the frame to see if you can detect the leak. You may need to remove any old caulk and paint, which you can do with a putty knife, large screwdriver, or stiff brush. Make sure the area is dry, so you don’t seal in moisture. Cut the tip of the caulking cartridge at a 45-degree angle and insert it into the dispenser. Hold the dispenser at an angle against the window and press the trigger. You can caulk all joints in a window frame and the joint between the frame and the wall, as well as individual leaks.
Add Weather Stripping
While caulking works to seal up cracks and gaps on immovable parts of a window, weather stripping is used to create air-tight barriers on the movable parts of a window. There are many kinds of weather stripping to choose from, including self-stick plastic vinyl, felt, reinforced foam, tape, and metal. To narrow down your choices, consider price, visibility, and attractiveness of the stripping from both inside and outside the window, as well as the durability and ease of installation.
Replace Your Leaky Windows
If you would like to have your leaky windows evaluated or replaced, contact GoGlass. We can assess your home’s windows and provide you with a cost estimate to have them replaced with new leak resistant windows.