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Warning Signs That Your Home Has a Serious Window Leak
As the owner of a home repair company, I have seen an alarming trend of homeowners reporting window leaks. These leaks often result from improperly installed windows or poor home construction techniques that prompt the need for expensive, premature repairs. The following article reveals the warning signs that any homeowner can use to determine if they have a serious window leak.
Tell Tale Signs of a Window Leak
Visible moisture on the inside of your home in the vicinity of a window is a pretty obvious sign of a window leak. But there are often more insidious window leaks that symptoms take much longer to spot. Unfortunately, these symptoms appear after significant damage has occurred. The description (and pictures via the link at the end of this article) will help you spot those problems before they can cost you thousands of dollars in avoidable home repairs.
A Case Study on the Damage of a Windows Leak
To illustrate how a small, insidious window leak can cause enormous frustration for a homeowner, let’s examine a case study from a recent client we helped in Amelia, Ohio – a suburb of Cincinnati. This home was about 8 years old, and like many pad houses built in the Cincinnati area, has 2 story great rooms with windows making up a large portion of the exterior wall. While this is a wonderful architectural feature, the vinyl siding and construction techniques used in these homes generally do not prevent a large wall of windows like this from leaking.
The homeowner reports battling window leaks in this part of the home since shortly after purchase, and indicates that the builder was unable to fix the problem. In addition, her neighbors are experiencing similar problems. While one cannot automatically conclude that there is a common construction defect in these homes, it is a clue that should lead any home repair professional to examine the flashing or window installation quality.
Window Leaks Are Often the Result of Inferior Construction
In this homeowner’s case, her window leaks are the result of improperly flashed windows and the absence of house wrap. Flashing is simply a material used to shed water away from areas particularly vulnerable to water intrusion. House wrap is exactly what it sounds like – a material that covers the wood deck and prevents any water that sneaks up behind the brick or siding from soaking the wood it “wraps.”
From the pictures (link at the end of the article) you can see how the absence of proper window flashing and house wrap allowed the water to penetrate and rot out the wood around the windows causing significant drywall and insulation damage. More alarming is the mold growth on the wood framing and drywall around the windows inside the home. In addition to the nuisance of water coming into the home during a rainstorm, mold growth presents an unacceptable health concern to the family living inside.
If You Suspect A Leaky Window
If you suspect or witness a window that is leaking, there are several things you can do to help your home repair professional diagnose and fix the problem. During the next rain event, ask yourself the following questions and record your observations:
- Does the window always leak when it rains? Or does it only leak during heavy rain?
- Does the window leak when the rain is driven by wind from a particular direction?
- How long does the window leak? Can you identify any event associated with the first time you noticed the window leak? (ie significant storm, ice event, extreme winds, etc.)
- Has the leak gotten worse? Or has it remained consistent over time?
- Have you tried stopping the leak? If so, what has been done? Did that help?
- If you can get this information, find out who built your home and when it was built.
Help With Window Leaks
To learn about how you can recognize the warning signs of a window leak in your home, view the video and images associated with this article at: http://www.mastermylist.com/windows/warning-signs-that-your-home – has-a-serious-window-leak/.
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