When your windows leak, this is the place to start!
Mark Meshulam is an window consultant and glass consultant. He investigates window leaks and wall leaks and performs window water testing.
If your windows leak, you have a problem much greater than the appearance of water when it rains. Water leaks damage your property and can lead to mold, so your quick action to fix this problem will be very important. The problem is that water leaks in buildings is a complicated subject and each leak is unique. You may need an window consultant to assist.
A few tips to get you started with your windows leak:
1. Window condensation
If windows leaks when it is not raining, the water could be condensation. We have a different article for that. It’s called Window Condensation: Top 10 Fixes It might be that your humidity is too high.
2. Window condensation between the panes of glass
If you see window condensation between the panes of the glass, where the appearance is of fogging glass or a foggy window, you have what is known as insulating glass seal failure. The article about fogging glass can be found here: Insulated Glass Seal Failure.
3. Window leaks from bad sealant (caulk)
The first thing to look for with any window leak is the condition of the caulk around the outside of the window. If it has cracks or holes, re-caulk the window and see what happens in the next rain. If this is your issue, before you caulk, learn more here: Window Sealant Failure
4. Leaking walls above windows
If you see water coming over or through the top of the window, the water may be coming from above the window and through the inside of the wall. You might have leaking walls instead of window leaks. You must investigate the construction above the window.
5. Window leaks through window frame corners
If you see water coming through the bottom of the window, look for the sealant that should always be between the sill part of the window frame and the jamb, or side part of the window frame.
6. Water leak patterns at walls and windows
If you are in a larger building, the pattern of the water leaks will be a very important diagnostic tool. Map out the leaks on a picture of each side of the building and see if the leaks are clustered near window frame corners or just on walls. Note any similarities between the water leak stains. Observations about the water leak patterns will lead you to the causes.
7. Multiple causes of water leaks
Speaking of causes, there will usually be more than one cause for a water leak. When I tell my clients that even simple leaks can have three separate causes, and complex water leaks can have five causes, they tend to look horrified. But it’s true. Leaks tend to congregate. If you positively identify a water path, don’t stop. Keep looking for more causes that might bring water to the same point of water entry that you just investigated or tested.
8. Monitor results of water leak repairs
Following any leak repair, monitor the result. You can accelerate the feedback by performing water testing on the repaired area with water spray from a garden hose or spray rack. Wait until the new caulk is dry before doing this.
9. Consider using a window consultant and water testing
Depending upon the problem, window leak testing or testing of leaking walls may be needed. Window leak testing can be as simple as taping the weep holes and filling the sill of a sliding window or door, or as complicated as building a pressure chamber and a spray rack. Experienced judgement of a window consultant should be used in making this decision.
Do your windows leak?
No matter where you are,
contact me, Mark Meshulam,
the Chicago Window Expert
For the expert attention you deserve
Download Mark Meshulam’s CV
Download Field Testing Credentials
- Air Infiltration Testing for Windows & Curtainwalls
- Condensation Investigation & Testing for Windows and Buildings
- Expert Witness & Investigation of Window Falls
- Expert Witness & Investigation of Glass Injury
- Glass Consultant for Building Professionals
- Insulating Glass Dewpoint Testing
- Insurance Claim Investigation
- Masonry Moisture Testing
- Window Consultant for Building Professionals
- Window Water Leak Testing
Current client locations:
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