Mark Meshulam is an expert witness and consultant for window leakage.

Welcome back to our continuing coverage of this scintillating topic, window leaks in buildings.

You will recall from our last exciting post, when the Chicago Window Expert is invited to a soggy building to analyze window leaks, first I do a lot of listening and looking around. At this early stage I am gathering impressions. What does the window leakage look like? Where does it occur? Is there a pattern to the window water leaks? Is there an obvious point of water entry? Are there any early theories which can be developed?

And, of course I take lots of pictures. Pictures from far away of all sides of the building are called “building elevations”. Close ups of window leaks are called “details”. I study these in quiet, reflective moments over a fine Chablis. Would you like to come over and see my collection? Chicago Window Expert knows how to party! More on this later.

Builders Architectural, Inc. is the mother-ship of Chicago Window Expert
Builders Architectural, Inc. is the mother-ship of Chicago Window Expert


Deciding What to Do Next

Now we arrive at the next stage: “Deciding what to do next.” I couldn’t think of a fancier title. I should have tried “Identification/Analysis of Preliminary Variables & Determination of Subsequent Program”. Corporate-speak rocks!

Each building is different, so there is no “Subsequent Program” which fits all. For a small job, or an obvious point of entry, I might propose to try a sample fix right away, then a quick test.

For a larger building, or a more complex set of window leakage issues (which is more typical for us), I would propose to the client that a leak survey would be the next logical step. A leak survey is a formalized collection of field data that can be really helpful in designing a fix to all window leakage problems. It should capture quantitative as well as qualitative data. (Corporate-speak…yes!)

Before embarking on a leak survey, there are six important things which must be done first:

  • Notify all occupants that building management has hired a window expert (none other than Chicago Window Expert!), and ask all to report any known leaks.
  • Provide a form for residents to use to report the leak, and also provide colored masking tape or sticky labels so residents can stick these near areas where water leakage has been seen. Make sure the labels can be easily removed later, or your next consultant will be a label-removal specialist.
  • Set a deadline for residents to return the completed forms.
  • Analyze the returned forms for patterns, locations and presenting problems.
  • Create a customized field survey form based on results turned in by residents.
  • Notify residents that the window expert will enter the units to view their window leakage area.

Now we are ready to perform the survey.
Stay tuned!

2 thoughts on “Preparing for a Window Leak Survey”

  1. Hello

    What is the safest way to remove the snap caps on a Curtain wall system and what tool works the best.I have to pull out the bottom piece of glass and spandrels to expose pan flashing so I can put end dams on as well as seal butt joints.(ha ha I said butt)

  2. Hi Joe,
    If it is a typical curtainwall snap cap, use a small (about 8″ long)
    prybar sometimes known as a glazier’s bar.
    Gently pry each edge. Use a thin piece of plywood on the glass
    to protect it from the prying action.
    It is a little tricky.
    Or, you can hire me to come out and help with diagnosing and fixing
    the problem, as well as removing the cap.
    Best regards,
    Mark Meshulam

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