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How to Fix Window Leaks and When to Replace Them | Golden Windows

Spring and rain go hand in hand. While it always brings the promise of blooming flowers, it can cause a few hassles, especially for homeowners. Spring is the season when homeowners tend to discover if they have any leaks in their homes.

Water leaks aren't just an annoyance. They can cause significant structural and aesthetic damage to your home in the form of rotting wood, peeling paint, mould, pests, and flooding. By addressing water leaks when you first notice them, you'll reduce the chance of more expensive repairs down the line.

At Golden Windows, it's our goal to design and produce quality windows and doors that are both weatherproof and energy efficient for our customers. And as the leading Kitchener windows manufacturer, we aim to help homeowners learn more about their windows. That's why we've put together this guide to dealing with leaky windows. Leaky windows are troublesome, but there is plenty you can do to deal with and prevent them.

Window Condensation Leaks

Why Do Windows Leak?

Windows go through a lot of wear and tear over the years. Between extreme temperatures and exposure to the elements, things can go wrong. Windows become damaged, seals break, and frames warp.

The age of the window is a significant factor with water leaks, but that doesn't mean new ones aren't at risk. Many of the reasons window products can end up leaking come down to three culprits: lack of maintenance, house design and poor installation.

We'll get more into proper maintenance later, but broken or missing caulking, cracked glazing putty, or loss of seal can all be causes of window leaks. In terms of house design, if a house lacks an overhang to drain water from the roof or the fascia board isn't correctly angled, these are all significant causes of leaking. Improper installation is another reason windows leak, highlighting the importance of proper window installation services.

How to Locate the Leak

One of the most significant issues with window leaks is that while they can sometimes be extremely obvious, they can also be extremely difficult to notice until the problem grows big enough. Luckily there are some signs to watch out for.

Wood rot on the exterior frame, peeling or bubbling paint on the interior wall near a window, or peeling paint in the interior of a wooden window sill are all signs of leaks. If the peeling or bubbling paint occurs near or beside the window, that could indicate that water is getting into the wall. If water is entering the wall, that could lead to severe structural damage.

Wood is the most vulnerable to water damage, as it can lead to rot. When rot occurs, it becomes soft to the touch and could turn a black or dark brown colour. Paint and pieces of wood will start to peel and chip away.

If you notice leaks on the wall anywhere around the window, that's often an indication of structural leakage. That can mean there is an opening in the wall that is letting water enter and pool either above or below the window studs.

If you're noticing the leak on the window frame or in the area where the sash and jamb meet, it's more likely that there is a problem with the window itself. This can result from wear and tear from years of operating the window, a sealed unit failure, or even worn-out weather stripping or drainage issues.

Common Fixes for Leaky Windows

While there are many potential fixes for the myriad of issues that could be causing your windows to leak, there are some issues that are more common and therefore have more common fixes. Consider these fixes to your leaky window:

  • Remove and replace damaged or missing caulking
  • Check the gasket and reseal the glass to the gasket with clear silicone caulk
  • Ensure the sill at the bottom of the frame is pitched downward to drain water toward the outside
  • Clean your windows and use a small wire to ensure dirt and debris are cleared from weep holes in the frame bottom.

While water stains can form on walls, the unsightly brown staining usually first appears on the sill and bottom frame of the window. This is often due to poorly done or old window sealant. Compromised caulking around the window starts to crack or peel away, allowing water to slip in.

Luckily, there is a relatively easy and inexpensive solution for this issue. Simply reapply the caulking. The first step will be to remove damaged caulking around the window's exterior. Before replacing it with a new silicone caulking, be sure to clear this out first.

This easy and straightforward solution will ensure that moisture won't get into cracks around the unit's exterior. As a bonus, it will also prevent air leaks which will help keep heating and cooling costs lower during the winter and summer months.

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Problems Caused by Leaking Windows

Aside from the many problems leaky windows can cause to your home, they can also cause a severe problem to your health. When water and moisture build-up inside your home, mould can begin to grow. Mould can bring severe damage to your windows and walls that require expensive repairs or replacement. It can also seriously impact the health and well-being of you and your family and is particularly bad for people with asthma or allergies.

When the structural integrity of your home is compromised, it can present opportunities for pests to invade. This can mean anything from insects to rodents like mice that may carry diseases and cause other issues. You can prevent unwanted houseguests from showing up by solving your leaky window problems as soon as they start.

When Should You Call in the Professionals?

If the leak occurs beyond the window unit and affects the structure surrounding the window, the only fix is to call in the professionals. They will be able to complete a full evaluation, let you know where the leak is coming from, and identify whether it is window related or coming from elsewhere in the wall. They will also be able to let you know whether it makes sense to repair the window or if you should consider a replacement.

While we outlined the concerns that water stains and paint peeling/bubbling around the window unit bring, these might not be occurring because of a window leak. The issue's actual cause could be damage to your home's roofing, siding, or the wall itself, causing water to intrude near the window.

It can be immensely difficult to tell if the problem is coming from the window itself or another area of your house. Start by surveying both the inside and outside of your home and see if you can discover the source of the leak. If you manage to find it, you should make the necessary repairs as soon as possible. But if you can't find the source or are unsure, it's best to call a professional who can discover the source of the leak and recommend the next steps.

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Signs You Should Replace Your Windows

At a certain point, repair is no longer possible, and the only fix is to replace your windows and doors. If you're dealing with frequent repairs that never seem to last long, the best solution is likely replacement. Your window installers will be able to remove the damaged or rotting wood from the frame and wall.

If water leaks are happening because of warped frames, or if the window unit is overly damaged, there is often no other option to stop the leak than to replace the whole window.

Fortunately, the experts at Golden Windows design our windows to battle our harsh Canadian weather conditions and seal them to prevent water and air leaks. Our windows will enable you to enjoy the comfort of your home once again.

Other Benefits of Replacing Your Windows and Doors

Aside from fixing pesky leaks for good, there are other great reasons to replace your windows.

New windows bring a noticeable increase in comfort to your home. When you install new, efficient Golden Windows products and replace those drafty windows and doors, you will immediately experience a warmer, more comfortable winter for you and your family. And you'll save on energy while you're at it. As ENERGY STAR® participants, we work hard to ensure that our windows and doors offer our customers maximum energy efficiency, saving them money throughout the year.

You'll also be able to say goodbye to unwanted pests. As we mentioned, cracked, leaking or improperly installed windows and doors leave your home vulnerable to unwanted pests, including bug infestations.

With new windows comes plenty of natural light, which brings many health benefits. Especially in the harsh Canadian winters, when Seasonal Affective Disorder afflicts millions, a bright home is essential. New windows are a terrific way to brighten your home during the darker months.

And, of course, by installing new windows, you'll automatically improve your home's curb appeal and resale value. New windows and doors markedly impact curb appeal and resale value, whether you plan to sell your home or stay.

How to Prevent Leaks

The best way to stop your windows from leaking is to prevent them from happening in the first place. As we stated above, windows take on a lot of wear and tear over the years. It's vital to keep your windows in peak condition so that they can stand up to the elements.

Your windows and doors are an integral part of your home's security. Properly functioning windows and doors deter intruders and pests, but they also keep your family protected from the elements. Even for the most hands-off window frame materials, window maintenance should be conducted biannually.

Fall and spring are excellent times for window maintenance because they bookend winter. In the fall, you can ensure you're windows are in good condition to handle what the winter weather will throw at them, and in the spring, you can get your windows back into their prime before any issues are allowed to grow out of control.

As a part of your regular maintenance, make sure to survey the overall quality of your windows – both inside and outside the home. With slider, single hung, and double hung windows, you should check that the drainage channels are free from debris, leaves and dust. These things can block the flow of water and cause pooling.

When checking the exterior, keep an eye out for peeling or damaged caulk. Be sure to remove the damaged parts and clean the frame before readministering the caulking. Also, check to ensure the seals are in good condition so you can make any repairs in advance before problems arise.

As windows leaks can come from elsewhere in the home, like the siding, chimney or roof, it's essential to keep on top of maintenance throughout your house as well. Damaged and missing roof shingles, gaps in caulking around the fireplace, and loose siding can all lead to leaks that flow along ceiling joists or wall studs until they arrive at a window frame and drip inside.

If you notice a leak or any other problems or issues with your doors or windows, or simply have a question about your Golden Windows products that need to be addressed by the professionals, we’re here for you. You can easily fill out a window service request through our website, and we'll be happy to help with whatever your concerns are.

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How to Fix Window Leaks and When to Replace Them | Golden Windows

Leaky windows can quickly grow into a big problem and cause a lot of damage. Find out how to fix your window leaks and know when it's time to replace them.

5/9/2022 11:11:13 AM

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