Through the cold of winter and the downpour of storms, those who make their home in the mid-Atlantic region know it’s important to keep their windows free of leaks. Not only can a leaking window make your home less comfortable, but it can undermine the structural integrity of your walls or cause mold growth. Luckily, there’s a wide range of ways to fight back against leaks, as long as you have the right tools and expertise. But first, it’s crucial to diagnose the problem accurately.
Most Common Causes of a Leaky Window
The best way to protect your home from damage is to detect the root cause of leaks early on. Before learning how to fix a leaking window, take a look at some of the most common causes.
Wear and Tear
The majority of window leaks are caused by a breakdown in the chemical components of the sealant. The telltale sign of degraded sealant is condensation found around the edge of the window when it rains. You can also look for discoloration or abrasions on the sealant itself.
Other common wear-and-tear issues include damaged locking mechanisms, which can prevent the window from shutting completely. Window hardware is often inexpensive and can be easily replaced.
If your window leak doesn’t seem to be caused by worn sealant or hardware, poor installation may be the culprit. This can mean flashing that has vulnerable gaps, windows that aren’t properly fitted, or nails that aren’t corrosion resistant. In the end, it boils down to having to repair or replace the window. The best way to avoid installation issues with your window is to hire an experienced professional like Beacon Hill Glass to install them correctly.
The most difficult and frustrating cause of window leaks doesn’t have to do with the windows themselves, but with the design of your home. Issues, such as a lack of overhangs or cracks in the wall, can cause chronic leaks that may be a costly fix.
It might be difficult to detect a design flaw in your home at first. If you’re not sure, consult with a professional to decide on the next steps.
Is It Really Leaking?
In some cases, problems with your home can be misdiagnosed as a leaking window, including missing shingles, cracks in your walls, and even clogged gutters. These issues can direct cold air or excess moisture into your home. Sometimes it pays to investigate other potential problems before repairing or replacing your window.
How To Fix a Leaking Window
After properly diagnosing the cause of your window leak, the next step is to learn how to fix a leaking window. Solutions can range from simple to more complicated and costly repairs.
Simple Home Repairs
One immediate trick to help pinpoint the cause of your leak is to spray a hose along the edges of your windows. After it is thoroughly tested, look for areas where the moisture is coming through. From there, you may be able to identify home repairs that you or a professional can handle, such as clogged gutters redirecting water or missing shingles on your roof.
If your window leak is caused by damaged caulk sealant, you may be able to repair it yourself. First, choose a dry day to strip the sealant from the edges of your window. Once it is all clear, dry, and cleaned, reapply in even, consistent strokes. If you are not confident in your ability to reseal the window yourself, don’t hesitate to call a professional.
Replace Your Leaking Window
The most comprehensive and reliable way to fix a leaking window is to replace it completely. When installed by an experienced professional, quality windows can protect your home from moisture and help lower your heating and cooling bills.
If you’re looking for the right experts to ensure that your home stays tightly sealed, Beacon Hill Glass is here to help. We are the leading contractors for window replacement and glass repair service in the greater Seattle, Wa area and surrounding cities throughout King County. Contact us for a free estimate or visit out website for more information.
Credit: Thompson Creek Window Company