Few things are as annoying as a leaky window because they'll often appear dry for months or years and then suddenly start dripping yet again. Many window leaks go undetected for years until your walls become saggy and discolored. Without windows, you can't have beautiful natural light and a view of your landscaping efforts. If you're currently fighting with older windows that keep leaking, look out for these four common causes.
Lack of Sealing
The perfect installation will keep a window from leaking for decades, but eventually, the caulk or other sealing compound used to make the window air and water tight will crack and crumble away. Today's silicone caulk is far more flexible and long-lasting than the acrylic compounds used in the past, so re-caulking your windows today is a good idea even if they're not leaking yet. However, no amount of sealing can fill in the large gaps that can appear around windows as they age and warp from sun and moisture exposure.
Flashing is the material used to cover the opening in the wall where the window sits, and it's usually made from a rubberized membrane or thin sheets of metal. Plastic wrap known as house wrap is supposed to be layered underneath this flashing so that water falls over both layers correctly, but many inexperienced builders and window installers just continue the house wrap over the window openings with no flashing at all.
This isn't waterproof enough for long-term use, leading to windows that leak or walls that rot just months after installation. Only an experienced window installer can tell you if your flashing is installed correctly or not. It is a relatively easy fix, but the work is time-consuming because the windows must be removed and re-installed in most cases. Replacement windows are often a better choice in this case.
Finally, older windows tend to warp eventually from weathering and decades of sun exposure. Wood framed windows are the most likely to warp, but even metal and vinyl frames eventually sag or bend from decades of opening and shutting the window. A badly warped frame makes a gap around the window opening that lets moisture in and air out, and it's a losing battle just to keep filling those gaps. Ordering replacement windows from an experienced installation company like The Window Store is the best way to deal with warped frames.
If you are concerned that your windows may be leaking or are in the need of replacement windows, give us a call at The Window Store, 612-353-5780. Our professional team of window installers provides quality service every time. Contact us today to get started on updating your windows!