DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Windows and Doors (
-   -   Stymied by window leakage problem. (

Matth3w 06-07-2008 07:09 PM

Stymied by window leakage problem.
I have owned a condo on the bottom floor of a two story unit for about a year now. Coming up on monsoon season here in Arizona, and for the second year in a row I have a leak in all four major windows of my condo.

The leak is coming through the wall, inside, and destroying the plaster and whatnot of the window frame (not to mention getting water everywhere). The water is clearly coming from the condo above, which is being rented out although the owner and I are trying to address the problem.

I am not that familiar with home improvements etc like I am with fixing cars, and as such do not have much knowledge to go on. The person who is also the HOA president read that there was a possible blockage of the seepage holes in his windows causing water to build up and therefore leak down through the wall and into my condo's window frames.

Well yesterday we cleaned out his windows and the holes and using a hose sprayed them down with water, and it still leaked. We have eliminated the cause as a problem with the roofing of sorts (the unit is a stucco, flat roof, flat sides, etc) because we did not spray water that high, only at his windows.

The only thing I can possibly think of is the windows more or less sit flush with the outside of the building. There are parts of my window where you can sort of see the wall and it's direct connection to the window, and so water could seep through that connection (I would assume) and I assume his windows are the same way. (Not sure if that makes sense)

As such the windows have all be caulked on the outside where the window meets the stucco but to no avail.

I'm not sure what to do because the guy is VERY nice, but I'm sick of this problem. It is either his or the HOA's responsibility to fix the problem, depending on what the problem actually is (if it's outside it's the HOA's, if it's his actual windows, then it's his problem). I am getting close to wanting to sue as this is an ongoing problem for about a year (fortunately it doesn't rain much here) but I don't feel I would have much of a case because he can prove that he is at least making an effort to fix the problem...

Any advice on either situation would be greatly appreciated.

hondadrv24 06-07-2008 08:17 PM

Welcome to the Forum
Welcome Matt3w

Sorry to hear about your problem. Have you been up onto the roof to make sure that isn't the problem? I don't think sueing your neighbor would be the way to go, You two may need to have a contractor or an inspector come in and assess your problem. I would think someone who inspects home like InspectorD would be helpful to you, they have moisture meters and such.

I hope you get this resolved, sounds like you have a good neighbor.
Good luck

Matth3w 06-07-2008 08:28 PM

As I said, it's not a roof problem because we didn't spray that high.

triple D 06-08-2008 12:33 AM

Try this...
Start spraying at the top of your own window. And work your way up slowly, till you find the exact height of entry. Is there any joints in stucco between floors, or any holes for vents or a belly board or any other places besides his window where this water could get in? Good luck, maybe hear from ya soon....

inspectorD 06-08-2008 07:16 AM

Yup, like he said...
Typical stucco construction issues. Water around the window is usually the caulk failure and windows that move.
The basics are , the concrete stucco moves at a different pace than the windows. If the caulk and flashing get a leak.
Have a professional home inspector who does moisture and stucco issues take a look with their meters. For about $200 you will get someone who gives you the honest advice you need, not someone trying to sell you something, such as a contractor may do. I'm sure the other guy is trying to help, but this will also be admissible in court ...if you go that route.:(
Try for a reputable organization.
Good luck, and be ready for some unpleasant findings.:eek:

Matth3w 06-08-2008 10:56 AM

Well even with new caulking it still what usually happens when it's a result of the windows moving?

Matth3w 06-08-2008 10:59 AM

Meaning, what is usually the fix? New windows? Resetting of the windows?

inspectorD 06-08-2008 03:48 PM

Could be anything.
You could have window issues where the window has failed, or flashing issues where the head flashing or paper underneath the stucco was installed wrong.
You have passed the DIY approach, my opinion is you need an expert.
It could be a bunch of things together, bottom line is get someone with experience in these issues to get a first hand look.
You'll save money and frustration in the long run.:D
Good luck.

Matth3w 06-08-2008 06:34 PM

Thanks. I'm not trying to DIY or save money though, it's not my problem per se. It IS my problem that the water is coming in, but as far as being responsible for fixing it, it isn't. It's either his problem or the HOA's problem. If it was MY problem it would have been fixed the day after it started, not over a year later.

inspectorD 06-09-2008 05:07 AM

I understand
I just hope you can get it resolved.:)
My opinion is to just pay for the expert, or get the free contractor quote...and move ahead. If you wait for them to make a move, it sounds like you will have time to rebuild the whole house.:D And if you wait...more damage occurs, as you already know.
Good luck and let us know what you find out.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:56 AM.