Rain leaking in window

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by D725A, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. Sep 10, 2011 #1

    D725A

    D725A

    D725A

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    During storms with heavy winds from the direction that the window faces, water penetrates under the window sill on the right side. (see attached photos)
    It would appear that the water penetrates under the bottom sash and goes into the hole on the right (where the vinyl covering ends.) Presumably the plan was for that water to exit the outside bottom weep hole on photo 2 but perhaps after 18 years these are blocked with dirt. (There are other weep holes higher up, which presumably remove water from the higher drainage plain, which probably work ok.)

    You can see the 'two-step' design of the drainage plain, which strikes me as a potential problem that traps water at the crack between the two. I thought of plugging up the side gaps wiht caulk but then where would the water go? How do you clean up these weep holes if that's the problem?

    Thanks.

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  2. Sep 11, 2011 #2

    EZHangDoor

    EZHangDoor

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    Try cleaning the weep hole with a small wire or pipe cleaner. You can also use a small spray bottle and squirt water in the hole and see is anything runs out. Most likely the problem is moisture coming in from the top of the window. Properly flashing and preparing the opening when installing a window is a must. Here is a link to preparing a window opening.
     
  3. Sep 12, 2011 #3

    D725A

    D725A

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    Thanks EZ, good advice, i'll try that first.
     
  4. Sep 13, 2011 #4

    oldognewtrick

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    You will also want to recaulk all areas where the metal trim terminates against the window and the exposed nail heads. DO NOT use silicone caulk. Go to your local siding supply house (not the big box store) and get a caulk specific for siding applications.
     
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  5. Jun 4, 2012 #5

    D725A

    D725A

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    Well, back in the fall we followed all the suggestions, made sure all the weep holes were clear, re-caulked, but rain still leaks in when rain is accompanied by heavy winds. Do we now have to remove and re-install the windows? (They're 20 years old, if that's relevant.)
     
  6. Jun 4, 2012 #6

    nealtw

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    At least start by removing the sheeting on the outside, you may get a nasty surprise, but that might give you hints of where the water is coming from.
     
  7. Jun 5, 2012 #7

    asbestos

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    I work on a lot of houses on the water and so wind driven rain is a common issue. Start above the window,sometimes water runs down the inside until it hits the header of the window look for any place water may get in. Then slowly examine every joint,seam nailhead, and corner around the window. Use a small stiff putty knife to gently look under edges, it's there, it just may be hard to find and small.

    And don't fall off the ladder.
     
  8. Jun 5, 2012 #8

    joecaption

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    Looks like a classic case of someone installing the windows and later had someone wrap the wood with coil stock.
    It needed to be the other way around.
    Now you have an exposed seam where water can get in under the coil stock and rot out the sill at the bottom of the window, exposed nails on the sill.
    The coil should have been installed first and all the way up to the stool then the window sits on top of it
    If you look at the sides at the bottom where they ran the trim, for some strange reason they bent it back forming a funnel for water to get in, by leaving the bottom of it tight to the sill and then caulking it there's no way for water to drain in the corner.

    And your right that is the strangest sill on the bottom of a window I've ever seen. At first glance I thought it might be a replacement window that was installed backwards with a storm window on the outside. It looks like a waterfall made to run the water to the inside instead of the outside.

    No modern window I've ever seen is built like that.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  9. Jun 5, 2012 #9

    D725A

    D725A

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    Thanks for these great replies. So to do what 'asbestos' suggests, the upper shingles etc would probably have to be removed. and re: Joe caption's comment, the window should be completely re-installed.
     
  10. Jun 5, 2012 #10

    EZHangDoor

    EZHangDoor

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    If the window are 20 years old. Replacing them is probably a good thing. Be sure to get a quality Low E glazing for the glass. If you're going through the hassle of changing the window spend the extra for the higher efficient window, it's well worth it.
     
  11. Jun 5, 2012 #11

    D725A

    D725A

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    Thanks, well the house is likely to be sold in a few years and we have two windows that leak like this--only in heavy wind driven rain. I'd hate to pour a few grand into this--a relative's house--when a new owner may end up renovating much of it anyway. I'm hoping a good window guy should be able to do some of things suggested here and make it work.
     
  12. Jun 5, 2012 #12

    nealtw

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    What you want is a handyman with a caulking gun. A good window guy will want to poke around and take things apart because he will be worried about mold inside the wall. Can we assume the ralitives are elderly?
     
  13. Jun 5, 2012 #13

    D725A

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    Thanks. Yes, elderly. We've had a few handymen caulkers over already without results. One of the posters did recommend taking a few shingles etc out above the window to investigate.....I'll take another look in a week or so and see if perhaps some loose nails etc might be the culprit--window faces north so heavy winds could certainly drive some water through.
     
  14. Jun 5, 2012 #14

    nealtw

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    The wood around the window can absorb water for years before it rots enough and opens up enough to allow water a path right thru. You really need some one to remove the flashing on the outside and inspect the wood. As mentioned the leak often is at the top of the window but the rot usually shows up at the bottom and below. This a health issue and not a money issue.
     
  15. Jun 6, 2012 #15

    D725A

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    Agree it's not a money issue--as far as getting it repaired correctly. That's why I want a good window guy and not any more 'handymen with a caulk gun' as you said. It should be opened up and thoroughly checked out.
     
  16. Jun 11, 2012 #16

    D725A

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    I was just on a phone with a good window guy--who's too busy this season to do this kind of job. He says opening up the window will help figure out the origin of the leak. He says with many windows that are fine for years that suddenly start leaking the leak turns out to be the roof flashing. Water can migrate from one part of the house to the other. If the window is opened up and no stains are seen behind the jam--if I have my notes right--that would mean the leak is from elsewhere. In that case even replacing the window will not solve the problem.
     
  17. Jun 11, 2012 #17

    nealtw

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    That is right but you have to start somewhere. With a modern install evan a roof leak the water would be directed out but in your case where ever the water comes from the window area is still getting wet so an re-install would be a good idea.
     
  18. Jun 20, 2012 #18

    D725A

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    Update: Had the original window installer in today. we took a hose and sprayed all around, in, above the window etc; all weep holes drained well, condition could not be duplicated. Hosed water on roof above the area and around roof solatube in case flashing wasn't good. Roof does have good drip edge. It's conceivable that a gutter that empties onto the roof could be a culprit but after thorough hosing no visible water in attic. This was all based on a corner of peeling paint under the window sill that seemed to swell during a heavy rainstorm. Could be a bad paint job that trapped humidity underneath--there may not have been a leak after all. We will be replacing a through the wall ac/heating unit underneath, so when we open that up we should know more. The installer said if this kind of leak was going on for ten years that sheetrock would be much more powdery, brown and you could put your finger through it. This is also next to a stove where cooking goes on. So things may not be what they seemed, but I think we've narrowed down the issues today. Thanks for all the great suggestions.
     
  19. Jun 20, 2012 #19

    nealtw

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    Do they run the fan over the stove when they cook? The window is the least insulated part of the house and moisture will condence there.
     
  20. Jun 20, 2012 #20

    D725A

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    There is an exhaust fan on the wall to the right of the window--not a range hood. They probably don't use it all the time. There is also peeling paint all over the room, which could be either moisture from roof(?) or a bad paint job. The roofer that was originally hired 10 years ago later turned out not to have the greatest reputation; when I checked the attic I looked up and wondered if there was underlayment there--i was looking for water so I just assumed it was there but when I go back I'll check again. The drip edge and starter strip look ok, but instead of ice and water shield what I felt glued to the deck was a shingle. Things sure get interesting.
     

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