Protecting the Future, Preserving the Past

Finding and fixing leaky windows

 That water on the windowsill isn’t a good sign. If you’re taking a walk around your building and notice water around the window, it’s possible you have a leak you need to fix immediately.

There are other causes for water around windows, but if it is a leak, you could be dealing with a severe issue down the line, like a mold problem or rust and water damage in the interior of your walls. You need to know what’s wrong and how to fix it.

Checking for leaks

The most common source of water that isn’t a leak is condensation. To make sure you’re not dealing with condensation, first check that these are modern windows. Older buildings may not have double-paned windows. If there’s water inside the glass, the seal to the outside of a double-glazed window has failed, but that won’t explain water on the inside.

If it’s not condensation from an old, outdated window design, you need to check where the glass meets the frame and where the frame meets the wall. Look for any breaks or peeled and damaged caulk. Make sure your outside sill is sloped towards the outside so water runs off. If the slope is off, it can gather water that may eventually force its own entry.

Fixing leaky windows

If you find a leak, there are a few steps you should take before trying to fix it.

First, figure out how often it’s leaking. If it’s a small leak, it may be intermittent. Is it every time it rains, or only when rain comes from a certain angle? Did you have work done recently that would dump water—guttering, siding, a new roof?

Next, make sure there’s no structural damage from a longer-running leak. Probe around the seal and the sill with a screwdriver to make sure nothing has rotted or loosened. If there’s rot, you may need to get into the wall itself to check how deep it goes.

Your leak probably comes from caulking. It’s the most likely possibility, as caulking dries out over time and becomes brittle and cracked. Remove the old caulking and replace it with new caulking, making sure any damaged, soft or wet areas around the window have been repaired first.

If the leak is between glass and frame, the weatherstripping may need replacing. Most of the time this is as simple as tearing it out and putting in new weatherstripping, but occasionally you may need to replace the window.

There are other areas of water damage that may be harder to pin down, and if you can’t find the source it’s worth bringing in a professional. JK Industries understands waterproofing and water damage, and we’ll help you fix any areas on your building that are allowing water in. Give us a call today and let us help you with your maintenance.