Why Are My Windows Leaking?
It’s inevitable that homeowners will eventually face some minor repairs on their home. The areas of the home that are exposed to the weather often have the shortest lifespan. Repeated exposure to extreme temperature changes, moisture, humidity, and more can drastically alter the condition of your home’s essential components. Windows leaking is particularly common, and they also make it difficult for homeowners to determine exactly what the problem may be.
Are your windows leaking and you can’t figure out why? You aren’t alone in this dilemma. A potential leak in your windows can show up in a variety of ways, each of which will require a slightly different solution.
With the right skills and knowledge, you may be able to repair your current structure. However, in some cases, you may need to replace the entire window.
If you’ve been struggling to figure out what to do with a faulty and leaking window, take a look at a few of these common problems to help you determine why your window is leaking.
Water on the Windows When There’s No Rain
Do you have water droplets that form on the inside of your window even when the weather outside is perfectly sunny? This is perhaps the best problem to have when it comes to window leaks because it means that your window isn’t leaking at all.
Water droplets that form on the inside of the glass that doesn’t correspond to the outdoor weather are a sign of condensation. Many homeowners believe that this is a major problem, but that’s just a myth.
Window condensation can be easily remedied by adjusting the humidity of your home with central air conditioning or a dehumidifier. By lowering the moisture levels in the air, you can ultimately reduce the amount of condensation that forms on the window.
You may be tempted to leave this issue to run rampant if there is no “real” problem, but you should be aware that the excess condensation can lead to mold growth over time.
Water Coming in All Around the Window
When it rains, it seems to be pouring inside your home. The water oozes into your house from every angle and crevice around the window, from top to bottom.
In milder cases of this type of leak, you may only see water come in from a few spots such as the sides or the bottom. The culprit is often old or poorly done window sealant.
When the caulking around the window isn’t in tip-top shape, it can crack or peel away from the structure of the home. This allows the water to slide right in around the edges of the window.
Fortunately, this is also a relatively simple fix. All you need to do is apply a new layer of caulking around the window to see if it remedies the issue.
Before you can apply a new layer, you will need to remove the old layer. Take out the damaged and worn-down sections before applying a solid layer of new caulking. This is a relatively inexpensive home repair that you can do on your own.
Water in Between Your Window Panes
Perhaps you don’t have water in the interior of your home at all. Instead, you may see water start to build up in between the panes of your window. The good news is that your home probably isn’t in any danger of a future water leak based on this fact alone.
However, you may still want to consider replacing the entire window at some point in the future. Just make sure you find the right window company – not all window companies are the same.
Water between the window panes typically indicates that there is a bad glass seal on your window. When you originally bought the window, this glass seal helped to keep a layer of gas between the panes in order to make it more energy-efficient.
Over time, the seal seems to be deteriorating which lowers the energy efficiency of your window drastically.
You can attempt to reseal this area using clear caulk when the panes are completely dry. You can seal the glass back to the gasket relatively quickly, but you should ensure that the sill is still pitched to drain the water out and away from the home.
This isn’t necessarily harmful to the interior of your house, so you don’t need to replace the window. Some homeowners may still want to consider doing so if energy efficiency is extremely important though.
Water leaking in Around the Top of Your Window
If your window is leaking around the top of the frame, you may not actually be experiencing a window leak at all. Many homeowners see water stains near the windows and automatically assume that the glass itself must be leaking.
Unfortunately, stains on the top of the window frame are more likely to indicate a leak within the walls of your home.
Take time to survey the quality of your walls and ensure there are no potential areas where leaks could occur. You may need to caulk a few areas in order to resolve this issue, but it can be done.
Water Damage on the Bottom of the Frame
You’ve probably seen it before. The deep brown stains on a white glossy window frame can ruin the entire appearance of a room, especially if you’re rushing to clean the floors before they become soaked.
If the window is no longer keeping the water out of the house where it closes, it may be time to replace the entire window. You can learn more about replacement windows with our ultimate buyer’s guide.
The issues here could be extensive. The window may have warped slightly over time or the window frame may no longer fit the panes appropriately. No matter what the cause, this isn’t likely to be something you can fix with an inexpensive tube of caulking.
Determine the Cause of the Leaks
Understanding why the window leaks are occurring is just as important as identifying the primary cause. In some cases, the water exposure on the windows could be avoided with the addition of gutters and rain spouts on the exterior of the home.
This minimizes the amount of moisture that the windows (and their seals) are exposed to and could serve to prolong their lifespan.
You should be taking the time to survey the overall quality of your windows on a regular basis. Keep an eye on your caulking and seals so you can make repairs in advance of any potential leaks. If you do spot some window leaks, it’s imperative that you repair them quickly.
Allowing the water to build upon the interior of your home can lead to mold growth and extensive repairs in the sheetrock and window frames. This can have a serious impact on your health and quality of life, so make any necessary repairs quickly before mold growth spreads.
You may already be experiencing the early signs and symptoms of mold exposure, many of which mirror the symptoms of a lingering cold or flu virus.
A leaking window doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you will spend hundreds of dollars on the repair. Educating yourself on the potential issues can give you the insight you need to save yourself a few dollars and quickly spot the source of the problem. A handy homeowner could save tons of money with a few of these simple tricks to fixing a leaky window.