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Old 02-26-2012, 10:38 AM   #1
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Front windows leaking


I'm not sure if this is the proper category or if it should be under stone/masonry or just Building and Construction.

Anyway, my front windows (3 windows together to make a "picture" window) are leaking since we bought the house 8 months ago. The seller disclosed that they had a previous leak "fixed", however on closer inspection it appears that their fix was to recaulk the inside to hide the water penetration.

The windows only leak when there is a driving rain towards the front of the house. A light rain usually does not show (obvious) signs of leakage. When water does penetrate, it drips from the top of the inside framing (see pictures). When I was running electrical for a ceiling fan, I removed a section of drywall above the windows and noticed water stains on the plywood coming from where nails were driven. I've kept the drywall off to check if that's where water still penetrates, however, it has stayed dry even when water was dripping from the windows.

I've since recaulked the bottom windows on the outside and had someone caulk the 2nd story windows in hopes of resolving the issue, however the leakage still continues.

The contractor I had out to fix an unrelated issue stated if it wasn't from the windows, it could be from poor installation of the stone facing (improper water handling behind the stone as stone is porous) which would probably require a complete tear off and redo to fix it right.

The only other place that was not resealed is the round vent above the 2nd floor windows (see picture). Is it possible water is entering from there, dripping down and around the 2nd floor window without leaking and finally making its way to the first floor window?

Since the windows are mounted flush with the outside stonework, should something different other than silicone caulk be used? Perhaps the wrong sealant is still allowing water to enter.

I'm running out of (inexpensive) ideas as to where water could be entering and looking for suggestions!

Any advice is GREATLY appreciated

Pictures:

Water penetration area. Caulk removed as I am going to paint the room. Water damage continues down and behind the left side of the window box:
Front windows leaking-water.jpg
Full size:
http://www.theengles.info/window/water.jpg

Water penetration area #2. Again, caulk removed. More caulk was visibly added by someone prior to the house purchase right at the bump between windows.
Front windows leaking-water2-1-.jpg
Full size:
http://www.theengles.info/window/water2.jpg


Picture of the outside of the house where the stone facing and windows/vent placement can be seen:
Front windows leaking-water3.jpg
Full size:
http://www.theengles.info/window/water3.jpg

A picture of the old water stains when I removed the drywall:
Front windows leaking-water4.jpg
Full size:
http://www.theengles.info/window/water4.jpg

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Old 02-26-2012, 10:54 AM   #2
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Front windows leaking


Need close up pictures of the exterior in this case as well.

Mullions are notorious leakers and especially if the leak is showing at the head of the window.

If the window was not sealed properly to the framing first, there isn't much you can do on the outside to stop leaks that come through the mortar.

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Old 02-26-2012, 10:56 AM   #3
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Front windows leaking


yea

the vent absolutely could be your problem,they should have a pitched pan to catch any water that could blow through,but nobody usually does it

pull some rock thats directly under the vent see what it looks like

stone/concrete on wood needs careful detailing before application of the product is started,as you have seen caulking isn't going to solve your problem
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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Front windows leaking


How about a picture of the attic side of the gable vent and include the plywood below it?

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Old 02-26-2012, 04:39 PM   #5
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Front windows leaking


If I was purely guessing, I'd say that it is probably coming somewhere around the top window opening and running down. The vent is a possibility as well. Check inside the attic below the vent like Gary mentioned (if it is accessible). A closeup of the trim/flashing around the windows would be helpful as well, particularly the top and bottom pieces. If the windows were properly flashed, water would be directed around the opening even if it is getting behind the stone.
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #6
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Front windows leaking


I did go up to the attic and took a look around behind that mullion and didn't see any obvious water penetration. Once I get done with some painting my wife has volunteered me for :-) hopefully in the next day or two, I'll take a trip back up to the attic for some better pictures.

As to pulling some rock around the mullion, I'll need a good 30' ladder to get up there perhaps longer as my neighbor's 28' was just big enough to caulk the 2nd floor window. I'll probably have to defer to a professional if it gets to that point.

I'm thinking the point of entry is still the 2nd floor window. I know water travels in odd paths, but if water was coming in from above the 2nd floor window (i.e. mullion), you would think some sign of water damage would be in that room/window as well.

As for the windows, here are some close-ups of the first floor window flashing. If you want a different perspective let me know. The 2nd floor window looks to be done about the same way. The mullion has mortar flush up against it. I tried taking some pictures of the 2nd floor/mullion, but my camera with an optical zoom is hiding from me and the clarity just isn't there with my phone's camera.

First floor window:
right side of window:
Front windows leaking-window1.jpg
Original size: http://www.theengles.info/window/window1.jpg

Bottom right corner:
Front windows leaking-window2.jpg
Original size: http://www.theengles.info/window/window2.jpg

Bottom right corner (top down view):
Front windows leaking-window3.jpg
Original size: http://www.theengles.info/window/window3.jpg

view of top of window:
Front windows leaking-window4.jpg
Original size: http://www.theengles.info/window/window4.jpg
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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Front windows leaking


no drip,i would be willing to bet that the head flange is on top of the wrb
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Struble View Post
no drip,i would be willing to bet that the head flange is on top of the wrb
What is "wrb"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windows on Wash View Post
If the window was not sealed properly to the framing first, there isn't much you can do on the outside to stop leaks that come through the mortar.
How would that be remedied if that's the culprit? Remove the windows and reinstall? Would it have to be full tear-out (new construction vs replacement, I guess?) The current windows are actually cheap builder-grade items. I think i had single-pane windows in a previous house that were more efficient so am considering replacing the windows in the near-ish future.

Another "bonus" that I found is the strong smell of mold (smells like mildewy dish towels) when I removed the old caulk around the interior window. Due to time, I have to just seal it back up for now, but will need to get that remediated (very!) soon as well.

I swear i think I purchased the house from "The Money Pit" with all of the issues that have krept up. I think I got most of them resolved save for this {censored} window. It's amazing all of the issues an 8 1/2 year old house has.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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Front windows leaking


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Struble View Post
no drip,i would be willing to bet that the head flange is on top of the wrb
Weather Resistant Barrier

FYI, the mullion strip is not in the attic. The mullion is between the windows and is what joins those three units together.

I would like to see a picture of that cladding work at the top of the window if you can get a shot from the top.

You will probably want to open up that drywall above the window as well and start with a water test.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:06 PM   #10
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Front windows leaking


I'm on exactly the same page as Tom at this point.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:12 PM   #11
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Front windows leaking


Quote:
Originally Posted by dengle View Post
What is "wrb"?



How would that be remedied if that's the culprit? Remove the windows and reinstall? Would it have to be full tear-out (new construction vs replacement, I guess?) The current windows are actually cheap builder-grade items. I think i had single-pane windows in a previous house that were more efficient so am considering replacing the windows in the near-ish future.

Another "bonus" that I found is the strong smell of mold (smells like mildewy dish towels) when I removed the old caulk around the interior window. Due to time, I have to just seal it back up for now, but will need to get that remediated (very!) soon as well.

I swear i think I purchased the house from "The Money Pit" with all of the issues that have krept up. I think I got most of them resolved save for this {censored} window. It's amazing all of the issues an 8 1/2 year old house has.
Welcome to home ownership my friend.

Most of the housing stock that is newer is far worse than the older stuff from a build quality standpoint.

You need to determine the source of the leak first and foremost. Then handle any mold and mildew treatment.

Only want to do a proper full tear out and new construction is going to be by replacing some of the stone work at the same time or creating some sort of trim detail.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:56 PM   #12
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Front windows leaking


Quote:
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Most of the housing stock that is newer is far worse than the older stuff from a build quality standpoint.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:33 AM   #13
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Front windows leaking


The water test would be my next step. It’s pretty easy to figure out where the water is getting in at with a hose test.

As mentioned no drip edge at the top of the trim raises questions about the whole installation.

You’re not going to fix the problem with caulk. Calking, at best may provide a temporary Band-Aid but is not a fix.

I don’t see how you could fix this without removing rock. If you plan to diy then rent some scaffolding or a lift. I wouldn’t attempt it off a ladder.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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Front windows leaking


Ron is right on. Both window openings need to be flashed properly whether they are both currently leaking or not. Some stone will need to be removed around the openings to do so.
A leak test to narrow it down would not hurt, but the problem needs to be addressed regardless, or it will just cause more problems down the road.
The only possible "easy remedy", would be if when they did the capping, they wrapped over an existing drip cap, thereby directing water into the opening. The only way to find out would be to rip off the top piece of aluminum.
See the infamous "four finger" pic attached.
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Front windows leaking-bad-flashing-install-2.jpg  
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windows on Wash

Weather Resistant Barrier

FYI, the mullion strip is not in the attic. The mullion is between the windows and is what joins those three units together.

I would like to see a picture of that cladding work at the top of the window if you can get a shot from the top.
Ah. I never heard the term and thought it was the technical name for the round vent! Now the conversations are making more sense :-) . lets see if this gets the detail you were looking for.
This its as high as I could get without getting a ladder before I ran to the store
Front windows leaking-forumrunner_20120227_101717.jpg

Bottom closeup of the mullion

Front windows leaking-forumrunner_20120227_101742.jpg

It'll take a while but ill break out the hose in the next few days hopefully for a water test.

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