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Old 12-27-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
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Window leaks!


I've been having water leaks around all 12 of my replacement windows for months now. Windows have been re-wrapped and caulked, siding checked, and still, they leak. Today, someone said to see if the jamb is caulked/sealed to the window sill. I never heard of this, and there's no information about it online. However. I looked and sure enough, not on the window jambs are sealed where they meet the sill. Can anyone confirm if this is an accurate assumption that they need to be sealed?

Just for some background info, the original owner did the windows himself before we bought the house a year ago. All of the caulking had since cracked/warped/came of, so we assumed the new leaks were because of the use of poor quaulity caulking. Now, thousands of $ later and we still can't figure out the leak!

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Old 12-27-2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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Window leaks!


Can you post up a picture?

Do you have any remaining windows in the home that were not replaced so that we can see what original construction was?

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Old 12-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #3
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Window leaks!


Improper flashing is a notorious problem with window replacement. This could be the cause of the issues, especially if the windows were installed by a DIYer with limited knowledge. Best way to tell would be to check one of the windows by removing the siding and observing the flashing, if there is any. Most window manufacturers have specific instructions on how to flash, if you don't have window specific information you can check out This Old House website, there is an entire section on window and door flashing.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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Window leaks!


by replacement windows what type do you mean.. inserts, retrofits or construction windows..

if their inserts remove the trim on the inside to see if they were spray foamed.. this can help slightly but if the cladding isnt installed properly and caulked they will leak

retrofits have to be properly caulked and flashed.. same for new construction windows..

take some pictures
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:05 AM   #5
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Window leaks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwilwarin View Post
I've been having water leaks around all 12 of my replacement windows for months now. Windows have been re-wrapped and caulked, siding checked, and still, they leak. Today, someone said to see if the jamb is caulked/sealed to the window sill. I never heard of this, and there's no information about it online. However. I looked and sure enough, not on the window jambs are sealed where they meet the sill. Can anyone confirm if this is an accurate assumption that they need to be sealed?

Just for some background info, the original owner did the windows himself before we bought the house a year ago. All of the caulking had since cracked/warped/came of, so we assumed the new leaks were because of the use of poor quaulity caulking. Now, thousands of $ later and we still can't figure out the leak!
the window sill has a slope on it and the jamb is dado-ed to accept the sill with the slope dado-ed into the jamb ( 15 degrees average) and water can infiltrate the the jamb and sill. there are so many type of replacement windows, a picture of the window detail where the window jamb and sill meet will help everyone see what you see.

where are you seeing the leaks at?
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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Window leaks!


1. siding, especially vinyl. Top j channel is essentially a trough that drains to the sides, but this detail is more or less ignored. Proper flashing along this drainage and rain cap is often ignored too.

2. window, and it seems double hung and even casements can have defective weather strips and defective corner joints that can let the water leak. Install flange is not a weather strip, if it was used.

3. roof and gutter, which can let the rain/snow come through.

4. Sealing between the frame and the window is insulation issue, and definitely not about the leak.

Searching for vinyl siding installation manual should give you first step on understanding how window area should be protected, even if your siding is not vinyl.
Window manufacturers also publish install manuals.

Do not depend on the flashing tape alone. Actually, flashing tape generally sold is supposed to be for draft protection, but I would not depend on it to stop anything over time. What matters is sealing the gaps from inside or outside if you can, and making sure drainage plane has overlaps down to day light. 30 pound felt paper is time tested, long term flashing material. Aluminum sheet rolls are excellent in small, flat spots. Polymer caulk, osi from homedepot, for example, is good caulking choice. Polyurethane caulk is generally not useable as sold from homedepot because they are half cured already in the tube.
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