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c00rdb 02-28-2010 10:53 PM

window leak
Hey everyone-

I bought my house and discovered water damaged behind the paneling when I took it down and cracking on the plaster wall. I thought it was old damaged so just patched it up with some mud. However, now it looks like it's coming back because the mud is discolored along the same I'm thinking the window is still leaking. Unless its possible the stain just bled through? Attached is a pic of the wall...I'm not very familiar with window leaks so maybe someone can tell me if the pattern is typical of a window leak or maybe I should check out the roof. The mud you see on the wall is about a month old and as you can see its discolored in the same way as the paint (which was like that when I bought the house). The caulking around the window and the outside of the frame is completely shot. Is this hopefully all I need to do to fix the window in people's experience or is there something else I should check out along with it. There's also a vent for the attic fan I'm thinking could be a suspect. The entire window is under about a foot overhang of the roof.


Tom Struble 02-28-2010 11:33 PM

could be the gable vent leaking or the top of the window hard to tell

Just Bill 03-01-2010 06:00 AM

I have to assume that this has been leaking for some time??? I doubt it is the attic vent, too well protected by the overhang. The house has been resided, so I am going to guess that the flashing over the top of the windows was removed or not done correctly. Only one way to fix that, remove the siding and redo flashing. Another possible place might be the caulking around the replacement window frames where they join the old window frames, sides and bottom. I do not think the siding/trim capping caulk is a likely spot.

MJW 03-01-2010 07:08 AM

Looks like the ole jerk, set, and wrap that alot of the insert window guys like to do. It looks like there are multiple layers of siding there. There are many openings that are relying on caulking to keep water out. It could even be a big moisture problem inside.

Someone obviously tried a "flip this house". My advise is to get a good Contractor to fix this house for you correctly and not mess around.

c00rdb 03-01-2010 03:46 PM

So I'm guessing the consensus is that this is not a DIY project? What is the difficulty of removing and re-attaching the siding? Attaching the flashing seems fairly straightforward. The only thing that makes me nervous is that the problem is on the second floor.

MJW could you elaborate on what you mean by "jerk, set, and wrap"?

Tom Struble 03-01-2010 06:21 PM

by that stain location definitely could be the vent may look protected but..
i would start at the top and start pulling siding down only way to be sure

if it was from around the vinyl window most likely it would be stained directly
below the stool

HomeSealed 03-01-2010 09:59 PM

As shoddy as that window install is, I agree with tom that normally you'd have water issues showing up directly beneath it, not a foot or two to the side of it. I've seen stranger things, but not often. Just to address something you said originally, it is likely that the originally staining just bled through the mud, however unless something was done to fix the issue, your leaking is probably still occuring.

c00rdb 03-01-2010 10:10 PM

Actually there was a lot of damage beneath the window...more than to the side. I patched that up with thicker mud since the entire top layer of the plaster cracked off. I haven't seen anything bleed through with that yet though, maybe because it's thicker. I guess I might have to call a pro to fix the flashing, I'm a little nervous working with the siding high up when I've never done anything like that before. :-( There are little tiny cracks where the new stain is so I'm guessing it's still a problem, even though I've never seen any moisture myself.

Here's an idea of how it looked originally:

ccarlisle 03-02-2010 06:14 AM

Just to give you an idea, we were asked to solve a more minor water leak from exactly the same siding job you have, and were asked to replace the caulking, a common problem up here. 2.5 men, 16 windows, three doors, compressor-driven oscillating tools, a three-floor scaffolding, two days, 12 large tubes of caulking compound, $2200...

MJW 03-02-2010 09:07 AM


Originally Posted by c00rdb (Post 407895)
MJW could you elaborate on what you mean by "jerk, set, and wrap"?

Insert windows instead of a totally new window.... You can see that there is no new trim inside or out.
With this installation method, it's not as easy to make the window waterproof. It usually depends on caulking. Also, usually means the insulation and flashing(if any) is still original. You can take a guess how good that is. :no: It's fine for a patch up job, but nothing professional, IMO, even though some still pop in inserts and call it a new window install.

c00rdb 03-02-2010 06:55 PM

Hmm $2200 seems like a lot just for some caulking, must've been pretty involved because of the three floors. Hopefully this won't be so bad.

MJW thanks for explaining, now I have a better understanding of what likely happened. Sounds like some new flashing behind the siding would end up fixing the issue. How difficult is removing and reattaching the aluminium?


ccarlisle 03-03-2010 06:29 AM

Yeah, this wasn't an easy job (there was lots of caulking to remove) nor was it just a simple recaulking. Plus we had to do it quick. They wanted it high quality too so the price was justified.

Once you get a piece or two of siding off, the rest comes off pretty easily but it certainly will involve some damage just because they are nailed into place. It's not like a jigsaw puzzle unfortunately, and although others can confirm this, it's not a piece of cake, But that depends on a few other factors...

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