How to Fix Window Leaks


Making sure your windows are properly sealed will prevent both air and water leaks. A leaky window means your energy efficiency is compromised. If water is coming in, you can have water damage your trim, drywall, flooring, insulation and other parts of the home. Dealing with water damage can be very expensive and stressful.

Here are some tips on how to fix window leaks:

Be aware of where windows commonly leak.

Common places where a window leaks are at it’s connections, where one part of the window is connected to another, where the window meets the window frame and where the frame meets the wall. The most common area for water leakage is where the window frame meets the wall. Over time, water will eventually get into those small air leaks and start to break down the wall materials.

Find the leak.

An easy way to find a window leak is to light a candle or incense and bring it near the window frame, along it’s joints and in the corners. if the flame or smoke flickers, you know the location of the leak.

Install new caulking on the outside.

Visually inspect all the outside caulking for any cracked or damage seals. Remove the current caulking and re-install new caulking where the window meets the exterior siding. If you have wooden windows, make sure to use a high-grade polyurethane caulking.

Install expanding foam inside the interior or exterior trim.

If you’ve tried sealing up the window’s exterior and there is still a leak, you might have to get more aggressive in your approach. If you take off the trim, on the inside or the outside, you can use expanding foam to create an air and watertight seal. Learn how to master expanding foam insulation. This method can eliminate the leak permanently, prevent future water damage and improve energy efficiency.

Check the weather stripping.

Weather stripping is used to seal operating parts of your window with the stationary parts. You will find weather stripping where that operable window sash meets the frame once it’s closed. This creates an airtight seal. If the weather stripping is damaged, it will have to be replaced.

First, you’ll have to remove the operational part of the window, like the pane that slides open and closed in a slider window or the moving sash in a hung window. From there, you’ll be able to see the weather stripping and know if it needs replacing. You can purchase an easy-to-use weather stripping kit from the hardware store. These kits come with instructions and everything you’ll need to do the job.

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