Essential to a functional and comfortable home, windows brighten our homes with natural light, facilitate the ventilation and air flow in our homes, and provide us with views of the outdoors. Properly designed and well-maintained windows can have a positive impact on our well-being inside our homes.

Faulty windows can bring unwanted outdoor elements indoors. If your windows are leaking water into your home, here are some things you can do:

Identify the Source

Windows can leak for several reasons. To properly address a leak, it is important to identify its source and root cause.

Starting with the interior, you can look for signs of water damage, such as water stains, peeling paint, or soft spots on the walls or window frame. Move outside and carefully inspect the exterior of the window. Look for visible cracks, gaps, or damages and for signs of water intrusion, such as discoloration or rot, on the window frames. Seals and caulking play a vital role in sealing the window and preventing water infiltration.

As windows are exposed to different weather conditions, the seals and caulking may have been damaged. Inspect the seals and caulking around the window for any cracks or deterioration. If applicable, check that the window flashing, which are weather-resistant barriers installed around windows to direct water away, are in good condition and are properly installed. If you are still unable to identify the source of the leak, you may consider performing a controlled water test using a hose to spray water on the exterior of the window to observe any areas where water is entering.

Water leaks may also be a result of issues with the roof and gutters. Checking the roof and gutters along with the windows will allow you to identify and address potential issues comprehensively instead of only focusing on the visible symptoms of the leak. Check for any roof or gutter problems, which may have caused water to flow down and reach the windows. Ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear and effectively directing water away from the windows.

If you are unable to find the source of the leak or have difficulty accessing certain areas, consider hiring a professional to perform a thorough inspection and find the exact source of the leak.

Repair or Replace Damaged Components

Once you have identified the source of the leak, you can determine the necessary tools and actions to address the issues causing the leak. Depending on the results of your inspection, you may also consider hiring a professional to help repair the damaged portions of your windows.

Prior to making any repairs or replacements, be sure to clean the area around the window. If the window seals, caulking, or flashing had been damaged, worn out, or improperly installed, carefully remove the old components before installing replacements. Ensure that the area is free from debris, dust, and old sealants for an effective bond and application of new sealant or adhesives. Damaged or deteriorated window panels and frames may require professional repair or replacement to ensure proper handling and installation.

Furthermore, if the damage on the window components is extensive or if the inspection reveals that repairs will be complex, it may be best to hire a professional to make the repairs and replacements. If the water leak was due to poor installation or was related to roofing issues, a professional can help you with comprehensive repairs and proper installations to prevent future leaks and reduce the risk of recurring problems.

Clear Drainage Systems and Improve Exterior Grading

Some windows come with built-in drainage systems, which channel water away from the window. Clear the drainage system from any debris or dirt that may clog or obstruct the drainage channels. Proper maintenance of the window’s drainage system will avoid water from pooling around the window, which could lead to water infiltration through gaps, cracks, and deteriorated seals. Proper drainage will also prevent moisture-related problems around the window, including the growth of mold and mildew.

In addition, ensure that the ground around the window is properly sloped or graded away from the house. Improving exterior grading can manage surface water and prevent water from infiltrating the window areas as well as the home’s foundation and can help preserve the structural integrity of your home.

Ensuring that the window drainage systems and the roof and gutters are clear from obstruction and improving exterior grading to redirect surface water are ways to complement leak repair and replacement work and to protect your home from water-related issues.

Add Seals and Waterproofing

After you have addressed the leak and have made the appropriate repairs and replacements, consider enhancing your window’s seals and waterproofing with additional layers. You can apply exterior-grade caulking around the exterior of the window frames to further seal any gaps and prevent water infiltration. If your home is exposed to severe weather, you may also consider adding an extra layer of waterproofing around the window frames.

When it comes to water-related issues, timely action is essential to prevent further damage to your home. If you are uncertain about how to handle the inspection or repairs, it may be best to consult with skilled and experienced professionals. They can conduct thorough inspections, properly address the root cause, and make improvements to minimize future issues.