The vinyl double hung window was installed on my brick house a few years ago. The Screws that hold the replacement windows are drilled in through the bottom of the drain holes with no caulking on the screw heads. Now there are rusted screws and water leaking in home and has molded inside walls. Walls have been torn off and mold remediated...

The question I have is how do I get to the screws to replace and caulk? I don't want to break the bottom sill stop but I don't know exactly how to "pop" it off. I feel like I can pull it up a little bit but don't want to snap this plastic and destroy integrity of window.

I didn't own the house when the install occurred, but no caulk on window screws is a huge workmanship error in my simple mind. I only can reach one of the screws with my hand and screw head is rusted with no caulk in sight.

Any assistance is much appreciated...BTW I have the exact set of windows 5 more times around my house so this may be a much needed process if this is the same procedure used on each set.

Here's the overview of the situation: enter image description here

Here is a closeup of a leaky screw: Rusted leaky screw

enter image description here

Here is the window sill stop block Window sill stop block

Here is that window after removing the stop block: enter image description here

  • A few questions: 1) where is that quote from? Did you mean for it to be a quote? 2) Are you sure the screws go through the drain holes, or are those the mounting holes? 3) Are there drain holes to the outside and are they clogged? That could cause the water to back up, rust the screws and leak into the house. I recently had replacement vinyl windows installed. To my knowledge, the screws weren't caulked, just had covers put over them. The water should never get to the mount points in the first place so maybe there's something else going on...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 12:35
  • 2
    Also, you've got good close up pics, but it's hard to get an overall context of what's going on. Could you edit to include a more distant/overall shot, then follow it with the detail shot so we can form a mental image of what's going on to best help you. Once you've done that and while you're waiting for an answer, take the tour and browse the help center so you can make the most of this site.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 12:36
  • FYI, screws are almost never caulked. If they need to be they're in a bad location or something else was done incorrectly. Chances are they just shouldn't have been installed in the sill at all.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 12:37
  • I like the comments about cleaning the weep holes on the exterior. Should water never reach the inner stop sill?
    – Cary Koch
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 12:58
  • I added an additional picture of the whole project. I had mold remediated as my wife’s autoimmune issues began to flare up. So investigation began to find the source of the problem and found the mold and leak under window.
    – Cary Koch
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


Got the window all broken down, cleaned up, new screws, new caulk, new weather stripping, cleaned out all weep holes and will put it all back together tomorrow as the plastic pieces are drying now. Thanks again. *Now I wait...Next 10 days is straight rain, so we will see if water leaks on wood or gets in somehow. I will not put the wall back together until I know it is no longer getting wet.

Rusted Corner Screwrusted corner screw

Poor caulking job allowed water to seep inPoor caulking job allowed water to seep in

Caulked and sealed new screwsenter image description here

Snapped all stop sills and cleaned up pieces back inenter image description here

  • That was not only a poor job of caulking that screw, but they didn't do a good job of driving it in the first place!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 12:12
  • Please give yourself a check-mark for your answer so others will know that there's a good, workable solution here.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 13:33

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