2

I live in a single family home and I have several windows that are leaking during heavy rainstorms. I live in central Texas and I bought a house that was built in 2020. We have long periods of dry weather in the summer, and then heavy rain during the spring and fall. Recently we had particularly strong rain and I noticed small pools of water on the window sills of several of my windows. I put towels on the sills to soak it up, but I am concerned about long term damage if water is seeping into the walls where I can’t see it.

There are 7 picture windows that are 71”x71”. 4 of these windows are on the second floor that I’ve noticed leaking, and 3 are on the first floor that I haven’t seen leaking. I’ve also noticed that the windows don’t leak immediately during the storms, and sometimes the water comes in several hours after the rain stops. Below are pictures of the leakiest second floor window.

I called my insurance company and their inspector said that the windows may not have been installed correctly. He wondered if they were installed upside down, but that otherwise any fix would be on me.

I then called a window company, and they couldn’t identify any specific mis-installation about them. There is glue visible on the window pane near the edges which they said shouldn’t be visible. They speculated that water was getting between the panes. But I haven’t seen any discoloration or clouding or deposits between the window panes. I asked them for repair options, but then they started their sales pitch to replace all the windows and wouldn’t even consider trying to repair them. They quoted me $25,000 for all 7 new windows and installation.

I am trying to figure out what to do next. I would like to try some kind of repair option, but I’m not sure what to ask for or who to ask. What kind of company could inspect the issue? What kind of repair might this entail? Should I call another window company? Should I call a handy man or general contractor or someone else? How can I narrow this down? Even if I ultimately end up having to replace the windows, I would still like to try to repair them first and get another opinion.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

2
  • The two rectangular openings in the bottom of the trim of the window shown from the outside would indicate that it is the correct side up, as those would be drain openings.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 3:21
  • Did your house come with a "new home warranty"? If so, contact the builder and make a claim!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 18:33

2 Answers 2

3

It's almost always poorly done flashing, which requires opening up the siding around the windows to correct. It won't show in your pictures, because it's hidden by the siding and trim. Water should be prevented from getting in on the sides and top, and allowed to run out on the bottom (with the opening under the window waterproofed against any water temporarily getting in there before it runs out.) Some idiot caulking up the bottom of the window can cause problems by trapping water in the bottom that should have been able to run out. Failing to correctly overlap the flashings can allow water in.

The extremely small roof overhangs don't help, as that means more rain getting onto the wall above the window, compared to a roof with a larger overhang.You might want to consider adding a ledge or awning above the window (properly flashed into the house) to shed water beyond the window, as opposed to the arrangement shown here where water from the flashing above the window will run down over the face of the window, since it sticks out further than the trim with that flashing on it.

Without some sort of non-joke-quality warranty by the builder, or the window sub-contractor, that's you stuck with shoddy workmanship by them.

A competent trim carpenter should be able to correct it, but you have to find one first.

2
  • Thank you! I will get some people out to estimate redoing the window flashing
    – ckb
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 19:56
  • There is a flashing at the top of the window but it is overlapping the trim at the top, not over the window frame itself. Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 17:58
0

To add to Ecnerwal's comments

There is a flashing at the top of the window but it is overlapping the trim at the top of the framed opening, not the window frame itself. I'm also concerned that the way the window is constructed or assembled is not allowing the water to use the drain holes showing on the exterior. Since there is (so far) no damage to the interior at the top, the volume of water collected and what appears to be a frame inside of a frame construction (See photo 3), the water is accumulating in the main frame and leaking out between the two frames. This explains the delay between the rain event and the water appearing. This should not be happening in a properly drained window system.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.