It is true that most people only decide to change windows when their existing ones are completely useless. In that sense, winter is the best time to recognize just how bad of a shape your wood or aluminum windows are. The fickle Canadian weather really puts them to the test with constantly changing temperatures.

One sure sign of problems, are leaks on and around the windows. This is also a problem that sometimes affects newly installed units as well. Why? Because often leaks are not the result of the window installation, or the product itself. Most of the time, water seepage is a result of bigger structural issues, with the home.

Recognizing these leaks can help you determine whether your windows need to be replaced or repaired or whether the problem is with the house and you need to call a general contractor.


1. Your windows are leaking from the top of the jamb
 water_leakage_top

The picture above is an example of water leakage as a result of issues with the wall structure. These leaks are often defined by these dirty brown circles. These are a result of water running down or collecting on the inside of your walls, and coming into contact with structural components of the house. This most often doesn’t mean your windows are bad. The problem is usually somewhere higher up in the walls. A replacement installation may cover up the problem, but it is best to address it at the root and find where the leak is coming from.


2. Your windows are leaking from the bottom of the casing

water_leakage_casings

This is another sign of wall structure damage. What happens in these situations is the water comes down the wall on the inside, but because it has nowhere to escape, it ends up running along the edge of the window frame to the bottom. The bottom in older windows is often warped or sagged downward, causing the water to collect and pool toward the middle.


3. Your windows are leaking between the window frame and the jamb.

As in the picture below, if the leak comes from between the window frame and window jamb it also means that there is an issue with the wall structure.

Water_leakage

 

4. Your windows are leaking at the point where the glass meets the frame

This is always a result of product damage or defective material. These leaks often occur as temperatures change rapidly and windows experience sealed unit failure. In most cases, window hardware is covered by warranty, and you should be able to get it serviced.

Window leaks are a common issue in aging homes. Remember, although it is coming through your windows, water damage is often a result of bigger structural issues. Professional window installers look for signs of damage or rotting in your frame, in order to prevent or troubleshoot these issues.  But even the best installers don’t always specialize in the work required to properly seal any open areas, as they may be away from the actual window. Regardless of whether your leaks are on new windows or old ones, you should always get them examined in order to figure what the solution is. Simply leaving them as is, may lead to mold growth on your frames, which is dangerous not only to the health of your home, but also damaging to the well-being of its occupants.

Learn more about window replacement:
Find out which installation type is the best for leaky windows
See how much a window replacement should cost
Check out all of our available window styles