Detecting Leaks Around Your Windows
Seals which are broken, pulling away, missing or which are damaged as a result of ageing or long-term weather exposure will cause windows and doors to leak. Furthermore, the sealant or window putty used to seal the glazing beads on wooden windows may crack and allow moisture into the gazed areas of your windows. In addition, when the glazing putty on your steel windows cracks or a section falls out moisture will corrode the steel window frame.
These are the most obvious areas where leakages occur!
However, the most undetected area for leaks at windows is the junction between the window frame and the brickwork, plasterwork and window sill. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most common defects that I have found on both new and older homes.
There are multiple ways to detect leaks around your windows and doors:
- On the outside of your home, check the areas where two different materials meet. This includes your door and window corners and frame.
- Look for cracks in the door itself and in window panes.
- Examine the existing caulking (sealing) and window weather stripping and weatherboards on doors. Make sure both are in good condition. In addition, leave no gaps or cracks.
- If you can see daylight around a window or door frame, there will be a leak.
- Shut a window and check for gaps in which you can insert the paint scraper. If you can easily insert the scraper under the closing part of the window, it is probably not watertight!
Continue reading “Sealing at Windows and Door Frames”
Moisture Intrusion at Window Sills
During many property inspections, I keep coming across moisture problems associated with water leaking into window sills and at windows.
Moisture absorbed into brickwork and plasterwork causes them to expand slightly. When the brickwork and plasterwork dry they contract slightly. The water absorbed by the bricks and plasterwork usually causes a slight vertical crack at the edges of the internal window sills. The paint then starts to bubble along the vertical crack. This crack may continue around the length of the window sill before you notice it. What started out as a small vertical crack then becomes a horizontal crack along the bottom of the window sill on the interior face of the sill wall.
The cracks are usually not significant unless allowed to continue unabated.
Sometimes the moisture intrusion at sills are mistaken for rising damp! Water leaking in at the window sill may bypass the damp proof course (DPC) built in under the window sill as a water-resistant barrier. The moisture may then appear as bubbling paint or crazing cracking of plasterwork, or both, below the window, extending down to floor level.
On external face-brick walls, this may appear as efflorescence (a white powder).
Internally, this may appear as bubbling paint above the skirting or discolouration of the skirting itself.
How do you prevent the moisture intrusion into window sills?
Continue reading “Leaks at Window Sills”