One of the worst things that can happen to a homeowner is to find out there’s water getting in to your home through doors, windows, walls, or the foundation. The unwanted water can cause panic, fear, and the realization that an expensive fix may be needed.
First, don’t panic. Although it’s easy to think the worst possible scenario is occurring, quite often the fix is simple and inexpensive. In fact, most of the time all it takes is a little caulk the problem can be dealt with in a matter of hours.
If you have rain getting in through your windows, here are some tips to help you solve the problem and prevent future issues.
Determine Where The Water is Penetrating the Window
The very first step is to determine the source of the water. It is extremely rare that the window itself is letting the water in, especially with a quality long lasting window. The source of water is almost always related to the area surrounding the window. If water is getting through the actual window, it will be extremely obvious, and will almost certainly be due to the window not being completely sealed when closed.
Windows are designed so that even a driving rain is ushered away from the window. If rain is getting in through the window, you’ll want to make sure that the window is fully closed, and that any seals are in good conditions – which means no gaps.
Luckily, water isn’t invisible and always seems to leave a trace of where it’s been, and how long it’s been there. So, it likely won’t take long to figure out the issue.
You’ll likely need to pull off any decorative casing around your window to find the source if there’s no obvious sign. Quite often the issue lies with how the window is sealed to your home, whether or not your home uses flashing (which will depend on age of the home), or completely relies on caulk to prevent water penetration.
In most cases we see, the caulk has simply deteriorated and needs to be re-applied. If a homeowner has attempted a DIY installation, it’s also possible that the window or flashing was not installed properly. We always recommend you leave installation to the professionals for this exact reason.
Dealing With Water Damage
Once you’ve found the source of the water, it’s important to remove any damage that it has caused. If you’re lucky, you’ll have caught the issue early, and any damage will be simply wiping up water, or very cosmetic – like the need to reapply paint.
If you’re unlucky, the water will have been leaking behind the walls undetected for a longer period of time. This long-term type of leak can lead to water damage and even some mold. Before you start to panic, repairs are usually not too difficult, but depending on the level of damage, you may need to pull the window out and reset it. Your best bet is to get a pro in to check it out and estimate the costs.
Prevention is Key
Lastly, the best way to deal with water penetration is to not have any in the first place. Perform inspections on windows and doors in the spring and fall to make sure your caulking is well applied and holding up. Deal with any issues you see before they become bigger problems.
If you have any questions about how your windows should perform in the rain, or how to properly install them, feel free to visit the experts in our showroom to find out more.