Your gorgeous windows keep your Minnesota home protected from the elements. However, when rain and humidity find their way into your wood trim, doors, and window sill, they can cause a lot of damage to your home.
Here in Minneapolis, we tend to worry about water damage from snow and ice. But water damage from leaky windows can occur in any weather and season. Learn to recognize the signs and causes of leaky windows.
Start with the visual signs. It starts as a yellow stain at first but darkens to a brown or copper color over time. Excess water weakens the paint’s adhesion and makes it pull away from the wall. Then when the wall dries, the paint can flake off.
While foggy windows and visible condensation are not always signs of trouble, if your glass panes have water stuck between them, the seal might have broken. You’ll need to look further.
Next, rely on the sense of touch. Start by pressing your fingers around the entire frame to see if there is a spongy or hollow feel to the wood. Obviously, if it crumbles to your touch, you have severe water damage and potential cleanup issues.
Now focus on the function. Any time the window does not close or open smoothly, look for rotten wood. Check the corner joints for indications that the structure and integrity of the wood have been compromised. Get down to the floor under the window. Since water tends to drip from top to bottom, check for warping hardwood, loose tiles, or moldy carpeting.
Lastly, does it smell or have a musty odor? Damp wood produces a characteristic smell– basement, wet cardboard, or smelly gym socks might spark your memory of this odor. This fungus thrives in damp areas, and it could cause allergy symptoms.
Windows leaking at the bottom corner of the frame, or where the glass meets the sill, typically have cracked caulking or glazing. This could be from poor installation (or lax maintenance over the years.) A simple bead of caulk replaces dried-out or missing areas.
Sometimes the problems are the result of when your home was built. Unlevel installation or poor quality windows will lead to problems in the future.
If your house lacks overhangs that drain water off the roof and away from your property, water will blow back towards the home during storms.
Be creative and vigilant to find unexpected causes of water damage. For example, excess condensation from HVAC and mini split lines can keep moisture in contact with the exterior for months at a time.
Windows are an essential protective component of the house; any water damage around a window indicates that something is not functioning correctly. Perhaps the interior frame has been damaged, maybe the glass is cracked, or perhaps the exterior siding has failed.
Even with the highest quality siding and windows, some water can breach the houseware barrier. Then the moisture trickles and travels down into wall cavities. Eventually, this will lead to mold and rot. Maintaining windows, the flashing around your windows, and exterior materials are essential to safeguard the entire home from water damage cleanup.
If you see that glass panes are cracked, you need to have a glass or window company replace them. But if the window frame has rotten wood, you should not just patch the damaged area. The best long-lasting fix is a full-frame replacement. Installation must include inserting flashing to seal any previous leaks. As a rule of thumb, if more than 10 percent of the wood frame is damaged, replace the whole frame.
After the windows are protecting the home again, you need to avoid any further damage. You need 24Restore to clean up, repair any rotten wood, and remove damaged insulation. 24Restore will make your home look better than new after water damage.
Windows should let in the sun (and a beautiful view of the Twin Cities), not the rain. Whenever you find signs of water damage, rely on 24Restore to come up with a safe and fast solution. They will respond immediately to your phone call and usually arrive within an hour.
The team will quickly evaluate the water damage, assess the extent of needed repairs, prepare an accurate estimate and start cleaning up. If your window springs a leak, don’t let it sit overnight or wait to hear from your insurance company. Contact 24Restore now for more information.