The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Maintenance Minutes: How to Check for Window Leaks

 June 6, 2022 |  Home Maintenance, DIY |  Maintenance Minutes Series, homeowner, windows

The most common issues that you will encounter with your property’s windows are problems stemming from water intrusion, difficulty opening and closing windows, and air leaks. If proper repairs are made following the inspection provided by your NPI inspector, you may save a substantial amount of money in heating and cooling costs. If you suspect that you may have any of these issues with your windows, there are ways to check for these problems ahead of receiving the inspection of your property from NPI.

Water Damage
Checking for the presence of water damage around your windows is relatively easy using a few simple NPI tips. If you suspect water damage to the interior of your windows, first visually examine the condition of each window.

You’ll want to take note of signs of a water leak such as peeling paint, mold buildup, and the discoloration of the area surrounding the window. If any of these are prevalent, you will want to further inspect the area around your windows by touching bordering sides with a dry hand. If you detect any moisture or dew drops that have formed on the windowsill, this is an indicator of a window leak.

Difficulty Opening & Closing Windows
The next sign of a possible window leak is difficulty opening and closing windows. While this issue is common for older homes, if you have trouble with more than one or two windows, this can not only be a sign of a window leak, but an issue with the foundation of your property.

If you encounter a considerable amount of strain in attempts to open your windows, or if your windows don’t open at all, you will want to make sure that the foundation of your property is settling properly. Further evidence of foundational problems are difficulty opening and closing doors (in addition to windows), cracks in the walls of your property, and in extreme cases, uneven floors.

Air Drafts
The next common issue that you may encounter with window leaks is air drafts. The process for checking for these is relatively easy, as it closely resembles the steps taken to check for water damage. A good tip is to examine any window you suspect may have an air leak on a windy day, as this makes the existence of an air draft more apparent.

Secondly, you’ll want to use a damp hand to scan the areas surrounding your window. With your wet hand, you will be able to physically feel where air is being drawn into your home.

How to Fix Window Leaks
A temporary fix for window leaks is to place weather strips around your windows. According to Bob Vila, famous construction worker and T.V. personality, applying foam weather stripping to your doors and windows can cut down on your energy bill by 20 percent. Although it should be noted that weather stripping your home will only help if there aren’t major foundational issues.

For homes with greater structural damage to the foundation, you may have to replace your old windows all together. Due to natural shifts to the environment that occur over time, there may be too large of a gap to fill the void caused by structural changes. In the case of window replacement, it is important to note that while window installation will assist in decreasing the size of any window leaks, there is often still a little space left between the original windowpane and the newly installed window. Therefore, even with replacement there’s still potential for developing leaks to your new windows.

For more information on this subject and more, follow our Maintenance Minute Series here.


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