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Question DetailsAsked on 6/20/2017

I have the area in and around a window on a stucco home that leaks when it rains real hard. Recommendations to fix

We have had several repair folks try to fix (re-calking, removing, cleaning, re-installing and re-calking...continue to leak. One person believes that when they put in the "after-market" windows they broke the seal with the paper below the stucco. Need to get bids to fix.

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2 Answers


Hello Felixthecat76,

Thank you for reaching out. We are happy to help. If you have not done so already, please go to to set up a membership. From there you can search providers for regarding "Stucco" or "Windows". Have an expert on each come and review your project my help deduce the issue.

Thank You,

Iann M

Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


Sounds right - when raining hard, or by using a hose, you could check if water hitting only the window (from close up) comes in (meaning leaking window seals or sill drain), or if it comes in when water is hitting only ABOVE the window (in which case the top flashing would be the problem), or when water is hitting only alongside the window (in which case the mounting flange and underlying water barrier would likely be the leakage point).

By starting at the bottom and working upwards slowly (with a second person watching inside for the leak) window leaks can generally be found - though it can be touch and go how much water you put on because the leakage inside and in the wall may be causing more damage than it is worth.

Breaking the seal with the paper under the stucco could cause a leak to come through - but that is a backup layer, so the primary water seal (flashing/caulking) would also have to be failed or done wrong for this to leak inside.

Windows would logically be the Search the List category for this, though getting them to come out for a repair can be tough. If the problem location cannot be found by testing, it might be having a window company come and replace it entirely would be your best bet - making sure they completely redo the water barrier/ ice and water shield in and around the window rough opening, which will mean normally cutting back 3-6 inches of stucco around the rough opening, which would then have to be repaired by a stucco contractor (who would best be a sub to the window contractor so he is on-call as soon as they are done to come and do the patching around the window). Then touchup painting as applicable.

Other option is a Handyman or Remodeling - General Contractor with a fair amount of window experience, who may or may not be able to solve the leak by process of elimination and putting on new flashing and cauylk around the window, though with stucco that is hard or impossible to do without either cutting back the stucco (which he might be able to repair or might need a stucco sub) or taking the window completely out to get the flashing and water barrier correctly installed at the interface with the water barrier or housewrap under the stucco.
Getting it right can be tricky, because with most window types the water barrier has to go UNDER the housewrap/barrier above the window and down over that at the sides, then on top of the housewrap down the sides and overlapping on top of it at the bottom of the window - meaning the sides and bottom it has to fit between the stucco/wire and the housewrap - tough or impossible to do without breaking away some stucco, so total window removal is likely to be needed to do the job right. Also, if taking off the interior trim to inspect the water barrier in the rough opening shows it was done wrong, the window has to come out anyway, so generally just pulling the window to redo the entire job right is the best solution.

One other thing - look to see if the window is installed right side up and right side out - sill with bottom track drain to the outside, waterseals on the outside edge of the windows not inside, if vertical slider or sash type outside window should be above the inside one, etc. It is amazing how many windows these days are put in upside down or backwards. At one time you could tell by the label on the window, but now some manufacturers (or sloppy factory workers) put them inside and outside on identical windows in a lot, and sometimes facing upside down, so you have to check yourself.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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