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Question DetailsAsked on 12/31/2014

Leak around upstairs bath tub window. Had window recaulked and tile regrouted. Still leaks. Contractor suggestion

Window is 5 years old. Need someone to pull window out clean and caulk and replace window, It is defiently coming from around the window.

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1 Answer


I presume you are certain this is not condensation on the window running off the sill or down through the joints and leaking out into the room ? That is common with bathroom windows, though of course if you have lived there for at least a year (through a winter) you would know if that is the issue or not.

If you had it recaulked and the caulk is intact and the window still leaks, you might find it is a leak in the window seals, opened up joint, or the surrounding flashing tie-in with the house siding and housewrap/ waterseal is incorrectly done. A 5 year old window should not be leaking, obviously.

Search the List under Windows for a contractor.

Do a little research yourself on the web about proper water sealing of window openings and flashing so you have an idea of how it should be done, so you can talk intelligibly with the contractor about HOW he is going to solve the problem. You can google this sort of search term - images of window watershield installation - just be sure to read several reputable sites like manufacturer websites, Inspectopedia, This Old house, etc - some DIY and even contractor blogs have things in them that are dead wrong. Here is a sample website of how-to on window sealing -

This is just a very general rundown, but in very general terms (variances depending on siding type and with brick/concrete/steel construction) first thing to go in is waterseal or ice and water shield membrane around the entire inside of the rough opening, turned up/folded over on indoor edge so any leakage is blocked from entering house and ovderlapping top pieces over lower ones - and with the outside overlapped and interleaved with the house watershield (usually under it), then window installed with all-around water shield - lying underneath the house wrap and overlapping the window frame lip or flange at the top, on top of both housewrap and window flange on sides and outer edge folded over to prevent lateral wicking ofthe water behind the siding, on top of housewrap but under the window flange on bottom to ensure runoff water flows downhill outside the waterproofing rather than in under it. Then the siding interface - J or C channel or brickmold or window trim as applicable, which should be sealed with compatible sealant at its contact with the housewrap or house structure (depending on materials), overlapped so top or head piece runoff runs into the vertical one (if an open channel design), and the vertical one left open at bottom and overlying siding so water runs back out on top of the siding. Then edge-caulking during installation at the trim or J or C channel interface with the window frame, and under the outside edge and along the edge interface(s) for all exterior trim or frame outer molding. The key is always to visualize where siding runoff and blowing water will attempt to enter the system, block its entry with caulking or flashing, then provide overlapping layers of water shield to force it to stay at the surface where possible, or force it back to the surface to run off over the siding if it gets past the first layer of defense - and always have at least 2 layers of defense. For windows without C or J channel (which is usually used with horizontal plank or metal sheet siding), a metal flashing strip across the top of the window and under the siding can help a LOT with infiltration issues, especially with doors and windows that get directly hit by blowing rain.

Probably the most common errors are failing to underlap (and seal) the window wrap-around water shield under the housewrap at the head of the window, plugging the bottom end of vertical C or J channels (which are there to act as end restraints/covers for the siding but also to trap and drain runoff coming off the ends of the siding) or plugging the end of the top channel with caulk (thereby preventing it from draining into the vertical one), failing to trun-back the end of the top channel to stop the water from running right along it and under the siding, counting on perforated or slotted channel (comes with slots or hoelsfor nailing) to stop water, and failing to prevent lateral wicking from water shield around windows and doors thereby letting it run in under the siding rather than forcing it to flow down the water shield and out onto the siding surface at the bottom of the window/door.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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