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Question DetailsAsked on 2/24/2017

Window leaking on an old house. Who do I call?

This is an old house 1890? originally. It does not have vinyl siding, but the standard, old horizontal wood slats and paint. The roof is less than 10 years old. It has windows (hardwood, deep sills on the inside) that were installed in the 70s, all of which appeared intact until this leak. The window started leaking between the boards at the top of the window, inside the house, onto the inner sill, in a heavy, windy rainstorm just today. It's a bottom floor window in a flat wall, no roofing or anything apart from the exterior wall of the house above it. The gutters, on the second floor for this section of the house, were professionally cleaned in the fall. The upstairs window above does not appear to have any leaks. l like the idea of new windows all around, but this is not an option, financially, at present. I do have a couple hundred for a repair though.

Who do I call for this?

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2 Answers


Ideally, a Window contractor - though many these days will not do window repairs, so commonly you end up back at a Handyman. Lot of previous similar questions with answers on common causes, how to DIY track down the of the leak, etc can be found in the Home > Windows link in Browse Projects, at lower left.

If coming in over the top of the window frame - through the rough opening (likely have to pull top interior trim to see this - though if dripping down through the gap between upper interior trim piece and top of window frame, than this case applies), then almost certainly coming down through the wall from a leak further up above, or the top flashing / caulking at the outside of the window frame is leaking (far more common).

If coming in between the window elements and the window frame, or between two moveable window panes, likely a shot weatherstrip - most are replaceable.

Also - if vertical sash windows (two units move past each other vertically) make sure the upper one is on the outside - commonly they end up mixed up with the outer one being at the bottom, which means any water landing on the top of it wants to come in over the top and down the inside face of the outer sash. And of course that window was fully closed and locked - because (particularly with vertical sash windows) the locking mechanism draws the two units together so the weatherseal is compressed between them - having it unlocked causes a gap water can flow/blow in.

It is quite likely, if coming through behind the top trim, that a simple recaulking across the top of the window frame outside may solve the problem - definitely a handyman type job.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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