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When Windows Cause Water Damage

water damage cleanup columbus, water damage restoration columbusWhen you hear that there’s rain in the forecast, do you excitedly anticipate a relaxing day indoors as a gentle shower traces a path down the outside of your windows? Or, do you start to round up the buckets and towels to cleanup up the water that will inevitably leak inside? Leaking windows lead to structural and aesthetic damage; it’s important to address water leaks immediately.

After years of extreme temperatures, varying weather conditions and building settling, windows are no longer air- or water-tight. Window frames can become damaged, glazing seals broken or the entire unit can tilt and leave gaps for water can seep in. Generally, there are key flaws that cause windows to leak:  

House Design

  • Lack of overhangs to drain water off the roof and protect wind-driven rainwater from entering through the windows.
  • Improperly angled fascia board above the window. It should be angled outward to direct water away from the unit.

Installation 

  • Poorly installed or breaks in the flashing will allow water infiltration.
  • Using building paper or house wrap instead of specially designed window flashing will allow water to seep behind the paper and into the wall area around the windows.

Maintenance 

  • Broken or missing caulking at the window flange and at seams.
  • Cracked glazing putty—the glass seal will be broken and allow for moisture and condensation to get between double-glazed windows.
  • No paint seal—paint should slightly overlap from the window molding to the glass to create a tight seal.

Condensation

Condensation is water that forms when warm, moist air hits a cooler surface. Interior window condensation is caused by excessive moisture in the house; it often occurs in the winter when the warm air inside the house condenses on the cold windows.  It forms on the coldest surface in a room which is often the glass in a window. This accumulation can degrade the surrounding porous surfaces. 

Worn Out Casings

Window casings seal the glass from the outside elements. They see a lot of wear over time as they expand and contract with the weather. Once window casings become splintered, gouged, soft and rotted, you no longer have a reliable barrier to weather.  As the seal fails, water can accumulate around the window and ruin the sills and sashes. 

Sealed Too Well?

Ironically, newer homes that are more airtight and energy-efficient are also at risk. Many have vapor barriers like plastic within the wall cavity blocking moisture passage in either direction. Additionally, when replacement windows are properly installed, the airflow around the window significantly decreases and condensation may form on the glass of the new windows.

With tighter-fitting windows, vapor barriers and increased insulation, energy costs are lower – but humidity levels must be monitored more closely. No matter when your home was built, the key is to strike the right balance when it comes to humidity levels.

Local Experts In Columbus

Southeast Restoration Group provides professional water damage cleanup, including damage from leaky windows. Whether the team can fix the existing problem, or recommends you a full-frame replacement, the SRG professionals will be able to remove any damaged or rotten wood from the frame and the wall structure surrounding it. But what is perhaps more important in the long run is that they will identify where the leak is coming from and fix the problem.

When the 24-hour contact center receives your call, the emergency response teams move into action within hours. SRG also provides professional deodorization, complete sanitizing,  air ducts cleaning, odor removal, and structural repairs. Southeast Restoration Group in Columbus is available 24/7.

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