Home Repair

Window leaking

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It's not the window per se that's leaking. It's the "joint" where the window is inset into the wall. The window is recessed (so there are windowsills) and it leaks where the drywall above the window in the recessed part meets the "soffit" at a ninety degree angle. Did that make sense?

Will caulking solve the problem? If so, what kind of caulk should I use?

I hope I'm not in for a major repair.
While we're waiting for TheGuru to answer, I can chime in with my 2 cents' worth. I have one window that has the same problem.

It sounds like the leak is above the window, not at the window. This can come from a variety of places. If the flashing (a metal strip that goes over the trim that's above the window) isn't properly installed, if the water is running down the side of the house, then in just above the window.

Is water running down the side of the house? Does this happen when the rain is coming from one direction more than another?

Is this the first window under the roof line? In other words, is there another window above?

1) If not, if there is a roof problem above the window, then the water can be running down the underside of the roof and then going down inside the wall at the top until it hits the top of the window.

2) If there is another window above, it could be THAT window is leaking and the water is running down inside the wall until it hits the one that has water coming out of it.

If there is a skylight in the roof where the roof slants down towards the window, that might be leaking. If it's a venting sky window, open it and clean the seal and re-close.

Is this a gable end of the house, or is there a gutter line above the window? If it has an edge, perhaps the gutter is clogged and water is backing up under the fascia board, if the gutter is too high. If it's the gable end, is there an attic vent above the window?

Just some thoughts...
Good luck, Paula.
Caulking could stop the water from coming in, but then where would
it be going? If you have a leak, better look for a problem outside
first. I agree with Ron. Make certain the leak isn't coming from above
or from inside the wall first.
Maybe check first with a hose and seal the oustide. Then see if you still
have a leak. Could be and number of leaks from above following the
roof line to the outside wall or even into the wall itself.
About as much fun as finding a roof shingle leak!

I called the condo association and (sneakily) asked if they knew of a window repair person. I explained the problem and the lady said it sounds like the association should take of it. I talked to the repair guy and told him the water probably was coming in behind the wood trim around the window. He came out yesterday and left me a note saying he's pretty sure he fixed the problem. I could see the hammer marks on the wood trim! So fingers crossed the problem is solved.
Boy I hope so. After I thought about this I was wondering if you
could have an ice problem with winter just around the corner. That
would do more damage too, so I hope this fixes it!

Keep an eye on things to make sure it really has stopped leaking.

Is the drywall damaged where it was getting wet? That may be the condo's responsibility to repair also.

I wouldn't do any inside repairs or re-painting until you are sure it has stopped leaking or you will be doing it all over again!!

I had this same problem in a condo in Boston... There was a leak stain on the first floor (2 floor condo unit) with the guest bathroom above. The owner had me replace the entire bathroom, tub, sink, toilet, sheetrock, all plumbing visible in walls, redo the damaged 1st floor ceiling.... When I was completely done, there was a big rain storm and the leak was back on the first floor ceiling!!! It was a flashing (or rather missing flashing) on the roof and the water ran down the walls and over to that spot on the ceiling before finding a place to leak out.

So I guess they did the bathroom for nothing!
after you've spotted a leakage, contact a handyman immediately Surprised


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