Tips for Detecting Window Leaks and Damage

September 16, 2022

There are some things about being a homeowner that can grind your gears. One is a leak in your windows, which can cause your utility bill to skyrocket. Knowing the best tips for detecting window leaks and damage can nip the problem before it costs you greatly.

Shut All the Windows and Turn Off the HVAC System

First and foremost, you must close every window in the home tightly. While this may seem obvious, it’s a critical step many people can overlook. It’s easy to forget about an open window if you focus on the one you suspect is leaking. But if another window opens in the home, it could lead to the smallest of drafts that leave you perplexed.

Additionally, turn off your HVAC unit when you’re conducting the inspection. If the air or furnace kicks on and distributes air, it might be challenging to narrow down a leak. What you dismiss as air that your system produces might actually be a leak you haven’t noticed before.

The Sunlight Test

Looking and feeling around your windows is the simplest approach for detecting an air leak. To begin, go around your home’s exterior and look for any noticeable cracks or gaps where the structural components from your siding and windows meet. When the sun is shining bright, walk inside, switch off the lights, and inspect the windows to see if any sunshine is seeping through the corners or bottom.

Candle in the Wind

Even with thorough visual inspections, some leaks may not be visible. One way to get around that is by doing a flame test with a candle or lighter. It’s a telltale sign there’s a leak if the flame and smoke blow in the same direction. To confirm your findings, have someone go outside with a hairdryer or something similar and put it in the window. If the flame flickers, your windows are letting air in and out.

Inspect the Flashing and Frame

Examine your window flashing if you fear a leak. This thin strip of cloth wraps around the window to prevent water from entering via the crevices. Scan for anything that’s broken, absent, or otherwise not working.

If the issue seems to be coming from above, you should look closely at the drip edge, which is the L-shaped flashing at the top of the window.

Windows that leak during inclement weather can cause damage or corrosion to the window frame. Water may seep beneath the windowsill or from the neighboring area.

Following these tips for detecting window leaks and damage ensures that your home runs at maximum efficiency and that you’re not wasting any energy. Get sliding window installation from Energy Windows Doors and More. Our highly trained staff will guarantee the best results.

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