Did you know that 35% of houses in Portland are almost 100 years old? That’s right—many homes in the Portland area were built between the 1920s and the 1960s.
Older homes, like the 1920s Bungalow-style and the 1960s Ranch-style, add charm and character to the Portland area. However, if you live in one of these historic homes, you may discover that a recent window installation has made your house susceptible to water damage.
Here’s a look at the cause (and the solution) for wall stains, water damage, and leaky windows in your Portland home.
Why Are My Windows Leaking?
It’s important to understand why the windows in older homes are more susceptible to water damage—and why your leaky windows should be a cause of concern.
Since the windows in most older houses are made from high-quality wood, you’d expect them to last forever, right? Well, over time, the fluctuating temperatures inside and outside your home cause the wood window frames to expand and contract. This gradual movement can create small gaps between your window frame and glass, allowing water to sneak into your house.
All homeowners can expect to perform this type of window maintenance at some point—even the best windows won’t last forever. However, when it’s time for a window replacement, choose a qualified contractor who has experience working with historic homes.
More commonly, if you’re experiencing a second-story window leak, it’s due to improper installation. An installation error is also called a “construction defect,” and unfortunately, these defects often happen to homes in the Portland area built or renovated in the past decade.
Proper window installation is critical to prevent additional water damage to older homes. If you suspect your second-story windows were installed incorrectly, here are some warning signs to look for.
Find out more about replacing your windows in our “Guide To Home Window Replacement.”
3 Window Issues from Improper Installation
1. Leaky Windows
If you notice water pooling in your windowsill when it rains, it’s likely because your contractor didn’t install the window levelly. If the glass is tilted slightly, it offers an opportunity for water to sneak in and collect around your windows.
2. Broken Flashing or Sealant
When window flashing and sealant are installed correctly, they help to waterproof your windows. However, poorly installed flashing or an inadequate amount of caulking, sealant, or putty can cause water infiltration.
3. Water Damage to First-Floor Walls
Leaky windows, broken flashing, and cracked sealant can lead to an even bigger problem—water damage. Water stains can pop up above or below your second-story window—or even on your first-story walls.
Unfortunately, you may not notice that anything is wrong with your new windows until you detect water damage in the rooms below. This means that water has been leaking through your walls for a while—which means it’s time to act immediately.
How to Repair Leaky Windows in My Portland Home
The first step in the window replacement process is to contact a reliable contractor. An experienced professional can help you identify the source of your leak and develop the best plan of action to repair your window.
Often, the problem can be fixed with some sealant. However, since many older homes have wooden window frames that are susceptible to rot and water damage, your contractor will likely suggest the following steps to repair your window:
- Window Removal—If the wooden frame is decayed, rotting, or soft to the touch, your contractor will remove the window to prepare for new installation.
- Reframing—Your contractor will reframe your window to replace the old wood. Vinyl and fiberglass are energy-efficient, weather-resistant window frame materials that are both great options for your home.
- Flashing—Your contractor will properly install new flashing and generously apply caulking and sealant to completely waterproof your windows.
- Window Installation— Your contractor will finish installing your new windows so you can enjoy beautiful, long-lasting, low-maintenance windows in your historic home!
The right contractor can also help repair the other areas in your home that have become a victim of your window leak—like the water-soaked drywall in your first-floor rooms.
Contact Lifetime Exteriors for Reliable Window Replacement
If your second-story windows are leaking—you shouldn’t wait any longer to repair or replace them. When you act fast, you can spare your home from further costly damage or dangerous structural issues.
At Lifetime Exteriors, we want you to feel safe in your home, and we understand that’s difficult to do when you know your windows are failing. That’s why we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners throughout the Denver area with reliable window repair and replacement. Contact our professional, caring team to get a free estimate, and then rest confidently knowing your home is in good hands!