How to Detect and Stop Window Air and Water Leaks

October 11, 2021

Windows start to fail over time, which often results in air or water leaks. While the problem might not seem like a big deal at first, these leaks lead to higher energy bills, mold growth, rotting and more. Continue reading to learn how to detect and fix these leaks.

Detecting leaks

There are a few different approaches when it comes to checking your windows for air or water leaks. Here are a few ways to go about it:

  • Check for cracks: The most obvious sign that you have an air or water leak is cracking around your windows. This cracking may occur outside or inside of your home, so take the time to check both.
  • Feel for drafts: If the leak is large enough, you may be able to feel a draft coming from the edges of the window. Try this on a cold, windy day for best results.
  • Test with a candle: Light a candle and trace the outline of your windows. If the flame or smoke pull in one direction, you have an air leak.
  • Rent a thermal camera: The methods above should help you pinpoint a leak, but if you’re still having trouble, rent a thermal camera from your local hardware store. This device will show cool spots around windows that indicate air leaks.

Repairing leaks

Regardless of the leak’s size or location, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible. Follow these steps to fix it:

  • Clean: The first step is cleaning the area with soap and water. You may also need to remove old caulking with a putty knife. After cleaning, wait for it to dry so you don’t seal in any moisture during the next steps.
  • Apply caulk: Use a caulk gun to apply caulk at a 45-degree angle in a continuous stream. Make sure the caulk sticks to both sides of the crack. Otherwise, you’ll run into the same leaking issues down the road. The caulk may come out of place—simply push it back in with a putty knife. Check back in a few hours to ensure the caulk didn’t shrink while drying.
  • Use weatherstripping: Caulk can get messy. If you want a cleaner solution, use weather stripping after cleaning the window. Weatherstripping is available at any home improvement store for just a few dollars and is easy to apply by yourself.
  • Replace the window: Sometimes, the methods above just won’t do the trick. If the cracks surrounding your windows are too large or if the windows are outdated, your best bet is to invest in new ones. New windows aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re sure to be air- and moisture-tight and will enhance your home’s resale value.

Just call a professional

Instead of going through all of that work yourself, just call a professional from the outset. A professional can either make repairs or install new windows to give your home a brand-new look. Call Wes-Kan Siding Windows & Doors today to get an estimate for your new windows, siding, doors and more.

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