So here I sat the other night, cold pilsner in hand, cuddled up on the couch watching the NCAA tournament while a torrential downpour moved over my home. Ordinarily this would be a relaxing moment in my world. The kids were already tucked in bed, all was peaceful and quiet, aside from the cheering of the crowd on TV and the pelt of rain against the glass. I listened to the sound of it. Plop plop trickle trickle. Wait. Trickle? As if…you've got to be kidding me. Now?!
Bolting from my comfy chair, I strode across the room to the large window behind the TV. Rainwater leaked down inside my windows, onto the ledge, down the wall and onto the carpet. But that wasn’t even the worst of it. The taunting little rivulets of rain somehow just missed my electrical outlet.
Yeah, dad’s words echoed in my mind, mocking me, as I scrambled for towels. “Might need to replace those windows soon.” He’d said.
"But dad, my house is only 10 years old. I'll just caulk it."
The window gods must have heard me. Why else would they have chosen the worst possible weather conditions to 'hint' that something was wrong with the window? It couldn't have been a sweet little rainshower and a tiny trickle in the middle of Dora the Explorer. No. It had to be a severe thunderstorm moving across the state, wreaking havoc in the thick of the Sweet 16 tournament. Caulking it was an easy fix – a temporary solution that might buy me a couple of months.
I sopped up the mess with the towels and re-caulked the window. I’ll be replacing the them entirely with a solid, sealed energy efficient product. But being the scientist that I am, I like to learn a lil something from my experiences. So I asked my dad how I ended up suddenly scrambling to keep the rain out. I took some pictures of the outside as well as the inside of my window. Here is what he had to say:
Answer: Looking closer at the photographs I'm pretty sure that the caulking is not the only problem with your windows. Knowing the way some of the newer homes were built by track builders (large companies that develop entire subdivisions), I would say that the windows were mulled together without any form of mull gasket or sealant. The same is the case with the nailing fin used to mount the window in the opening. There are three other factors that I would anticipate as a potential problems: 1. The water appears to be leaking from the top of the window which suggest that the siding has water leaking in behind it from the fascia area above the window compounded by the lack of a good water-tight seal on the nailing fin and mull. This condition can actually cause water to leak inside the walls of the house. 2. The quality of the window is what I call builder grade (lower quality). 3. The biggest factor: "poor installation at all stages of mounting the window".
In addition to having to deal with a monster of a mess, my team lost the game. Guess I should've listened to dad in the first place...