5 Early Signs of Leaking Windows You Need to Address

Drip. Drip. Drip. There’s nothing more frustrating hearing a dripping noise and realizing it’s one of the signs of a leaking window.

You get out a towel, put a container under the window, and wait for the rain to stop. Perhaps you use a DIY solution like adding sealant or caulk around the broken seal in a futile attempt to fix the problem.

Unfortunately, with leaking windows, these “hacks” don’t usually work. Many times, they leave you with a bigger problem down the road, like water trapped around your windowpanes that will rot your walls, causing mold, mildew, and extensive damage. If you have a leaking window, it’s crucial to figure out the problem at the core, then find a long-term solution.

But sometimes, the signs of leaking windows aren’t as apparent as a steady drip. Here’s what you need to know about the early signs of leaking windows.

1. Rotten Wood on the Exterior

One of the telltale early signs of a leaking window, or potentially leaking window, is wood rot around the exterior of the window. Wood rot can appear as cracking around the windowsill. It’s also indicated by off-kilter joints when the pieces of the windowsill don’t properly meet or seem slightly misshapen.

At first, this problem seems like no big deal. Your windows may seem to function correctly, even if you notice outside damage. In time, however, wood rot will lead to seal failure and more significant problems down the road. Wood rot is a sign water is running toward your home instead of away; this could be due to gutter issues, roof issues, or another problem.

Homeowners should learn the signs of wood rot and address them ASAP. Often, a leaking window signifies the problem has escalated out of hand. The window will typically need replacement, and there may be additional concerns as well. Don’t wait for the window to drip. Call Weather Tight today!

2. Cloudy Windows

Another sign of window seal failure is cloudiness between the panes of glass. Newer thermal windows don’t have big spaces between the panes of glass like older (non-thermal) storm windows do. Thermal windows contain insulating noble Argon gas to keep temperatures steady. In newer and older windows, the space between the panes should never be cloudy or wet.

Should the seal around the window fail, moisture accumulates between the panes of glass. To the homeowner, this usually looks like cloudiness or dirtiness that you can’t get clean. You may also see moisture that’s built up between the panes of glass (different from condensation, which is a normal phenomenon and a sign your window is working correctly).

While your window might not be leaking (yet), cloudiness is a big sign your window’s seal has failed. Eventually, the window will start to leak and could cause damage to the wall, floor, and surrounding areas of your home. At the first sign of cloudiness, give Weather Tight a call!

To see an example of seal failure and this type of cloudiness, please see the video below from Tod & Todd’s Home Improvement Tips:



3. Drafty Closed Windows

Window drafts are another big sign you should consider replacement windows. While we may not think of air as a conventional sign of a leaking window, the truth is air leaks make your home just as uncomfortable as water.

Take a look at your window when it’s closed on a very windy day. Does the curtain, blind, or shade move with the breeze? A simple damp hand test will also help you detect window leaks. Wet your hand and run it slowly around the window—do you feel cold air? That’s a big sign of your window leaking air.

If you get out the double-sided tape and shrink-wrap every autumn to “seal” your windows, you already know the inconvenience and frustration of having drafty windows. Plastic on the windows isn’t something you simply need to accept because you live in a colder climate like Wisconsin. With proper replacement windows, you’ll no longer get drafts; you can put the plastic away and enjoy the comfort of your home. Better yet, you’ll also see savings on your energy bill!

4. Black Fuzz and Dampness

As we mentioned above, condensation isn’t a sign of a window leak (or an indication your window isn’t working properly). In fact, condensation is a positive sign that your window is airtight. When a window’s seal is broken, you won’t see condensation. Dry air will dissipate the moisture before it shows up on the window.

It’s important to understand the difference between condensation and window leaks. The dampness from a window leak will often show up in one specific spot or as a puddle near the window. You may see black fuzz, mildew, or mold building up in an area on the window frame inside or outside your home. You may also see moisture between the panes of glass, cracking and bubbling paint, or warping of the window components.

Anytime you see black and soft or spongey wood anywhere around your window, address it right away. See the video below from Tod & Todd’s Home Improvement Tips for an example of a window with this type of seal failure:



5. Dripping (The Obvious Sign of Leaking Windows)

Obviously, if it’s raining INSIDE your home when it’s raining outside, it’s a clear sign your window is leaking. If it’s sudden, make one small check before you worry—make sure you’ve fully engaged the lock on your window for an extra tight seal. This is a commonly seen concern when homeowners forget to lock their windows, adding an extra snug closure.

If your window is still leaking, it’s time to call a professional. Unfortunately, window leaks can cause significant damage to your home and your belongings. It’s crucial you don’t wait to address the problem. Get it taken care of right away.

Fortunately, there are many options available for beautiful replacement windows that will perform and protect your home for years to come. A Weather Tight professional will be happy to assess your home’s windows and help you find the perfect solution.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation estimate. Leaking windows aren’t a problem you need to live with! Keep your home comfortable and worry-free with beautiful replacement windows you can rely on.