Why do my windows leak inside around the window trim?

Answered by Brendan ~ March 2, 2011 ~ No Comments

Why do my downstairs windows leak inside, around the window trim at the tops when a driving rain hits? The windows are leaking up top and are wood and vinyl. I have caulked all the way around the window itself where the brick meets the wood. What am I missing?

Jack W. ~ Memphis, Tennessee

Brendan Fowler

It is very tricky to determine the exact source of a leak on a home. The leak could be near the window and just be presenting at the top of the window. I have seen gable end vents in a second story, cause a basement window to leak 28 feet below. I can't say for sure what is causing your leak or how to fix the leak, without thoroughly leak testing the window. Leak testing is a process in which you simulate the rain that causes the leak by slowly working your way up the window, only wetting a small area at one time with a hose. This way you can see exactly where, when the window gets wet, where the water gets in. It is a two-person job and you will need to be patient. When I find a leak that caulking has not been able to fix, I typically use a metal flashing to prevent water from ever getting the leak area again. On a brick home, counter flashings are very effective for protecting the tops of windows. This type of flashing is cut into the surface of the brick and is generally custom made for the installation. Any local sheet metal contractor should be able to help you create a flashing that will protect the top of your windows. Good Luck!

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