Leaking Window - Masonry - Contractor Talk

Leaking Window

 
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:47 PM   #1
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Leaking Window


I have a client with a leak at the top of the window. Could the water get in through a tiny crack in the mortar? The. Head flashing is caulked, I wonder if that is trapping water.

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Old 01-30-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Re: Leaking Window


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I have a client with a leak top of the window. Could the water get in through a tiny crach in the mortar? The. Head flashing is caulked, I wonder if that is trapping water.
Does the stone require some type of sealer? The mortar is developing cracks in various places.

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Old 01-30-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
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Re: Leaking Window


Water can definitely get through cracks, and a sealer should probably be used......but still the window should not leak. If water 'wicked' through, it should still finds its way out.

I see a weephole. When you say the head flashing is caulked, where is it caulked? It doesn't look to me like the head flashing comes out far enough on the head casing, and water could possibly/easily come in under the head flashing, depending how it was done.

If it was all done correctly, this should be pretty much watertight before the stone ever went on.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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Re: Leaking Window


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Originally Posted by Rockmonster View Post
Water can definitely get through cracks, and a sealer should probably be used......but still the window should not leak. If water 'wicked' through, it should still finds its way out.

I see a weephole. When you say the head flashing is caulked, where is it caulked? It doesn't look to me like the head flashing comes out far enough on the head casing, and water could possibly/easily come in under the head flashing, depending how it was done.

If it was all done correctly, this should be pretty much watertight before the stone ever went on.
The head flashing is plastic. It is caulked where it meets the mortar joint, the entire length of the window. I don't have a close up it, but I'll try to upload another photo.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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Re: Leaking Window


Here is a photo of another window, they are all caulked the same.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
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Re: Leaking Window


It's the middle window on the first floor. There is a small gap in the corner of the vinyl window that could be caulked. Also there are small cracks in the mortar, some are only hair line cracks.

I wonder if the caulk on the head flashing should be removed so the water can drain out?
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:19 PM   #7
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Re: Leaking Window


Here's a close up of a hair line crack, could this cause a leak?

If a sealer is used what type?

Do you seal the stone also or only the mortar joints?
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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Re: Leaking Window


Don't start chasing hairline cracks or trying to seal the mortar. The homeowner will blame you for not fixing the problem, after you've fixed 50 cracks and the window still leaks. There's something wrong with the flashing, including maybe that weep holes have been caulked and water's backing up, or that the head flashing is wrong. Water does get behind masonry and stucco, where the housewrap/flashing system should take care of it. The hairline crack may be a symptom of water problems, from wood swelling beneath, rather than a cause.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:22 PM   #9
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Re: Leaking Window


I would bet there is a problem with the flashing detail over the window.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Re: Leaking Window


It looks like phony glue on stone to me. First off, the return on the window is almost nonexistant. Secondly,who knows what is behind the "stone". Looks like a recipie for disaster.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:13 PM   #11
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Re: Leaking Window


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It looks like phony glue on stone to me. First off, the return on the window is almost nonexistant. Secondly,who knows what is behind the "stone". Looks like a recipie for disaster.
The mortar joints are flush with the window in most places. The mortar joint has been caulked where it meets the window and the head flashing is caulked.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:16 PM   #12
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Re: Leaking Window


Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpenterSFO View Post
Don't start chasing hairline cracks or trying to seal the mortar. The homeowner will blame you for not fixing the problem, after you've fixed 50 cracks and the window still leaks. There's something wrong with the flashing, including maybe that weep holes have been caulked and water's backing up, or that the head flashing is wrong. Water does get behind masonry and stucco, where the housewrap/flashing system should take care of it. The hairline crack may be a symptom of water problems, from wood swelling beneath, rather than a cause.
The head flashing is caulked, so if water is penetrating above it can't weep out unless it makes it way to the side of the window and drains out at the base of the wall.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:24 PM   #13
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Re: Leaking Window


what makes you think the paper is even lapped properly over the head flashing,this is deeper than sealer your going to have to bash some stones off to check it properly..no way around it

those windows have a flange..they shouldn't be leaking even without a drip cap
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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Re: Leaking Window


Here's another photo. If you look at the corner of the window at the far right of this photo you can see the clear plastic head flashing. The lip comes down over the window about a half inch.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:33 PM   #15
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Re: Leaking Window


I took this from far away but zoomed in.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:35 PM   #16
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Re: Leaking Window


nice pics Mel..but your problem is higher up the wall,may be no paper idk..
where is the water coming in? bottom/top? is the roof above them ok?
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:36 PM   #17
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Re: Leaking Window


Definitely fake stone, so it could be coming in from anywhere above.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:41 PM   #18
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Re: Leaking Window


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nice pics Mel..but your problem is higher up the wall,may be no paper idk..
where is the water coming in? bottom/top? is the roof above them ok?
The water is dripping in at the top of the window near the center of the window. I did not go on the roof, the peak is about 20 feet above the window.

I originally went there for a roof repair on the porch roof to the right. I did notice some of the cap shingles were cracked at the gable ends, probably from bird sitting there. The house has a ridge vent. If the roof is leaking it would have to leak directly over the wall. They have not reported any water on the second floor.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #19
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Re: Leaking Window


The paper isnt overlapping right, or it is compromised. Or there isnt any.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:29 PM   #20
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Re: Leaking Window


Instead of nit-picking details trying to isolate where the water is coming from (or really showing up), look up and along the wall since water will obviously flow down, horizontally of possibly upward.

Look at the possibility of improperly installed windows above since historically 2/3 are improperly installed and water gets behind the absolutely necessary primary moisture barrier. After all, and masonry veneer is not waterproof, but it is miles better than other cladding/veneers, but water finds a way in eventually if it gets behind the primary moisture barrier.

A good moisture intrusion specialist can make a few pokes in the dry wall with a good moisture meter and long, thin probes to check the moisture of the insulation to determine exact source. Some times a couple of 1/8" holes can isolate a particular window or lead you upward/elsewhere to the source without tearing anything out.

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