Fall means water is­sues in win­dows

Tillsonburg News - - LOCAL - MIKE HoLMES Mike Holmes and his son, Mike Jr., are back! Watch Holmes And Holmes at 10 p.m. on HGTV Canada. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit makeitright.ca.

When fall ar­rives and the tem­per­a­ture dips, a lot of the ques­tions i get from home­own­ers are re­lated to con­den­sa­tion and win­dow health. i’ve an­swered a few of these in­quiries in the past and again on so­cial me­dia, but i wanted to make sure to re­mind ev­ery­one of what causes our win­dow is­sues dur­ing the fall sea­son — and how we can ad­dress them.

i’ve got wet and weep­ing win­dows. What should i do?

now that the tem­per­a­ture is drop­ping, home­own­ers are find­ing that their win­dows fog up, or are cov­ered in con­den­sa­tion. in some ex­treme cases, they’ll even find water pool­ing in the win­dow sill, or on the floor.

it’s just a lit­tle water, no big deal – right? Wrong. if this is a re­cur­ring is­sue, a lit­tle water can turn into a big prob­lem. Think about it. What are the in­gre­di­ents needed to pro­duce mould? Warmth, oxy­gen, or­ganic ma­te­ri­als (such as wooden win­dow frames) and mois­ture. once you’ve added that mois­ture, you’re run­ning the risk of mould and rot.

are your weep­ing win­dows the re­sult of bad win­dows, or other fac­tors? newer win­dows are dou­ble- or triple-paned and have gas in­serted be­tween the panes with an air­tight seal, act­ing as a source of in­su­la­tion — thus re­duc­ing the chance of con­den­sa­tion. but if that seal breaks, you’ll start to see the con­den­sa­tion build up in the win­dow.

if you can de­ter­mine the cause to be a bro­ken seal, un­for­tu­nately that prob­a­bly means you’ll need to re­place the win­dow, which isn’t a cheap fix. so make sure you have it in­stalled prop­erly and pro­fes­sion­ally. The win­dow should be taken down to the rough stud to check for any ma­jor rot and be fixed be­fore putting in the new win­dow. i’ve started in­stalling a drainage sys­tem in the rough open­ing of the win­dow. This stops water from pool­ing in your win­dow pane and helps safely ex­pel mois­ture away, pro­tect­ing you from mould.

your new win­dows will be prop­erly sealed and in­su­lated, but the win­dow cav­ity needs proper in­su­la­tion, too. use a low-ex­pan­sion foam around the frame to elim­i­nate drafts around the win­dow.

if you’re cer­tain your win­dows are in good shape, weep­ing win­dows may be due to air leak­age. Think of a cold water glass left in a warm room. When that warm air hits the cool water, con­den­sa­tion beads be­gin to form on the sur­face of the glass. air leaks could be caused by a lack of in­su­la­tion, or miss­ing caulk­ing.

This is some­thing you can eas­ily check for your­self. Care­fully re­move the in­te­rior trim and see if you have ad­e­quate in­su­la­tion. again, here’s where you’ll add your low-ex­pan­sion foam to shore up your de­fence against air leak­age.

up­wards of 30 per cent of a home’s heat loss can come from drafts. ev­ery au­tumn, you should be do­ing an ex­te­rior check of your win­dows and re­plac­ing any miss­ing or dam­aged caulk­ing. it’s a sim­ple job that can have im­me­di­ate re­sults.

my sky­light is leak­ing. What’s the cause?

sky­lights are a wel­come ad­di­tion when it comes to adding more nat­u­ral light to your home, but if in­stalled in­cor­rectly can be a real wet blan­ket. When home­own­ers see water stains around their sky­lights, or find drips on their floor, their nat­u­ral re­ac­tion is to think they’ve sprung a leak. With­out the right flash­ing around a sky­light, a wa­ter­proof mem­brane and in­ad­e­quate caulk­ing, the is­sue may in fact be due to a leak.

How­ever, the cause may be due to poor cir­cu­la­tion and too much hu­mid­ity in your home. a sky­light is like any win­dow, but be­cause it’s on a dif­fer­ent an­gle than most win­dows, in­stead of hav­ing the water pool up in the win­dowsill, it can drip onto your floors or run down your ceil­ing.

This could be be­cause the air in your home is too hu­mid. a de­hu­mid­i­fier could help if you’re only see­ing the is­sue in one room. a heat re­cov­ery ven­ti­la­tor helps cir­cu­late fresh, treated out­door air through­out the home (and this is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant if your build­ing en­ve­lope is air­tight).

The so­lu­tion could also be as sim­ple as clear­ing out the space by your vents. if you’re block­ing too many reg­is­ters in your home, you’re cut­ting off air­flow. Take a look around and see if you can re­ar­range the room.

While i get the ap­peal of tra­di­tional sky­lights, i pre­fer in­stalling tubu­lar sky­lights. They can be in­stalled in any room with roof ac­cess and don’t re­quire you to make big struc­tural changes. The tubes fit be­tween the roof trusses and rafters. They cap­ture day­light from the roof, and siphon it through a re­flec­tive tube into the room below.


Handout/poSt­media Net­work

Weep­ing win­dows dur­ing the cooler months can mean trou­ble for your home, writes build­ing ex­pert Mike Holmes.

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