Window leaks are something you may not know you have in your home until it suddenly dawns on you that your energy bills have been steadily climbing to staggering levels. You are literally throwing money out the window and the first thing you want to do is stop it from happening.
Unfortunately, your problem may be harder to locate than you might think, because a home can lack energy efficiency in a number of different ways. The windows are often the main culprit but you could be dealing with an assortment of problems. The window could have a crack in one of the panes, a seal could be compromised inside the window, the entire frame may have shifted and your window is now out of alignment with the space in the home.
The biggest challenge here is that your leak or leaks could be so miniscule and difficult to detect by the naked eye that you may never find the issue. But even though the leaks may appear so incrementally small, you are losing big bucks over an extended length of time.
When you have a leak in the home, you are running your HVAC system longer than necessary, draining your wallet minute by minute, just so you can remain comfortable when it gets hot or cold outside.
Window leaks aren’t just costly, they can also cause damage to your home as these seemingly invisible gaps can let rain and snow seep into the home and cause some serious damage to wood, drywall, and flooring. That won’t be cheap to fix either. It might even mean installing windows to replace the faulty ones you have now.
It doesn’t need to be this way. Windows RVA of Richmond offers these tips on how to detect the source of a window leak to homeowners who are concerned they may be paying too much in energy costs for no good reason at all. These steps should help you track down those pesky leaks and do so without the need for calling a professional technician to come out and diagnose the issue.
Try these options first. If you still find that you’re having an issue finding the leaks in your home, then you can try calling a professional. But let’s try to avoid that first. So after you have looked in all the obvious areas like a crack in a pane or compromised caulk, here’s what you can do:
One of the most common areas where leaks are found are the frames. So you’ll need to take a good look for any open gaps or fractures where the frame and the wall meet. Sometimes this isn’t readily visible to the naked eye so you can get a magnifying glass and pore over the entire perimeter closely.
If that doesn’t work, see if you can shake the frame. It shouldn’t move but if it does, even a little bit, you’ve found the source of your window leak. Fixing it could be as simple as using some nails and caulk to secure it back into place, just be cautious about ensuring that the frame is sitting flush against the space in your house.
If you’ve been shaking your windows but they’re not shifting at all, you may still have a leak but it’s really well concealed. No worry though, you can try using an infrared thermometer. These handy little instruments are what the pros use to detect the smallest adjustments in air temperature near a window.
Using one of these will be able to alert you to those minute fluctuations in temperature from one area to another and that will be very helpful in pinpointing those tiny, invisible leaks.
Check the Entire Home
So let’s suppose you’ve found a leak in your bedroom window. Congratulations! You can get to work on fixing the issue. However, you may very well have more than one leak in your home to deal with. That’s why it’s important to check every window in your home.
This is critical for ensuring that your home is fully prepared against window leaks. Not every window is designed and manufactured in the same fashion and you may have assorted window types installed in your house. The truth is, all windows can leak and just because some of them may function differently than others doesn’t make any of them exempt from an operational failure of some kind.
This goes for any type of window, whether you are able to open and shut it or not. Skylights are just as prone to developing a leak as your double sash or crank window.