How to Tell if Your Windows are Leaking

The Australian weather can be punishing on our homes. Windows are designed to protect us from the elements while allowing us to appreciate the natural beauty of our landscape. However, window leaks are common and are not only an inconvenience but can also cause significant damage to your property.

So, how do we check for window leaks, and what are the options for fixing the problem?


How Do You Check If A Window Is Leaking?

When people think of a window leak, they usually think of a water leak. Still, windows can also leak air into the property, impacting your home’s temperature control and, in turn, energy efficiency. Therefore, conducting a physical and visual inspection of your windows is essential to detect any leaks and prevent future damage.

Here are four ways to check for a leaking window:

Interior and exterior visual inspection – carefully examine the window fixing and frame, checking for any gaps or cracks in the seals. It is also important to check for any signs of mould, discolouration, or rotting wood.

Check for drafts with a flame test – close all the windows in the house to prevent possible airflow. Then, light a candle and trace the frame of your window. During this air test, if the flame or smoke moves in one direction, there is potentially an air leak.

Use a thermal camera – if the flame test is not giving a clear result, you can hire a thermal camera from a local hardware store. A thermal camera will accurately assess any energy being lost through a leaking window frame.

Conduct a water test – use a hose to apply a controlled light spray in a downwards direction on a set window for a period of 10 minutes. It is important to start from the bottom of the window and gradually work up the frame to assess the exact location of the leak. Take note of any water ingress and mark the location.

If a window has been leaking water for an extended period, there will likely be visual signs that the window seal is leaking.


How Do I Know If My Window Seal Is Leaking?

Here are ten signs that may indicate a damaged seal.

  1. Rotting or warped wood – water can damage the timber frames.
  2. Water collecting on the internal frames – water dripping near the frame or in the panes is a clear sign of a window leaking.
  3. Foggy windows – if you have double-glazed windows, foggy windows may be a sign that water is trapped between the glass panes, indicating a possible break in the seal.
  4. Discolouration – water leaking may cause a yellow, brown, or copper stain on the frame.
  5. Mould – inspect your frames and surrounding walls for signs of mould, such as black or green spots. Mould can spread from the window frames into the walls of your home and is known to be a serious health concern.
  6. Musty smell – water-damaged wood often produces a distinctive odour.
  7. Damaged peeling paint – if water leaks into the walls surrounding the window frame, the paint may start to chip and peel away from the wall.
  8. Damaged caulk – caulk is known as the sealant for window frames. If it is cracked or peeling, water and air can transfer through the window frames.
  9. Damage to the floor – water leaking from a window frame will eventually find its way to the floor. Warping timber floors, mouldy carpets, or loose tiles are all signs that you may have a leaking window frame.
  10. Sagging drywall – if a window leak has been ignored for an extended period of time, it can cause significant structural damage to the surrounding drywall.

Where Do Windows Normally Leak?

Leaks can occur anywhere around a window. The integrity of the seal can be damaged in any location on the frame, increasing the risk of water and air leaks.

Is It Normal For Windows to Leak In Heavy Rain?

If your windows are leaking during periods of heavy rain, the seals are likely old or damaged. Therefore, it is essential to seek the advice of a professional in window leak repair to assess the best solution for your situation.

How Can You Fix A Leaky Window?

In the past, attempting to repair and patch damaged leaking windows was not uncommon. However, with more energy-efficient window options now available such as double-glazed windows, homeowners are frequently choosing to replace rather than repair.

Double glazed windows offer:

  • Superior insulation
  • Increased Security
  • Noise Reduction (up to 80%)
  • Reduced Energy Bills (up to a 60% reduction)
  • Reduced Interior Damage
  • Minimal Condensation (reduces mould growth)

The benefits of double-glazing are numerous, and according to the Australian Government’s guide to environmentally sustainable houses, the cost of cooling and heating your home is comparable to the cost of installing double-glazed windows. So it is easy to see why homeowners are choosing to replace old, damaged windows with an environmentally friendly option that will provide them with a financial return in the long run.


What Can You Do To Prevent a Leaky Window?

Performing regular window maintenance is the best way to prevent a leaky window. Ensure your frames and sills are free of debris, such as dirt, insects, leaf litter, and pet hair. Inspect the windows for any signs of damage and seek the help of a professional as soon as possible if you suspect a problem.

Additionally, get ahead of any potential future window leaks and consider installing double-glazed windows. With an unbeatable lifespan and numerous financial and structural benefits, replacing your existing windows with a double-glazed option is worth exploring.

Whether you are looking at retrofitting an existing property or planning a new build, contact the team at Eco Smart Designs to discuss the best choice for you. We are a family-owned and operated business specialising in Thermally Broken Aluminium double-glazed windows. We take great pride in serving the Perth community with exceptional workmanship and superior customer service. We are the leaders in this field and will work with you and your builders to deliver a quality product.