A number of problems can cause a window to leak in a house, such as installation, maintenance as well as home construction. In addition, a poorly made window constructed with inferior products can leak from the force of strong winds coupled with heavy rain that puts added pressure on it. When a window leaks, it can cause a number of problems for the homeowner.
A major problem of a leaky window is deterioration of the wood surrounding the window. When a window leaks, water can get trapped in its sill, thresholds and joints. This causes the wood framing around the window to deteriorate and rot. It also can result in major structural damage to the home if the leak is not addressed. According to BobVila.com, rot occurs in areas where water is able to sit, pool or leak. A leaky window is particularly problematic as it encourages rot to quickly spread because it's constantly being fed with more moisture. Although the entire window frame is susceptible to rot, it usually starts first in the sill and threshold.
Another problem of a leaky window in a home is mold. BobVilla.com states that mold grows in areas where rot is present. Bacteria get into the wood fibers and break it down. Although at first the presence of mold may not be visible, over time the wood around the window discolors. The discoloration is frequently yellow, white or brown. Another way to detect mold is with a screwdriver or other tool that allows a homeowner to probe areas around the window. If a soft, spongy area is detected where the wood crumbles and splinters without much effort, it's a sign that rot and mold have likely invaded the window frame.
Pest infestation is a problem associated with leaky windows. Pest exterminators state that pests can thrive and breed with access to even small amounts of water. When water gets into a window sill or threshold, the area becomes a place for pests, like carpenter ants, to inhabit. According to Do-It-Yourself Pest Control, a pest control information website, carpenter ants seek out moist, rotting wood to nest.
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