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 Post subject: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:12 pm
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We have vinyl replacement windows that were installed over the top of the old aluminum frame. Due to some unrelated renovations, we discovered that 1 slider and 2 awning style ?casement windows are leaking. When we plastic bag/seal these windows with tape and heavy plastic without touching any stucco or the sealant around the windows, the leak stops.
The window company have
1. water tested the windows with a hose and the plastic bag and they don't leak
2. water tested the windows without the plastic bag and they do leak
3. removed the windows and reinstalled with foam - they still leak
4. removed the windows and applied sealant to the non integrated flange (should have been done at manufacturer) - they still leak
We have pulled off ALL drywall on the wall concerned and see no signs of leaks from the roof, siding etc other than in the direct area of the windows. We are now being told that the original window (aluminum) could be the reason for the leak...could someone please explain how this can be possible if the plastic bagging of the window stops the leak? This plastic only covers the operable area of the slider and the awning style opening.
Thanks for your help!


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
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Location: Houston, TX
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It sounds like your contractor jumped the frame to avoid removing the nailing flange from behind the stucco. Do your new windows have a Z-flange (flat face against the stucco)? Could you post some photos of the window exteriors for us? I don’t believe the original window frames are the problem, and their installation system should take those into account.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:12 pm
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thank you I have included some photos


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exterior plastic.jpg [185.66 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:12 pm
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some more photos


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interior awning.jpg [86.51 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:09 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:12 pm
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randy wrote:
It sounds like your contractor jumped the frame to avoid removing the nailing flange from behind the stucco. Do your new windows have a Z-flange (flat face against the stucco)? Could you post some photos of the window exteriors for us? I don’t believe the original window frames are the problem, and their installation system should take those into account.


Yes this was my comment too...if the windows were doing their job i don't understand how the original structure (frame) could be the issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Posts: 988
Location: Houston, TX
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Do you have any photos of the windows, from the exterior, without the plastic covering?


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:12 pm
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I would prefer to not uncover the windows but here is a photo of one of that others installed at the same time by the same company - this should give an indication of style. This is under a deck so does not get water on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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You will need some one onsite to verify the statements that you are making.
I can not tell if it is frame jumb or not.
You want our help uncover the windows and take more photos.
What date was the install?


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:12 pm
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TheWindowNerd wrote:
You will need some one onsite to verify the statements that you are making.
I can not tell if it is frame jumb or not.
You want our help uncover the windows and take more photos.
What date was the install?


My understanding from the previous poster (randy) is that he wanted to see the style of the window that is why I sent what I did by way of photo as the window style is the same the entire way around the property. I do not have more material at my home to re plastic and tape the windows and it is raining right now so until I have more material I don't wish to expose the window and have water rushing into my home. I was by no way trying to be difficult.
The windows were install in 2011.

I have had someone onsite to verify the statements I am making...it was the window company that did the water testing outlined above. It is now the window company saying the water 'might' be ingressing due to the original aluminum frame and I am trying to ascertain if this is a plausible reason for a window(s) to leak.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:30 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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Location: SE PA & NJ; CT
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You are going to have to rely on local pro's as they will need to be your witnesses. There is to much I can not tell with out being onsite and doing full discovery.
Based on the limited info that I have I would think it is the repalcement window install that has created the leak. Stucco and frame construction around here is a big problem. There are 10,000 + homes in my area that need to be remediated.

theWindowNerd.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:28 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Posts: 988
Location: Houston, TX
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Thanks for the photos, the installation is as I had assumed. Diagnosing the source of a leak can be tricky, doubly so when using only photographs, but this kind of installation is critically dependent on sealing under the flange. What brand of window is it by the way?

I would next try taping off the perimeter of the window where the flange meets the stucco, without covering the entire window and try hosing it down to see if it leaks. If it does, the issue isn’t installation, it’s the window.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:27 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:12 pm
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Thank you for your help. I will have my husband try the next water test suggested.
A general question though, if the aluminum frame that was left in the opening was compromised (leaking) and these retro fit windows were installed over the top of the aluminum frame. Could I expect a leak from the new windows?
My understanding is if the sealant(s) are working properly and the new window itself is not leaking (faulty) that there should be no way for the water to even reach the old aluminum frame (unless it is running down from a roof or something, which it is not0. However the window company has stated:

Maybe when our window went into an existing opening…..that original structure (frame) remained and has a leak?
If the new install relays on framing that was failing, then the new window was placed into a failing opening.


I have included a photo of the first time they removed the windows and where the leak appears to be due to decay of wood.

I really appreciate your time. I will message Randy with the company name. I am in BC, Canada.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:06 pm 
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Doesn't look like a frame jump to me based on the onsite cladding and the last picture. If they pulled out the frames and pulled the nailing flange (or cut) from the stucco...that is a tricky joint to get sealed and watertight.

This is definitely going to need to be looked at by someone that understand the unique challenges of stucco and windows in the same breath.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:27 am
Posts: 988
Location: Houston, TX
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I could be wrong, but I still think that it has a 1” - 2” flange around the perimeter that is caulked to the flatware stucco. Looks like they ran clear silicone around the perimeter of the flange. I’ll be interested in hearing the results of the water test with the perimeter covered.


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 Post subject: Re: Retrofit Leak Only Below Windows
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:12 pm
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We have the insurance adjuster and an engineer coming tomorrow, I am not sure if they will share the results with me or only the company.

I still need to understand how the aluminum frame that is kept plays into stopping the water ingress - can anyone please advise?

We did additional water testing last night and feel it is the window itself leaking BUT the company is trying to say that the aluminum frame that the window was inserted into is the defective point. It seems the old aluminum frame was sawed down to fit the insert window.

In terms of window style I believe it is as the prior poster indicated. The window has a built in frame (boarder) that attaches to the stucco with sealant. it looks pretty similar to the photo i've included from a random web page (white). The black is our actual window being pulled out to look for leaks. The guys left hand is on what I would call the picture frame part of the window but seems to be called a flange as per the white photo. Whatever it is called it is the outer most part of the window that is sealed to the stucco it is about 2 inches wide.


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window style.JPG [42.8 KiB]
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