Using Caulk to Repair Window Leaks

When you need to seal a leak in a window, you are going to use caulking or weather-stripping to complete the job. You can also use something called a “foam sealant”, which is inserted between the frame of the window and the frame of the house.

A good way to check to see if you have a leaky window is to burn an incense block near it—if the flame flickers, you have a leaky window. This problem will prove costly, because all the air you are heating in the winter and cooling in the summer is escaping through the leak!

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Some places you can check to see if there is a leak includes:

  • The place where one side of a window meets with another.
  • The section in which the frame and window meet.
  • The place where the frame of the window meets the wall.

Usually, the reason water may leak through a window is because there has been some form of breakdown in the area where the window and the wall come together. Placing a bead of caulking along the exterior area should prevent the leak. High-grade polyurethane caulking should be used if the trim of your house is mostly wood; it should be sufficient in sealing the gaps and preventing future leaks. Be especially careful to seal the top section of the trim to prevent any water from pooling there and causing further leaking.

Another way you can seal the exterior or interior leak in a permanent manner is to completely remove the trim around the window. Then you can caulk the area beneath the trim and use some expanding foam to further seal the area and make it air and watertight. To do this is to follow these simple instructions:

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  • First, you will need a pry bar and hammer to remove the window trim from either the inside or outside.
  • Spray some expanding foam in the area’s void—don’t worry if you overfill the area! Avoid touching the foam while it is wet because this will lead to a hard-to-clean mess! Wait several hours for the foam to dry, and then use a knife to cut away any excess around the edges of the window frame.
  • Next, replace the window frame in the opposite way you removed it. You can purchase touch up paint to repair the paint job around the window frame.

This should fix your problem with a leaky window for at least ten years. After that, you will have to go back and inspect how the caulking is holding up to the weather and wind conditions. You may have to replace the caulking then. However, in the meantime you will see a decrease in your energy bills. You will notice that the house stays much warmer at night and cooler during the day because the precious air is no longer leaking out.