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Commercial Window Air/Water Leaks / Repair or Replace

Window Water Leaks

Water leaks at windows can be serious and destructive. Fixing them is a priority matter. But first you need to find out why and how the leak occurs.  Most window leaks are not actually the window that is leaking. The leak occurring at the top of a window usually is coming from the window, gutter or skylight above. Leaks only seen at the bottom of a window may be a result of poor caulking (on a replacement window) or clogged weep holes.

Air Leakage (Infiltration)

Infiltration occurs due to three factors: poor product design, poor quality control during product manufacturing, and poor construction detailing and/or installation. Beyond these problems, persistent air leaks also can significantly reduce the thermal efficiency of the building envelope, (the physical separator between the interior and exterior of a building), while at the same time increasing the number of comfort complaints from building occupants.

Repair or Replace

There are three general categories of window repairs: routine maintenance, parts replacement and structural repairs. If the windows are new or if a maintenance program has been in place for some time, chances are most of the identified defects can be corrected through routine maintenance or parts replacement. In older facilities, particularly where no maintenance program has been in effect, chances are some structural repairs will be required. When the number of windows requiring structural repairs becomes large, typically more than 15 or 20 percent of the total, facility executives may want to consider replacement. For these situations, money that would be used for repairs may be better spent on new windows.

Typical routine maintenance and parts replacement tasks include, caulking between the frame and the building wall, adjusting window operators, and replacing damaged gaskets and broken or fogged glass. Too often maintenance personnel try to fix window problems using sealants without first identifying the cause of the problem. In these cases, they often move the problem from one location to another or simply make it worse.

If windows are expected to last, they can’t be ignored. If they are, the results can be expensive, even dangerous. A diligent maintenance program more than pays for itself. In spite of the impact leaks can have on facility operations and occupants, most organizations do not pay enough attention to their building envelopes until a problem occurs. Unfortunately, by that point, the damage already has been done. As a result, they face major repair costs, downtime, and possible damage to interior components. Staying on top of the building envelope's condition is not a difficult task. A two-pronged approach that combines inspections with scheduled replacements will help managers avoid most building-envelope problems.

City Window & Glass has more than 50 years of experience in Facilities and Property Management. We are the local trusted air and water leakage specialists. We are a City of Hamilton Licensed Contractor, bonded, insured and an authorized Kawneer dealer. Call us today!