Window Related Flooding
Flood Damage

Window Related Flooding

A common cause of flooding that is often overlooked is flooding from windows.  This type of flooding usually falls into the minor category, but it can still be damaging and expensive to fix.  Stopping this problem before it starts is the best way to go, but let’s look at how to determine if your window has leakage issues first.  It’s not always as easy as finding a puddle on your floor, but sometimes it is:

  • Mold and mildew buildup on and around window sills is a good sign that your window is leaking.  Incoming water plus the heat from your home is the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow.  Check rooms you don’t frequently visit and look beneath the sill for fuzzies.  They don’t always present themselves in your line of vision.
  • Wet floors!  This one is a no-brainer, right?  If the floor or carpet beneath your window is wet or damp, you may have a leaky window.  Or maybe your kid spilled his Sprite.  A quick whiff should solve that question.
  • Rust stains are on walls and/or floors around the window may mean your window is leaking.  Your window itself isn’t likely to rust, but the nails around it may rust and water will carry the stains to the areas around it.
  • Wood damage is another indicator your windows have been leaking.  Check out the sills themselves.  If the wood appears to have water damage (ya know, bubbly and distorted), your windows are likely the culprit.
  • Bugs. This one makes me cringe.  I am not a fan of any type of bug (sorry bug people).  Bugs like water and tend to hang out around water. If you’ve got some random bugs hanging out around your windows, water may be nearby.

Water coming in your windows can be from a variety of things.  Windows that aren’t properly installed can leak through cracks around them and need to be replaced or reinstalled.  But that is not always the case.  Sometimes even windows installed correctly leak because of other factors such as condensation or extremely cold temperatures causing windows to form ice on them – inside and out.  Here are some things you can do to prevent this from happening:

  • Use a dehumidifier.  If your windows are fogging up on cold, rainy days or snowy days, there’s too much water in the air.  A dehumidifier will help keep the water out and away from your windows.  Too much water over time can damage and warp windows.
  • Keep curtains and blinds open to allow air to circulate around your windows.  I don’t LIKE looking outside when it’s dreary, but it’s a good idea to get air moving around the house anyway. Plus, dreary weather is good nap weather so you won’t see it if you’re able to catch some ZZz’s at the same time.
  • Check around your windows for cracks.  Cracks around your windows can be filled with caulk at least as a temporary solution.   So get your caulking gun out and go nuts, at least until you can get the problem permanently fixed.
  • Jack up the heat!  This is my favorite suggestion because I’m always freezing, but also my least favorite suggestion when I get my gas bill.  You don’ t need to keep your home feeling like the tropics, but you should keep it warm enough so frost doesn’t form on your windows in the overnight hours.  If you like to be cool when you sleep, put a fan on.  Circulating the air in your home is a good idea anyway!
  • If your windows are already old and in poor condition, you can cover them with shrink-wrap plastic to keep heat in and cold/wetness out.  This doesn’t do a whole lot for keeping the window from being damaged, but it does help with that gas bill.
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