Windows and Doors/Window leak


My tenant called and said that there was a minor water leakage from the windows due to the heavy rains and winds in Illinois.Also he mentioned that he was unable to lock the windows,I am trying to find the causes for the leak? could it be from not locking the windows?

All windows have a Design pressure rating (to withstand air and water infiltration)some are better than others but everything has a limit if this was a huge storm and the wind and rain come in at just the right angle the window could leak. And that is something that can happen when we get these huge rain storms nothing can be 100%.  

Water in the bottom track of a vinyl window:

If this is a vinyl window they are designed to leak.  All vinyl windows have a weep system. If you look on the outside of your window you will see 1 or 2 holes on the bottom of the window.  How a weep system works is if water gets in to the inside of the window the water will be in the bottom track of the window but will then leak out to the outside through the weep holes - it can be normal to find water is the bottom track only after a storm and it will go away through the weep system. If it did not go away and leaked over the track onto the wall the weep wholes may be clogged.

If the window was leaking from the top or sides:

There could be many reasons why the window leaked. If the window was not closed all the way so they could not lock it that could have caused the leaking. Also depending on how old the windows are the weather strip on the windows could have gotten brittle and disintegrated due to the sun. If that is the case then water could have come in that way so you would need to replace the weather strip.

Also what can cause a window to leak is really not the window at all. The caulking around the window that seals it (if it was not a high quality caulk used when installed) could have become brittle and cracked over the years due to sun exposure. The water can then get in around the top or sides of the window and come in on the inside making it look like the window has leaked. Water travels to the path of least resistance.

We have also seen a window leak that was due to the flashing on the roof. Water was getting in behind the wall where a roof and wall come together and then leaked on top of the window. Or if there is a window above the window that leaked water could have gotten in at the bottom of the upper window and came out on top of the lower window.

My suggestion would be if you know where you purchased the windows from call that dealer and ask to talk to their service department or if you know what brand of window you have call the factory and say that you want a window technician to come to your home and do a water test to see where the leaking is accruing (you will have to pay a fee for this if it's not a window warranty issue).

You can also look up window service repair men in your area to get a qualified technician to come and look at the window. I would search "window repair" or "window service".

But start by looking at the window inside and out yourself you may see the problem (i.e. no weather strip or cracked caulk).

Sorry I could not have been more help. Leaking windows are tricky and each one is different.

R&R Windows & Doors

Windows and Doors

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Brittini Reitz


We are most familiar with the Hurd Window & Door brand. We can answer how to replace parts, identify parts, where to buy parts, if they are discontinued from manufacture and if there is a retro fit part that will work, how to shim and adjust Hurd Windows & Doors or diagnose a problem a Hurd window is having and how to fix it. We can also answer questions about pros and con of different types of window brands and help a person to know what they should ask when they are looking to buy new or replacement windows.


R&R Window Service (dba) R&R Windows & Doors is a family owned and operated company. We started out as service center for windows and patio doors. Now we are a dealer, installer and service center for Colorado. Our founder Ron Reitz has been in the window industry since the late 1980's, so people not only be getting my window and door expertise but from everyone in our company. Our window & door lines we carry are Hurd Window & Door, Cascade Windows and Milgard Windows & Doors. But we have worked on about every type of window brand that has been sold in Colorado over the years.

These is for everyone in our company who would help answer questions: Arapahoe Community College, Installation Masters Institute - Level RLC-1, Hurd Sales Training Program, Hurd Service Training Program, EPA Lead Base Paint Certified.

©2016 All rights reserved.