waterproofing replacement windows


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Old 12-26-09, 07:11 PM
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waterproofing replacement windows

I have a 10 year old brick vineer home with lousy windows (Norco casements which leak at the subfloor due to improper installation and no flashing or housewrap around the window openings). The rain enters under the casement sash and into the window itself, and then down the wall.

I've tried a number of way to fix these windows including properly repitching the limestone sills and new caulking, but these windows just plain need to be replaced (probably with Anderson 400 casements or maybe Marvin).

I'd like to understand how to properly weatherproof the openings to prevent water entry under and around the windows given the original builder did nothing. He just installed the current windows in the opening and put the asphalt paper around them (no taping or anything). The nailing fins for the most part are completely exposed or under the wrap. I saw this when re-setting the sills.

Do replacement windows correct for this type of situation in their weatherproofing during install, particularly in a brick vineer home (there is a good inch or more air space between brick and housewrap that I have seen). I want to be sure the problem I have now never happens again.
 
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Old 12-27-09, 03:35 AM
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Replacement windows won't correct an improper original casing/sill installation. If you have nailing fins, you probably have good vinyl clad windows, now. It may be proper reflashing and taping can help remedy the problem. What type siding do you have? Could you post a couple of pictures on a site such as photobucket.com and copy/paste the IMG code to your reply post? That way we can see what you see and can give better advice.
 
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Old 12-27-09, 06:22 AM
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Chandler

The windows are aluminum clad wood exterior, not vinyl. I can't post a photo of the nailing fins as they are covered with brick! When all the brick rollock sills were replaced with limestone this fall we could see the fact that the housewrap was all done wrong around the windows. They definately installed the window first, then the tar paper.

The house is all brick vineer. The windows are not pitched properly and they are plain cheap. They don't seal well. Water is coming through the window itself (under and around the sash), that's why I want to replace them.

I want to use full frame replacements, not inserts.
 
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Old 12-27-09, 08:05 AM
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Windows should be incorporated into a WRB (water resistive barrier). Did you notice housewrap or felt paper BEHIND the nailing flanges of your aluminum windows, or was it on top?

For a nailing flange to shed water onto the WRB, it obviously needs to be on top of the WRB. The only fix I could see would be to remove your limestone sills, remove fasteners in the bottom nailing flange, install a strip of WRB behind the bottom nailing flange, and hope for the best.

I think you probably know that the answer to your question is that you can't do a proper job of sealing the perimeter of your existing windows without removing the brick. If you decide to replace the windows with new windows that have a nailing fin, the size of the new unit is critical, and should be approximately 4 1/4" narrower than the brick opening is wide, and approximately 3 1/2" shorter than the brick opening is tall. This will allow space for self adhering membrane tape, and will allow 2" on the sides and top for brickmold, 1 1/4" on bottom for sill nose, plus 1/8" per side for irregularities.

One thing you could do until then, is identify exactly where the water is entering the wall. Remove the casing from the bottom (interior side) of the window, cut drywall away from the jamb as needed to expose the rough opening. You will likely have fiberglass stuffed around the window. Remove some of this fiberglass and see if it's wet. Continue as needed until you find the source of the leak. If it's wet on top, then you probably have a roof leak, or water from the gutter is finding it's way back to the house via the soffit.

If the insulation around the window is dry then it probably isn't coming in around the window, it's coming in below the window. Tucking the WRB behind the bottom nailing flange would help in that case. You could also have felt paper lapped the wrong way below the window. Or there may be no weep holes / flashing / wick ropes behind your brick, since water that gets in has to get out, that's a brick detail that would need attention.

Also keep in mind that no window flashing tape (that I have found, anyway) will stick to felt paper. If your existing WRB is felt, you would want to surround the rough opening with tyvek (or similar housewrap) once you get the old window out (try to get a 12" strip around the perimeter of the window, slipping it behind the brick) then install your new window on top of that. After the window is installed, you'd tape the flanges as best as you can in the space remaining.
 
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Old 12-27-09, 08:22 AM
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One note....quality windows (Andersen comes to mind, I'm sure others have the same) can be installed using "masonry clips". These are installed to the window frame using screws, the window is put in the opening and adjusted and shimmed, then the clips are bent around the wall framing on the interior and attached. Normally any drywall damage can be concealed by trim.

Now, of course this does not address the WRB and weatherproofing...but it can prevent a lot of brick removal and mismatched mortar.
 
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Old 12-27-09, 08:57 AM
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I know Marvin has intsalltion instructions available on their web site in PDF. They are definitely worth a look. I had Marvin window inserts put in last spring. They are the Double hung Aluminum Clad. I find them to be far nicer than the Anderson and Pellas and cost more than 30% less installed.
 
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Old 12-27-09, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

I wanted to clarify that we know exactly why the windows leak. That's not the question I was trying to get at. Sorry to confuse you.

The water is not coming from around the windows via the flange. It comes THROUGH the bottomw of the window unit itself. The casement sash does not close/seal properly. This is a design/install defect. The water enters under the bottom of the sash where it meets the sill, into the barewood hardware box, and down into the wall. There is no leaking anywhere else. Drywall all around is pristine. Only the subfloor is wet. You can open the casement after a rain and see the interior box is soaked completely. You can also completely seal the bottom exterior with plastic and completely solve the problem.

Yes, the flashing is tar paper and it was put down after the windows were installed. When we removed the sills we could see the tarpaper when up to the bottom of the nailing flanges and was cut and stapled.

The brick has weep holes and underlayment and the roof is not leaking.

I want to do full frame casement replacements, not inserts. I want to start over and do it right. I have * 38 * openings of single, double and triple casements, not including two sets of triple french doors and triple on a triple stack in a two story office. This will not be cheap (course nothing was a cheap as the schmuck who built the place).

I would like to understand how to properly water seal the bare frame opening given it is not lapped on any side with house wrap or paper. The videos on Anderson's site address the sill protection but I'd like to understand how the other 3 sides of the opening are prepped to prevent water entry. I think if I read XSleeper correctly I will need to wrap the frame with tyvek and then insert the new window and seal from the outside.

I want to do this without removing any brick.

I think I may have found a solution: http://www.coastalcontractor.net/article/149.html thoughts?

Thanks.
 

Last edited by frankIL; 12-27-09 at 10:21 AM. Reason: found a link that might help.
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Old 12-27-09, 02:01 PM
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That's what XSLEPPER was explaining. That's the way to do it.
 
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Old 05-30-10, 04:05 PM
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Is there any way to do this without using a smaller window?

I had a guy from a big, reputable window company (angies list A+, tons of great reviews for years) come out to talk to me about the project. He told me they install tons of windows in brick veneer homes and they apply soft sill tape on the bottom and up the sides of the RO, but they do nothing to integrate the new window into the tar paper. I was kind of shocked. He said there is not way to get behind the brick to re tape it, that this is the way they install them all and no problems with them?!

Also, he completely talked down the use of low expansion foam around the window. Another guy from another window company also said they don't use it, that it breaks down, and that batting is better.

Not sure now what to use/do.
 
 

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