Leaky Bay Window

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Old 10-30-12, 12:49 AM
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Leaky Bay Window

Hello,
We are first owners of an 8-yr old home. Our bay window is situated in the front of our home and we have experienced about 6-10 occasions in the last 4 years where water would leak from the bulkhead above the window (where we hang the blinds). It only happens during a heavy rainfall. A specialist in wondows/doors came out a few weeks ago and did some caulking outside, but it did not fix the problem as it started leaking again today. Water has dripped from the blinds to the seat of our bay window to the walls beneath the seat. A small portion of the wall is now soft to the touch so I am worried about mold.

What should we do? We are not handy and prefer to get a contractor but want to make sure we know what to ask and to get it fixed right the first time. Do we need to request some special tools to indicate where the leak is coming from? Do we get a mold specialist to check it out or would a general contractor normally perform this mold check?

Thanks very much!
 
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Old 10-30-12, 02:59 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Does your bay window have a "roof" system built in? Do you have an overhanging soffit? It really would help us to see what you see, so if you could post a few pictures (not close ups) of the window from different angles, and from the top, we may can offer some suggestions. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 10-30-12, 08:41 AM
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Thanks for your quick response chandler! I will try to get some pictures posted tonight.
 
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Old 10-31-12, 07:36 AM
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Hi chandler,
Sorry for the delay. I have attached pictures of the bay window, both inside and outside. From what we can see, the rain is dripping from the area where the blinds are attached to the bulkhead, from all 3 sides of the bay window. Not sure if there is more moisture coming through the frame of the window, but as you can see the frame is detaching from the window ("cracks"), if that is how you explain it.

From your experience, any idea where the leaking may be coming from? As mentioned below, a contractor came by and did some exterior caulking around the "roof" (black area), but not sure if he did not cover everything properly or if the leak is just from somewhere else.

We wanted to have more knowledge of the situation so that when we call our next contractor, we would know what to ask and hopefully have it fixed properly this time.

Thanks very much!
Angela
 
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Old 10-31-12, 09:27 AM
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Pictures didn't post, Angela. Try again?
 
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Old 10-31-12, 09:38 AM
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Chandler included this link but it got a little buried in the rest of his response, so I'm putting out a little more clearly:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 10-31-12, 10:19 PM
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sorry about that, pictures now attached...
 
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Old 11-01-12, 03:16 AM
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That appears to be a good professional installation with proper flashing, etc. My only guess is that water is finding it's way in on the ledges of the windows above the bay. Can you stick your head out the window and inspect the edge of the window where it intersects the brick? Quite often the caulking will have failed allowing water in, and it will travel a long way before it finally drips, which could be in your bay. Let us know what you find.
 
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Old 11-01-12, 06:22 AM
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I would question whether water is getting behind the brick siding somewhere, such as around those upper windows. It appears to be novabrick or some type of faux siding, not real brick, correct? Does it leak worse on one side, or both sides or it leaks all everywhere, even in the center portion?
 
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Old 11-01-12, 12:24 PM
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based upon your photos it appears that the water is only at the window head and not in the ceiling of the bay itself. If the leak was from the roof I would expect to see some of the bay ceiling to be stained and damaged. (it might be but I did not see it in the interior photos)
Since the window and the piece of wall above the windows is about 6" to 8" inboard from the outer edge of the metal roof I believe the roof is not your problem. It is possible that the roof is fine but the joint between the top of the window and the short section of wall above the window is an issue. Hard to tell for sure.
 
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Old 11-02-12, 04:46 AM
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My instinct tells me to look at the windows above the unit. The bricks making up the outer sill area are layed flat and not sloped in anyway. I don't think that it is fake brick as there is an absence of any sort of J-channel.

I do see several areas that look like they need to be re-pointed. Several above the very top of the roof at the flashing, at least 1 above the lower left side flashing and the lower flashing on the right does not extend all the way behind the window. Majority of the slope of the roof appears to be face caulked to the brick. The mortar lines of the brick are excellent avenues for water infiltration.

Set your browser to at least 200% to see what I noticed closer up.
 
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Old 11-02-12, 05:34 AM
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Question for the window pro's. Wouldn't using a hose to selectively apply water to the various locations be an option? I had to do that a couple of years ago with a roof leak in the area of our front "bump-out".
 
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Old 11-02-12, 05:54 AM
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[SUB][/SUB]Hey tow - we already know it leaks, hitting it with a hose would only tell us something if we removed all the drywall inside and looked for water trails. The fact that it is leaking from all windows without staining the drywall tells me it is a flashing issue and the water is wicking down the inside of the roof to reach not only the areas close to the brick, but also the areas near the center window out inside the bay.
 
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Old 11-07-12, 09:56 PM
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the one photo shows a second bay unit directly adjacent to the one in question. Does this second unit ever leak?

I do think a hose test might be applicable. Yes we know the window leaks but we don't know from where. Spraying the upper windows with the brick sills is a good place to start (first one and then the other) you will have to run alot of water over the sill and wait some time to make sure water is not finding it's way in from there but it might help eliminate some possible sources.

Just a side-note: brick sills are a problem waiting to happen. to many joints, to many potential problems. Install cut stone sills and avoid all of the worries. Not an option for this house but I had to get on my soapbox about this builder's practice.
 
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