Asked on Mar 15, 2016

Hard driving rain causes leak around window

by Lou
We have a two story brick home. Over the past 25 years during severe rain storms during which the rain is angled thereby directly hitting the front of the house, water is finding its way into the cavity behind the brick in the vicinity of a second floor window. (Note, it has been confirmed that all windows, new windows in fact, do not leak.) That water travels down and penetrates the sheet rock atop and on the sides of the first floor window located directly below the second floor window mentioned above. To eradicate these leaks voids in brick and mortar have been filled with appropriate weatherproof clear silicone. After the most recent leaks the sheet rock above the first floor window cavity was damaged and will be replaced.
I am seeking comments about such leaks and how we can totally prevent future incidents. It is important to note the leaks do not occur during normal rain. Now that additional brick & mortar caulking has recently been completed is there a way we do a water test? If so, how is such a test performed? An additional question. What is the very best clear sealing caulk to use?
Any and all comments, suggestions and questions are invited.
  22 answers
  • Ceeshae Ceeshae on Mar 16, 2016
    We have a similar problem, so I will waiting to see what suggestions you get
  • Pat4344727 Pat4344727 on Mar 16, 2016
    I have had a leaking window /wall issue for years..3 sets of doors later...FLEX SEAL did the trick and weather stripping. I am currently working on the flat window with the flex seal having to tape off the window frame (frame house flat windows) the flex seal is pretty amazing just make sure you let it dry completely before painting. There is a flex seal brand and a rustoleum brand I have used both equally good results. Also I had a home inspection friend come over with a moisture meter to see if inside wall was wet/dry. He is coming again this week to measure the moisture levels again with the meter since we had rain recently. In addition a home inspection person might have a FLUKE meter it is infrared..hope this helps
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 16, 2016
    Leaky windows leads to rot! That water is going down into your walls! We solved it by putting in new metal windows. We also had the facings clad so now they paint only up to the window facings! The water is coming in because you either need to re-glaze your windows or do some caulking. After 45 years, we got tired of paying money to have this done over and over...wooden windows deteriorate, especially if you are facing due west with the Southern Sun like we have here in Atlanta! We do save some money on heating/cooling costs, but the comfort level is so much better! HINT: We put on a darker roof and charcoal gutters. I wish I had put in dark windows! The white ones get so dirty! And you cannot pressure wash double pane windows that have that gas between layers!
  • Linda Y Linda Y on Mar 16, 2016
    You need to get this sorted out as if this is a longstanding problem the bricks can be damaged and eroded by the water as had happened in an old house I had. The problem could be in the pointing of the bricks or on lead flashing or a roof tile. It may be covered by your house insurance. See if you can find the issue yourself, it's possible a tube of silicone sealant might fix it, or ask a builder you trust to investigate it for you.
  • Mary Ann Salsman Mary Ann Salsman on Mar 16, 2016
    Make sure the weep holes in your windows are clear and the windows are well caulked.
  • Annette Schneider Annette Schneider on Mar 16, 2016
    The bricks are absorbing the rain. You need to spray them with silicone.
    • DPForumDog DPForumDog on Apr 19, 2020

      Why would the bricks around this window absorb rain but not any of the other bricks around the 20 other windows?

  • Eloise Eloise on Mar 16, 2016
    We had the same problem with a picture window. Exterior caulking solved the problem.
  • William William on Mar 16, 2016
    Is there drip flashing installed on the top frame of the window to divert rainwater from getting behind the window and brick? Caulking alone will not last and seal the window gaps alone. Most builders will stuff fiberglass insulation to fill the gaps and then caulk. Caulk eventually fails and water still gets behind the frames. Best way to fill the gaps between window frames and walls is to use LOW expansion foam insulation. Comes in a spray can with various size tubes to fit different size gaps. Then seal with clear caulk. Any exterior grade caulk will work. Most tubes are labeled what their use is for. To do a water test, use a garden hose and spray a small area along the window frame and look for leaks. Move along the frame to another area with the hose and again look for leaks. Don't just spray the whole window at one time. You want to isolate the area the leak is coming from.
    • DPForumDog DPForumDog on Apr 19, 2020

      William, are you telling them that they need to install drip flashing and that will stop the problem?

  • Lou Lou on Mar 16, 2016
    Thank you Patty. Is your homes exterior brick or wood? Where did you spray the FLEXSHIELD? Will you ask inspector friend if the meter works on brick walls and from interior walls. Thanks
    • Pat4344727 Pat4344727 on Mar 17, 2016
      @Lou the house is a frame house. I live in Florida and have a southwest exposure in my screened pool area. VERY hot and the exterior is stucco. The other thing that helped is the house was painted with elastameric has almost a rubber like feel to it very think and nothing gets thru it once applied properly. I will ask David about the brick..but I THINK he told me it would not read thru my stucco..but I will ask..he used the meter on my interior walls. I used the flex seal around the door frames and window comes in colors..I was hesitant to use the color bc of matching issues so I used the white it dries to an off white but it is paintable
  • Lou Lou on Mar 16, 2016
    Please provide the products brand name.
  • Lou Lou on Mar 16, 2016
    William, please post a photo of a window with the flashing you mentioned.
  • William William on Mar 16, 2016
    The flashing is also called a "drip edge". The first and second floor windows on the right in the picture have the drip edge/flashing.
    comment photo
  • G G on Mar 16, 2016
    Could be from the roof ? Possibly a weak flashing area ? Tough to pin down. Talk to a roofer
  • M'sMammy M'sMammy on Mar 16, 2016
    I recently had some windows replaced and the installer used, and recommended that I use, Mortar Repair by Quickrete. Comes in a tube to use in a caulking gun, comes in different colors to match your mortar, and is for brick and block walls. Available at big box store.
  • Pat4344727 Pat4344727 on Mar 18, 2016
    Lou, I asked home inspection guy about the moisture meter working thru brick..he said not well at all. He said it is for the inside walls: drywall etc..hope that answers your question
  • Pat4344727 Pat4344727 on Mar 18, 2016
    product brand name is Rustoleum Leak Seal I found at wal mart for about $12 good sized can the other is called FLEX SEAL and I am not sure the manufacturer..I see it advertised on tv..approx same cost and avail at wal mart too am sure the big box stores have as well lowes home depot etc..hope that helps
  • Lou Lou on Mar 22, 2016
    Maybe resolve
  • Eileen Brown Eileen Brown on Jan 22, 2017

    Although late to the party, I have a related question regarding cracks and such on a manufactured home with non-brick siding. It's composite. I'd like to seal the cracks and such before painting this summer, getting it ready. Would flexshield work on composite siding? I am in Portland, OR and we have just passed the worst snow and ice in the area, not to be returning likely. I'd like to save on my electric bills, and I'm told this may help.

  • Pat4344727 Pat4344727 on Jan 23, 2017

    Eileen I think there might be a contact number or website for those products I would ask them, mine I was able to paint over but you really have to apply it neatly. personally I think it would work for you, but double check. I swear by the stuff

  • Patricia Patricia on Jan 23, 2017

    We had a problem with a leaking window everytime we would get a hard rain. My husband inspected the area and found that the gutters were not sufficient for the water flow and this was causing the leaking at the window. We'll be doing a gutter upgrade very soon.

  • Leonard Krell Leonard Krell on Oct 07, 2017

    Calking or Clear silicone

  • Judith Gareau Judith Gareau on Aug 10, 2020

    Had a slider installed on second floor every time it rains it leaks on for us floor what could be the problem