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Doors & Windows

Leak in Window Frame

Help!!!! How in the world do we go about fixing this? This spot is beneath the sheet rock and revealed water saturated and almost rotten lath boards in our house that was built in the range between 1915-1921! There is a gaping hole under the corner of the window frame where a breeze of outside air can be felt. Please help us!!!
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Posted 2016-10-12T02:06:02+0000  by Rosieposie Rosieposie
I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but you may have a pretty serious problem that will require the services of a professional.  At the very least you'll need to open the wall to see what's going on and quite possibly the exterior of the wall as well.  That window looks pretty old and it's quite possible that water has damaged it to the point that it needs to be replaced.
Posted 2016-10-13T08:30:58+0000  by Adam444
Hello Rosieposie.  Welcome to the Community!

I have seen this kind of damage before with houses built in the twenties.  The double hung wood window has removable screen and storm window inserts.  The sill is made of wood, and over time will begin to leak rain water down into the wall when the screen is in place.  You may be able to stop this by painting the sill plate and then sealing it with caulk.  In addition, there are a pair of triangular drain holes in the frame that holds the screen/storm windows.  These usually have a small metal perforated plate to keep bugs out, but are intended to drain off outside any water that gets on the sill plate.  Rebuilding the window is a possible fix, including painting as I described. 

Installing the storm window year round would also prevent rain from getting into the wall.  That may or may not be a usable solution based on your need for ventilation in the summer months.  Obviously, replacing the window with a new one would solve this as well.

Insulation in these old homes is minimal at best.  If there is any in the walls at all it will likely be a thin layer of paper backed rock wool stapled to the outside section of the wall.  Once wet, it no longer functions. 

Wall repair can either be done with plaster or a drywall patch.  I prefer to cut out drywall to mimic the damaged area since that is an easier process.  Because the damage starts at the lower window molding, I would remove that as well before fixing the wall.


Posted 2016-10-13T14:46:06+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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