Are you looking for a contractor?

Submit our quick form and get quotes now!

Table of Contents

How to make windows more watertight | Renovation Quotes

How to make windows more watertight | Renovation Quotes

Exterior renovationsHow to make windows more watertight | Renovation Quotes

If you’ve done any serious remodelling work on your home, then it’s likely you’ve been met with the signs of water infiltration in some aspect: rotting wood, soaked insulation as well as mould and mildew growth. Notably, these signs can be recognized around a poorly or improperly installed window.  

Correctly sealing windows so that they are both airtight and watertight is incredibly important for maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature as well as avoiding issues like heightened energy costs, as well as health risks.

So, how can you make your windows watertight? We promise the process isn’t too complicated and can be completed by the novice or expert alike. Read on for our step-by-step guide!

Making windows more watertight

Sealing problem: why?

Source: Unsplash

One of the main reasons why your windows might not be watertight is due to poor installation. Further, there is an expectation that siding is more effective than it actually is in keeping the moisture out of the wall cavity. It’s important to mention that no matter how well siding is installed, moisture can still easily leak into the house wrap or further, into the frame.

If water does find its way onto the house wrap, it slides down it and manages to worm its way into small cracks or openings. As mentioned, when water finds its way into a wall cavity, it can easily cause mould and mildew growth. Mould and mildew in your home involve serious health risks. It is bad for both materials in your home as well as the humans living inside.

Testing your windows

Before you can know how watertight your window is, you’ll need to test it to try and find any leaks in or around the frame. The simplest way to do this is to buy a pack of incense and burn one of the sticks close to any windows you may suspect have leaks. If you find the smoke coming off of the incent flickers, this is a definite sign of a leak detection. 

Specifically check where any two windows meet, where one window meets the frame as well as where the frame meets the wall. A water leak is generally caused by a breakdown in a connection between the wall and the window frame. To prevent or remedy leaks, you will need to caulk the window in the places where it meets the exterior siding.

Installing new windows

If you’re starting from scratch and installing new windows, first and foremost it is important to read the instructions. Detailed instructions should be provided as part of any window kit, and these should be diligently followed in order to avoid water infiltration. Most window installation instructions will address forming a waterproof sill pan as well as shimming the window so that it works properly.

To do this, before installing the window it is suggested that you make an x-cut into the house wrap and staple the resulting tabs into the opening. However, the top tab needs to be cut so that it covers the window top flange. Following this, add pan flashing as this will collect and drain any water that finds its way into the window. If you are in a colder climate, we recommend that you apply a spray adhesive to improve how the pan flashing holds up.

Run it tightly along the insides of the window opening, folding any excess over the house wrap. It’s also recommended that you staple the flashing in place to prevent them from moving. You can find both house wrap and pan flashing at your local hardware store.

Put the new window in place

Source: Unsplash

Now will be the time when you install the window into place. In most cases, you will need to add caulking to the perimeter of the rough opening. Line the opening with caulk and flange, making sure it is correctly sealed. Before the caulk dries, it is crucial to have the window in place.

However, the bottom of the window should stay caulk-free, as sealing the bottom can trap water in the pan flashing, and this will lead to mould and mildew growth. Once the window is in place, there should be shim space on each side of the jamb. Now, check that the sill is level. If you find it’s not level, insert shims under one or both side jambs. 

Would you like to read more on the subject? We have a few articles for you:

  • How to Choose your Windows

  • How to Know When to Replace your Windows

  • 7 Different Windows Styles to Consider For Your Home

Would you like to have an estimation of the cost of your windows project? Try our cost calculator!

Get 3 renovation quotes for your window weatherproofing project can help you get quotes for your window weatherproofing project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals. 

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Last modified 2023-11-07

List of sources

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Looking for something else?

Table of contents

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Are you a contractor?

Join our network and receive real leads!

Download the price guide for renovations

We’ll be emailing you the latest market price guide for renovations.

Related articles

The latest industry news, interviews, technologies, and resources.

2 min read

Paul Riopel • 24 May 2024

How to Dismantle a Brick Wall?

Whether you're renovating to accommodate a growing family, addressing structural issues, or simply modernising your living space, the decision to demolish or remove part of a brick wall in your home is a significant one.

6 min read

Cynthia Pigeon • 07 Nov 2023

Cost of Purchasing and Installing an Interior Door | RenoQuotes

Although interior doors may seem secondary in any renovation project, they can play an important role in your planned interior design. Swinging, bifold, or sliding door, there are so many different models to choose from and that can fit any room in your home. 

5 min read

Cynthia Pigeon • 07 Nov 2023

Everything to Know About Modular Construction

Progress, innovation, and environmentally friendly concepts are all part of the current culture in various industries, and the real estate industry is no different. When it comes to architecture, the possibilities are now only limited by your imagination.

4 min read • 07 Nov 2023

Ergonomic Kitchen: 5 Ways to Improve Efficiency

Making dinner consists of twists, turns, dips and bends, and as a result, designers, architects and homeowners alike are beginning to pay attention to the ergonomics of the kitchen. The science of ergonomics leads to the encouragement of productivity, efficiency as well as control. Using a combination of appliances and fixtures with ergonomic design alongside proper room layout and planning, cooking and working in your kitchen can become comfortable.

7 min read • 01 Feb 2024

What Are the Best Marketing Tools for Your Construction Company?

There’s a plethora of marketing tools available, and, as a novice, you can easily get confused or spend your entire budget on them. With management tools, competitive analysis tools, and other keyword tools, it can be hard to know where to focus. 

Looking for a contractor?

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes now!