Problems with cold air coming in around the windows

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Posted by: from Phelpston
10/23/2013 at 1:15:59 PM

We have a relatively new house, built in 2001, and are having problems with cold air coming in around the windows. Four of the windows are side opening and we have two sets of French doors. The house is brick and the caulking looks okay although there are a couple of spots that could be re-done.

We had a window washer for a couple of years but one time he used a very high pressure washer on the windows and the frame around the windows in one of the French Doors leaked water into the house. We have put foam insulation along the bottom of the French Doors but this is not a permanent solution.

Does anyone have any suggestion as to the problem and how we can solve it?

Here are some pictures.

problems with cold air coming in around the windows
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Royal Renos Stucco in Oakville
Date/Time10/23/2013 at 2:34:03 PM

Your windows are definitely not properly insulated around the edges. The reason wind can blow through is because of your brick has a 1 inch airspace between the wood sheathing so air can travel up and down to dry the brick and that is how your air is coming in through your window.

You need to remove the trim around your windows and spray foam the space. Even if you have pink or yellow insulation in there remove it. It's more than likely over packed and doesn't work.

As for the patio door that is a perfect example that they didn't properly insulate before the door was installed. They should've put a bead of caulking down on the floor and seated the sill into it but obviously they didn't do that so now the spray foam should take care of your problem but you should add latex caulking.

Hope this helps.


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Date/Time10/23/2013 at 3:40:19 PM

You did not specify if your windows are vinyl or not.

Aluminum windows are metal and they are much colder. Also is there any aluminum capping around the windows?

You need to look if your sash (the moving part of the slider) have on it brushes to sill it tight when the window is closed or it will leak.

Can you post a picture of the frame and the wall so we can see the area?

Hope this can help.

Harry C.

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Mark from CMJ Renovations in Oakville
Date/Time10/26/2013 at 9:11:41 AM

Hi Rosemary

Just like Rick stated above, at the time of install the original installer probably put very little insulation in, you need to remove the trim on the inside and the insulation that the builder put in. The next step is to use a low expanding foam around the window.

Good luck.

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