New home windows today are generally built with a vinyl or wooden frame that is covered by a metal exterior skin. Vinyl window frames and metal-clad exterior frames are virtually maintenance free. Interior wood finishes should be maintained according to the manufacturersʼ instructions.

Window Weatherstripping

Did you Know?

Weatherstripping will lose its flexibility if it is painted – do not paint the weatherstripping in your home.

The weatherstripping on your windows prevents air leakages from the parts of the window that move (i.e., open and close).

On windows that open outwards with a crank (casement or awning windows), the weatherstripping is usually a compressible, moulded strip of foam or rubber set against the frame towards the outside of the window. The opening part of the window rests against the weather stripping with the window is closed, forming an airtight and watertight seal.

On sliding windows, the weatherstripping is usually a flexible v-strip or brush/bristle set between the track and the moveable window at the point where the stationary portion of the window meets the sliding portion. Some windows have a felt-type of weatherstripping that can gather at one edge, creating an air gap at the opposite end of the window.

Weatherstrips that have lost their resiliency do not provide an effective air or water seal and should be replaced. Weatherstripping between the stationary and moving parts of the window should be checked regularly, repositioned, and replaced when necessary.

Windows and Water Leakage

Windows will leak if they are not closed properly or if the weatherstripping has become worn out or damaged. Windows can also leak when the ʻdrain portsʼ are plugged. When windows do leak, typically the water will pool.along the interior window casing and on windowsills. If the water is not cleaned up, it can lead to staining on the sills, casing and walls and may even begin to rot.

Window drain ports help water and moisture to escape through the bottom of the window. On some sliding or opening windows, these ports or small openings are located on the outside of the window at the bottom of the windowsill. The opening is often capped and allows water caught in behind the weatherstripping or in the window frame or seal to drain to the outside of the home. These ports must be kept clear of any blockages (debris such as insect webs, fluff or leaf particles) so that water can drain properly. Your windows are designed to withstand a certain level of wind-driven rain; however, during unusually heavy rainstorms where the wind is very strong against your windows, they may leak.