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Leaking Double-Hung Windows

Posted by L J Privara on May 15th, 2002 10:13 AM

I am the president of a condo association, responsible for making sure that repairs to common and limited-common elements are done in a timely manner.

My building is a 6-unit, 3-story with loft constructed in 1993. The exterior of the first three floors is covered with a brick-veneer. The exterior of the loft area (2nd floor of the 3rd floor units), has aluminum siding. The steep roof steeply slopes north and south. On each floor of the east and west side of the building there are three double-hung windows (aluminum-clad over wood), two of which are installed next to each other and are located in each unit's master bedroom.

Last week we had heavy rains. Two of the unit owners reported water leaking in through upper inside frame of one of the two windows located in their respective master bedrooms, and down or around the center frame that partitions the two windows. Coincidentally, one of the owners lives under the other. This owner had their leaking window recaulked two-years ago, and the leaks didn't appear again until last week.

The only thing that I know about the building's construction is the builder had ordered windows too small for the openings that were already constructed. Rather than sending the windows back, the builder fixed the frames around the windows. Installed over each window frame is a steel beam and a decorative concrete lintel.

These windows, which face east, only leak when the wind is blowing from the east. The association doesn't want to have the windows recaulked if this is only a temporary fix, or does not actually address the problem. There is only one window repair shop in our area. The rep suggested my having the windows resealed. A masonry company wanted to start ripping out the bricks around the windows and reflash and recaulk. The company which replaced some of the siding in the loft area said that they could recaulk around the windows.

Does anyone have any insight on this type of problem before I start ordering expensive repairs?

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