Window & Drainage Problems

Monday, November 06, 2006
We bought an old house, and the windows in our house are beautiful & in overall satisfactory condition, but unfortunately, they are almost 70 years old, and after yet another day of heavy rains & windy, stormy weather, we realized that our windows need some work. We have over 30 windows in our house, and of those 30, about 25 need work, because rain is seeping in from the outside, causing the interior frame to get saturated with water. The south facing windows are the worst. The other windows have this problem to a much lesser degree. One of the south facing windows is letting in enough water that it is dripping to the window sill & at one point was dripping down the wall, due to water coming in from the seams around the frame. Some of our windows are jammed & do not open, and a few windows have broken sashes. We are in the process of getting someone hired to go through & fix our windows. It will be a long process of eventually replacing our windows with custom-made wooden framed storm windows, which we plan to do as we have money, but we want to make these ones last as long as possible. We need someone to come through when the weather is dry again & reapply putty to the exterior seams, possibly caulk the interior seams, fix broken sashes, and essentially get our windows back to working order. We might get an estimate on replacing a few of these south facing windows that seem to be in the worst shape. I'm assuming the problems are fixable, but it might be more cost-effective to replace them altogether. This could be a big expense for us this winter, but we have money set aside for hidden expenses like this. We have a friend that knows windows (Matty), and he is going to come over & look at them. We might end up hiring him to do repairs. Some of the maintenance we can learn to do ourselves & keep up on it from year to year, but for now, the issues with our windows are more than we are willing to deal with ourselves, so the plan is to hire someone to come in & get them all up to par, then try to keep up with the maintenance thereafter, and possibly start ordering & replacing a few each year until eventually we have all new windows.

To make things even more stressful, I went down this evening to do more laundry (it never ends, and just when you think you've caught up, there seems to be a new pile by the end of the day), and noticed yet MORE water flowing in from the crack in our foundation. I ran outside with a flashlight, and the drain from the gutter was working just fine, so now we have an issue with too much water around the foundation, and need to get the drainage experts out here pronto to recommend to us what sort of drain we need to have installed around the west & north ends of the house. Keeping water off the foundation is super important, because it will prevent further damage to the foundation, not to mention keep water out of our basement!

All of this felt really stressful, but when it comes down to it, we just have two issues we need to immediately address, and we are working to get them addressed as soon as we can! I'm just glad we have money set aside for these unexpected homeowner issues!

Tip to prospective home buyers--always factor in extra money in your budget beyond what your mortgage payment is, because there are always unexpected financial issues that come up when you buy a house!


--Karli

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