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Leaky Window Advice ?

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:08 am
by Teresa73
Hi Everyone,

The water comes from the top of the window, and the water seems to be running along the 2x4 or 4x4 stud and the white metal window frame on the inside of the window. The white metal seems to be gaped slightly away from the wood. The water follows the metal on a down slope into the center where it's gaped the most away from the wood - then drips down.

I suck at explaining this - sorry. Maybe the photo will help more.

I did use clear silicone like caulk on the outside of the window (outside of the house) and I caulked the (censored) out of it from top to bottom and left to right. But that did not help at all.

I'm scared to caulk the inside where I can see the water coming in because I don't want to 'force' the water that is coming in to find another outlet, like the inside of my wall or something.

Any ideas ? Should I try to repair it myself or seek a repairman?

With all my thanks,

P.S. I do have the MHR Manual, but could not find the answer to a leak at a top of a window in it, just mostly replacing entire windows.

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:57 am
by Greg
You are correct in you thoughts about caulking the inside. I would grab the ladder and look very close again at the top of the window and the area between the window and the roof also the roof edge for ANY cracks or small screw holes. Greg

RE: Leaky Window Advice ?

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:46 pm
by JD
I have found that these leaks are most often roof leaks. Without an overhang, any water that gets in at the roof edge will get into the wall. The leaks aren't always obvious, especially if you have a a lot of old sealants on the edge with some cracking and wear. Just because the sealant shows slight cracking does not always mean it leaks and just because the cracks are over the window does not mean this is the source of the leak. The water can travel a little ways along the edge, or it could be from a nearby vent. Edge leaks can even happen at the ridge cap (if you have one), but usually there will be ceiling stains before the edge of the ceiling.

Anyways, unless the there is an obvious problem in the window sealant, I would suspect the roof.


Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:46 pm
by Teresa73
Thank you two very much for the advice and input.

My husband went up on the roof, in the rain no less to look at the roof, shingles, look for holes, cracks, etc. like you guys said.

He said the shingles in some areas are slightly curled up, making the water 'pool up' in the shingle itself. He hammered a bunch of shingle/roofing nails into the lifted part of the shingles, and then put some silicone caulk over the nails.

Hopefully this will help, but he did say it looks like we need new shingles. He said they shouldn't be lifting at all, collect standing water, curl, or be lifted up off the edge of the roof.

Step-dad suggested (for now) once it gets warm, to put tar under the shingles, and set bricks on them on a hot day - that doing that should seal any leaks and give us a few years more use out of the shingles... ?

Any advice on step dad's suggestion?

Also, does anyone know how I figure out how much shingles will cost or how many *bags* of shingles I would need to shingle the roof ?

It's a 16 X 80 foot single wide MH built in 1995 I believe. Original shingles still (so we assume).

RE: Leaky Window Advice ?

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:03 pm
by JD
This curling is pretty common with mobile homes as the shingles get older. The edge metal leaves a slight rise at the edge of the roof and as shingles age and conform to this lift, the curling would begin. When there is no overhang, water that blows up this curl will get into the top of the wall. This is why I insist on Ice & Water Shield or Owen's Corning WeatherLock be installed at least on the eave edges of the roof. I also want this product around vents and openings of the roof sheathing. These underlayments will "self heal" around all fasteners. It is very waterproof, so water that gets up in there just runs back out instead of penetrating the wall.

Your stepdad's suggestion is the old school way of dealing with this problem and it does work most times, depending on the severity of the problem and age (brittleness) of the shingles. It is certainly the cheapest way to go, if you do this work yourself. It is certainly worth a shot. I don't know about the bricks though. There is a starter row of shingles and the first course of shingles are on top of that. If you just mastic the bottom of these layers, only the starter strip will be stuck down. If the curl is still in the first course, the water will push in at that point and could travel to the 6" to the top of the starter row and get in there. Putting mastic between both the starter and first course could cause quite a build up and transfer the problem area to the second course.

If your shingles are in good shape, ie.. still pliable, edges aren't worn or frayed, not loosing it's mineral coating (colored gravel like stuff), you could just replace the first 3 courses and starter course, installing Ice & Water Shield before installing new shingles.

As for shingle cost, it depends on the quality of products you choose. Elk brand shingles are great! But there is more than shingles. There is roof felt or Ice & Water Shield, edge metal, mastic and nails. A bit picky, but you could spend $40-$70 on nails alone. You may also need new metal jacks for vents and valley metal if you have a gable on the side of the home. Using Ice & Water Shield and Elk shingles and all the trimmings could run $2200 to $2500 total cost of materials. Local roofers in my area would charge about $4500 to install this roof.

The tar/mastic solution might give you 1-3 years of added life. Installing Ice & Water Shield with 3 new course of shingles would probably extend the life of the roof to the remaining life of the shingles that you did not replace. How long new shingles last depends a lot on your local weather conditions. Intense sun and wind will shorten the life of shingles, as will the pitch of the roof itself. Here in Central Valley California where we have intense sun, 30 year shingles might last 12-15 years. Areas with moderate sun and wind, the shingles might last 20 years. In both cases, you might be able extend the life of the shingles with spot repairs and a few ceiling stains.