Need help - potential water issue

rbcaldwellMay 22, 2014

Our house is a little over a yr old and today I noticed the inside wood window sill appears to be buckling and has a water stain (in the left corner only). We never use this window so it has never been left open to allowed rain in. Any idea what could cause this? When I open the window there is not standing water inside the sill. Attached is a picture; any advice or feedback on what to do next or potential causes is appreciated.

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Were the house older I would say a flower pot sat on the sill at one time. It's doubtful you would have forgot about that within a year so I'm stumped.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 10:43PM
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What wall on the house is this window?

If it a north facing window and there is a heat/AC vent that blows air on the window(behind a curtain maybe), the cause could be condensation caused by hot air blowing on a cold wall in winter and cold air on a hot wall in summer.

The cure is to put a deflector on the vent, but the repair is to remove the wood and sheet rock and replace the wet pieces.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 12:27AM
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Just to confuse things, I'd follow handymac's guess first, but then start worrying about the flashing outside the window, your weather and exposure taken into account of course. I have trouble diagnosing that sort of thing (thus "worrying") but have heard that a hose and/or sprinkler can be used.

This also assumes you've inspected that plastic window channel very closely for drainage problems. You say you've found "there is not standing water inside the sill" but what about in the channel, and what about the water being no longer there by the time you inspect but it was once?

It's not a house, it's an adventure!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 12:46AM
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Fifty bucks says you've got a flashing problem. Unzip your siding and take a peek and pictures. Unfortunately, if they did one window wrong, they're probably all wrong. I'm not trying to scare you, but this cannot wait.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:22AM
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Check the weep holes at the lower corners of the outside of the window. They may be painted over and sealed shut. Many vinly windows have little flipper covers over the weep holes that need to be cleaned periodically. If you paint over these, they won't work.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 1:54PM
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I'm with Trebruchet on this one.

Not to be over-dramatic, but get to the bottom of the issue now, while the house is under warranty.

Was a big newspaper article in our local paper about a couple who bought a 7-8 year old home only to discover that the window flashing had been leaking for some time and had a serious mold problem. The house wasn't habitable, and the cost to repair (remove drywall, mitigate mold, fix window issues) was tens of thousands and they had no recourse with the seller since the seller wasn't aware of the problem. Inspection noted some water damage around windows... but not the extent of the problem. It bankrupted the couple.

Hopefully this is a minor issue: but do get to the bottom of it now rather than later.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 2:19PM
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