Replacement window & Sill

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by oops, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Why would I ask that?

    You had a question mark against my info stating that a gap and a packer should never be there!


    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  2. phmode

    phmode New Member

    Thanks for all the replies guys!

    Sean, let me try to clear up any confusion (which normally means creating yet more confusion).

    When the window was installed by the original builders, the upvc stub cill was placed flat on the stone cill; don't ask why there is a stub cill, I have no idea!

    Then, for whatever reason (reason having gone out of the window long ago), a packing spacer, about 20mm wide and 1-2mm thick, was placed on top of the stub cill, roughly in the centre of the cill. The window was then placed down onto this spacer which resulted in a gap of approx. 1-2mm between the bottom of the window frame and the top face of the stub cill the whole width of the window (apart from the width of the spacer) and reaching back to the upstand on the stub cill at the inner edge.

    So, I have a packing spacer in the middle of the window frame/stub cill assembly, resulting in a gap between the frame and the stub cill! As I have said, I now realise what I have and what I should have, the question was, how do I now overcome this builder's cock-up?

    I could try taking a few photos to show things, but all it would show was a barely discernible gap. I shall make an attempt at this as and when the weather finally clears.

    Many thanks again for the responses and ideas.

  3. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    that's makes sense now - the only way you'll resolve this to your own satisfaction is to take them out and see what's going on - it's common to have a stub cill, even if there is a stone/conc cill - if there's no internal upward pointing return a flat cill (whatever it is made of) will be prone to allowing wind driven moisture to pass inwards
  4. phmode

    phmode New Member

    I agree with you Sean. However, I am trying to balance my innate curiosity and my inability to 'not know what the hell is going on in there' with my desire to cut down on the workload and possible further disasters that may be caused by hauling the frames out in the unpredictability of the UK climate.

    While we still have this wind and rain, I am trying to find a dry weather window (literally!) to run a strip of tape along the front of the bottom frame member and down onto the stub cill as a stop-gap measure (literally!).

    If I leave a small gap in the taping at either end and a small gap in the centre to allow any existing moisture to drain away, this tape should stop the wind driving any more rain into the gap between the two mouldings. This will, if successful, prove that the damp in the reveals is caused by water ingress along the top of the stub cill tracking sideways and wetting the brickwork at the ends, rather than by, say, water getting between the sides of the frames and the brickwork and then working its way down to wet the plasterwork in the reveals.

    Thanks for the info guys. I shall try to take some meaningful photos and I shall let you all know how this one progresses as the weather continues and then how this pans out in the future.

    Many thanks again, Brian
  5. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    I wasn't suggesting you rip all of your windows out today, perhaps during that week During August when it doesn't rain ?

    Is your house coast facing, it sounds rather extreme.
  6. phmode

    phmode New Member

    One would think, from the wind that hits my house, that I was on a cliff top in Cornwall, but no! I live on the South side of a Bershire town on high ground. The way my house was built, which is on a medium sized estate, it is sheilded from the weather from the West and to a great extent from the South. However, there is a gap in the housing stock to the South-West of my house and this is what lets the prevailing weather hit me.

    The weather from the SW slices across the open plains and then climbs as it hits the rising ground leading into the outskirts of the town. Virtually the first thing it hits is my house. None of my neighbours have this problem to the same extent due to the handing of the projecting porches built into the house which on my house funnels the weather into the house and on theirs protects it. (As an aside, in these high wind-driven rains, my porch is now leaking water into the ceiling void from the post-build fitment of a breather strip at the porch ridge adjacent to the wall of the house. This was omitted by the builders, insisted on by the inspector and retro-fitted by the builders by lifting the beautifully dressed lead flashing, stuffing this plastic breather strip under it and then banging the leadwork down again onto it. This breather strip now needs to be removed. I shall probably merely fit an air brick to the side wall of the porch in its place.)

    Another indication of the ferocity of the wind hitting my house corner-on, is that in the pond in the back garden to the North of the property, which has 2m close boarded fencing on all sides, the plants grow in a semi-circular swirl caused by the funneling of the wind amplifying its velocity and causing vortices in the wind which makes for interesting Bar-B-Q smoke signals.

    And by the way Sean, I am peeved that you get a whole week in August when the rain lets up.

    Thanks again for the support, guys!

  7. phmode

    phmode New Member

    This was my first thought when I realised where the water was 'probably' getting in. However, when you look at the Sean's photo you will see that the cill has an upstand on its top surface which goes up behind the frame on the 'inside'! Taking the cill out means having to take the frames out. Good idea though, I was about to start fiddling with it when I first spotted Sean's photo of his frame and cill and mine is as near identical to his as it is possible to get.

    The problem with sealing from the inside edge is that the water is not getting in that way. It is getting in by being blown into the 1-2 mm gap between the stub cill and the frame, then wicking along the cill to wet the brickwork and thence the platerwork in the reveals, just above the window board.

    If my stop-gap measures (caulking the gap) don't resolve this then I can see the windows coming out, 2nd week in August; anyone free to lend a hand??
  8. Sean_ork

    Sean_ork Screwfix Select

    sounds like one of those many flimsy houses they mass built a while back just outside Reading between Early and Wokingham, I believe it was (at that time) Europe's largest housing estate

    things could be worse

  9. phmode

    phmode New Member

    I have friends who live in Earley, but no, I am on the southern outskirts of Newbury in a Lovell house, so yes, flimsy. There are only two houses that get the weather; the other one had to have its gable end wall taken down and rebuilt to stop the wind-driven rain ingress which began within the first year. Mine lasted until year 9 before the rot set in.

    So far I have fixed the window frame drainage issue, I just have the outstanding cill issue, and, since last week, the problem of water staining in the porch ceiling; this is the first time this has been seen, but of course, it could have been getting damp in there for years! Oh, and the issue of the house sockets RCCD trip blowing when the wind howls and the rain lashes down!!!

    And of course, you are right, it could be a damn sight worse, at least the roof is still on and watertight! Shhhh!

    Brian (who says the garden needs the water)
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  10. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Only two reasons I can think of as to why the sills should have been put on that way(and both of them inexcusable).
    One maybe that having the sill level would make the front end(drip) to high off the stone sill and looking unsightly, so the sill was tilted to lessen that gap.
    Or two, all the windows are put in out of plumb(tilting in at the top) which would also lift the stub sill too high and running backward.

    You need to seal that 2mm gap and I can see no reason why you can't get a fill of silicone along there, using a tube of silicone and a gun, even if you have to squash the nozzle flat for 10mm at the end.

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  11. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    Sadly, I can't see the original picture the OP put on.. Has it been deleted (or lost in the crossover to the new forum?) I can however see later pics/photos that have been added.... Nice photo Sean by the way,, almost looks like a horse galloping through the surf.
  12. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Yes. If you look at it for longer. you can see that it IS actually, a sheep!

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  13. phmode

    phmode New Member

    All the windows are true Andy, in all three planes, at least as far as my levels and eyes can tell. I hadn't actually thought about the stub cill being 'tilted' up or down at the front (outside edge) and I have no way of actually checking that other than getting out my feeler gauges and having a feel! That would only work if it was tilted down, if it were tilted up then the gap would be thinner at the outside edge and the feeler gauges wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    Interestingly, having been out in the three minutes that the rain let up this evening, I have now discovered yet another cill, or perhaps filler strip, between the stub cill and the stone cill. This is about 20mm tall and I have absolutely no idea what it is there for; I am beginning to think that the builders had a leftover stock of windows from another job and merely filled the height of the window opening with whatever was to hand!

    You are correct in saying that I 'should' be able to get a flattened nozzle into the gap and if I 'plug' the drain slots with paper before I try, then I should be able to get the gap filled without blocking off the drain holes!

    Thanks for all the help guys,

    Brian (who is now waiting for the next two minutes of dry weather to get some tape in there as a stopgap)

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