If one of your windows has broken and a replacement is needed, then you can replace the window yourself. If you decide to take on the DIY project, then you will need to make sure that water is unable to leak around the edges of the window. Securing the window tightly in the rough opening is a requirement to stop leaks. There are several other things you should do as well.
Add A Sill Pan Or Membrane
Windows can leak, even if you spend a great deal of time on your installation to make sure the window is secured properly. Rain and ice will work their way underneath your siding and move close to your window. If water is able to slip around the window edges, then the rough window opening will begin to rot. You can prevent this by channeling water away from the window ledge if it does seep in. The best way to channel water is to add pan flashing or a sill pan around the rough window opening.
Sill pans adhere directly to the rough window opening and attach underneath your window, wrap material, and siding. They sit along the bottom edge of the window opening and adhere several inches up the right and left sides of the frame.
Sill pans come in a variety of different types that include EPDM membrane, plastic sheeting, stainless steel, and copper. Metal flashing materials offer superior protection, but there may only be a millimeter or two of space between the window frame and the window. If this is the case, then opt for an EPDM or plastic sheeting membrane. You can purchase the membranes and the flashing material at your local home store. If you want the best fit, purchase a drain pan made specifically for windows and match the dimensions of the window opening to the pan.
Securing Your Water Barrier
If you decide on flashing or metal sheeting material, you will need to adhere it in place. Flashing and pans can be secured with gutter and flashing caulk. This type of caulk is either a silicone or a butyl rubber variety. Spread a generous amount of the caulk around the rough window opening. Make sure to add caulk behind the back pan, around flanges, and across seams.
If a film or a membrane is a better fit, then the material can be taped into place. Purchase some all-purpose or waterproof flashing tape for this. Place the tape along seams and underneath the wide parts of the membrane to make sure it is secured properly.
Secure More Flashing And A Waterproof Membrane
Once the sill pan or flashing material has been installed, you can add the window jamb and sill to the rough opening and snap the new window into place. The window jamb will need to be nailed to the rough wooden opening to secure it properly. Two inch steel roofing nails are a good choice when adhering the jamb in place. A thin layer of metal flashing should be added around the nailed jamb to cover the nail holes. Secure the flashing with a layer of flashing caulk.
Once the flashing is added, the window will be secured. You should create a barrier around the window so that moisture is drawn away. You can do this with a self-adhering waterproof membrane tape. Purchase a roll of asphalt, rubberized, or flashing tape at your local home store. Find a wide roll of the tape and run a layer of it over the window flashing material you have just secured. Your home wrap membrane and your siding can be placed over the tape to finish the job, and you will have a sealed and waterproof window when you are finished.
If you need help installing new windows, contact a company like Morgan Exteriors Inc.