Inspecting Masonry Conditions before Replacing Windows

Posted on: 10th August, 2021

Windows are a necessity in our modern built environment. As with any building material, environmental factors cause windows to degrade over time. The majority of manufactures only warranty windows for about 20 years. Old windows tend to develop leaks easily during cold and wet weather as the wood and metal often breaks down. In order to prevent damage to your walls it is imperative to replace old windows before they start to leak.

cracked brick

Window replacement requires optimal masonry and brick conditions. There are two types of masonry brick walls, some use a wood buck or a wood frame and some do not. Wood buck masonry wall surrounds the window opening with wood. It is not requirement in a brick wall, but it is highly recommended to make the install of the window plumb and square. The masonry should first be measured so that the new window may fit into the opening easily. It is also important to inspect the masonry surrounding the window opening by evaluating the surface condition. Cracks and other surface damage can indicate serious problems may exist.

Old Chicago buildings often have external structural problems that can cause issues with the windows, and this is often the result of our harsh weather conditions.  The mortar joints fail in brick walls and this creates aeras where water can penetrate. The lintel and sill around a window opening should also be inspected carefully for cracks and to make sure that it is level. Masonry and brick conditions must be examined before replacing an old window as they are the foundation of a stable window install. With better masonry conditions a newly installed window will last longer.