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Diagnosing an Ongoing Leaking Issue




The Pharis Project

Frustrated after dealing with leaking issues for nearly two years, Cathy Pharis reached out to Exterior Medics for help. We diagnosed the true cause of the leaks — the upstairs windows — and took steps to ensure her home would stay safe and dry.

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Cross Jimenez
Marketing Director at Exterior Medics
Phone: (703) 942-6553

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Solving a Mystery Leaking Problem

Leaks are one of the most frustrating issues that homeowners experience. Not only do you have to address the problem, but you also have to potentially deal with any collateral damage that results from water seeping into your home. Cathy Pharis was tired of placing buckets on the floor to collect water. After many other contractors attempted and failed to determine the root cause of the leaks, she called Exterior Medics. We provided the solution: new second-story windows that were as gorgeous as they were strong and protective.

Old Town Charm...With Old Windows

Old Town Alexandria is a beautiful historic district situated along the Potomac. With cobblestone streets, small boutiques, and outdoor festivals, it celebrates more than 250 years of history. Built in 1989, Cathy Pharis’ home is not as old as some of the others in the area. Yet certain areas were showing signs of age. After incorrectly assuming leaks were coming from the skylight, Cathy Pharis discovered the real issues after consulting with Exterior Medics. Her second-story windows were rotting and causing water to leak into her home.

The Details

As the second owner of the home, Cathy Pharis was well aware that exterior repairs would be inevitable. The home was approaching the stage where things needed to be done — she was noticing dry rot and areas where the wood was crumpled around windows. She knew that the windows in the front were not sealed well. By and large, her most pressing issue was a constant leak. Assuming it was coming from a skylight, Cathy had it caulked several times, but the problem never went away. Every time it rained, she had to move the dining room table and put buckets in designated areas to collect the water. It was time to fix the issue, once and for all.

When Exterior Medics came out to her home, Cathy was excited at the possibility of finally having an answer. We were able to solve the problem through a process of elimination — as we knew that the leaking was not in fact from the skylight, we took a step back and examined the problem from a different angle. That’s when we noticed the deficiencies in the windows, which resulted from voids within the exterior façade that allowed water to access the home.

Because Old Town Alexandria is a historic district, any changes that affect the exterior of a home or building must first be approved by the Board of Architectural Review. Exterior Medics made the approval process a seamless one for Cathy, taking charge of communicating with the city and obtaining all the permits so she never had to deal with any of it.

The Results

One of Cathy’s concerns about getting work done was protecting the inside of her home. She had recently had it renovated and didn’t want to incur damage to anything newly redone. However, she couldn’t have been happier with how our team managed the process and kept the house clean at the end of each day. Cathy was thrilled with the outcome: she loved the look of her new windows as much as she enjoyed feeling assured that they wouldn’t leak. A new front door rounded out the new additions, giving the home a sleek and sophisticated look.

When asked about her favorite part of working with Exterior Medics, Cathy said it was the people; she felt important and special, as if she were more than just another job. Most importantly, Cathy Pharis can now sleep well when it’s going to rain and feels better about living in her house.

Products used

    • Marvin Full Frame Windows
    • Marvin Doors


Services Provided: 


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“My favorite part about working with Exterior Medics really is the people. They’re just delightful. They’re a pleasure to work with. I felt like I was their most important client the entire time...they live up to their promises. They just really make you feel special, and I would highly recommend them.”

–  Cathy Pharis, Homeowner

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