in the form of racking causes the window
frame to distort, resulting in sash failure,
window cracking and jamming when the
window sash is raised or swung outward
(Refer to Figure 4 to the left).
The damage can occur suddenly as a
result of high wind pressure or excavation
close to the building. The damage can
also occur gradually as exemplified by
settling or structural deterioration. The
window in Figure 5 to the left suffered
from cracking and deformation of the sill.
As evident in Figure 6 below, a rotted
support beam (arrow) under the sill that
is deflecting downward. Brickwork also
attests to the downward deflection of the
support beam, a long term deterioration
As in most losses, it is prudent to inspect the window system and obtain information from the insured as to the particulars of the problem with the window
system. This may include:
E The age of the window.
E When the damage was first noticed.
E Or any coincident circumstance, etc.
Photographs from the underwriters
or an aerial (satellite photo) view of the
home may show evidence of a preexisting
Charles C. Roberts, Jr., is president of
C. Roberts Consulting engineers Inc.,
which provides professional engineering services in accident reconstruction,
failure analysis, fire causation, explosion
analysis, and biomechanics. He may be
reached at 877-556-3039;