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Old 05-13-2012, 03:02 PM   #1
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Installing replacement windows over drywall?


Hi,

I am a condo owner and have recently had my aluminum windows replaced with vinyl. The aluminum windows were about 2 1/2 inches deep and the vinyl are about 3 3/4 deep. The installers did not remove any drywall and inserted the vinyl windows directly over the drywall. I am concerned that this could cause a chemical reaction with the heat and cold on the drywall and emit some kind of toxin. I have been sick since the windows were replaced. Is it accepted and legal to have replacement windows directly over drywall? Shouldn't the dry wall be removed?

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Old 05-13-2012, 03:13 PM   #2
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Installing replacement windows over drywall?


they installed them directly over the drywall ??????????? post a picture. the old window should have been removed from the opening then the new ones installed into the hole. based on the method of install im getting a strong feeling the window is leaking and causing mold to grow. thus you feeling sick.. the window wont have a chemical reaction

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Old 05-13-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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Installing replacement windows over drywall?


I do not have a photo unfortunately. I did ask them how they would install new vinyl windows. They said they would cut out the aluminum frame and the vinyl frame would rest over the area where the alum frame was removed and the sheetrock/drywall of the window sill. So about 1 1/2 inch sheetrock would be covered. Is this normal practice?
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:31 PM   #4
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There should not be a any kind of chemical reaction. I am not sure where you are getting the idea of such a thing from(?).

Its also kind of hard to understand what design, or arrangement you are trying to describe. It sounds sort of like the top, bottom and sides of the window opening possess sheetrock returns. On commercial and multi-unit construction, it is not unusual for sheetrock to be installed right up to window frames (vinyl or aluminum).

If it is what it sounds like, it would have been better for them to apply a water & moisture membrane barrier of some type, between the window frames and the sheetrock. However, as long as the new windows, don't leak and don't condensate, the sheetrock may be fine.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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Installing replacement windows over drywall?


With outout a picture no one here is going to have a clue.
I just see no way replacement windows are going to make someone sick.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:46 AM   #6
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Installing replacement windows over drywall?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lafern View Post
Hi,

I am a condo owner and have recently had my aluminum windows replaced with vinyl. The aluminum windows were about 2 1/2 inches deep and the vinyl are about 3 3/4 deep. The installers did not remove any drywall and inserted the vinyl windows directly over the drywall. I am concerned that this could cause a chemical reaction with the heat and cold on the drywall and emit some kind of toxin. I have been sick since the windows were replaced. Is it accepted and legal to have replacement windows directly over drywall? Shouldn't the dry wall be removed?
I am not sure what the basis of your illness would be but the new vinyl windows do not really off gas and certainly not in any sort of measurable amount that could be linked to an illness.

If they are burned, you are in trouble but there should not be any issues as they are installed.

It is probably most likely that you run of illness is coincidental with the change in the seasons and pollen or other counts.

Here are the other possibilities:
  • You have some chemical sensitivities to the sealants that were used to install the windows. You can ask the company for the MSDS sheets on both the interior and exterior sealants as well as any foam that may be been used.
    • This is the reason that we always specify very low or completely non-VOC sealants and foams.
  • Your new windows, likely being more air tight than your older units, may have changed the breathing dynamics of the home. If you have mold/mildew or other chemical off-gassing in the home, sealing up the home with newer windows, may have created a less healthy environment in the home. This is not a direct fault of the window but could be an issue.
  • If the windows were installed improperly and are allowing moisture into the exterior wall, it could have activated some dormant mold/mildew spores that are creating issues. Any leaks of significance would show as some sort of staining or moisture tracking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk View Post
they installed them directly over the drywall ??????????? post a picture. the old window should have been removed from the opening then the new ones installed into the hole. based on the method of install im getting a strong feeling the window is leaking and causing mold to grow. thus you feeling sick.. the window wont have a chemical reaction
I think the original poster in not suggesting they that they installed over the old frames but inside the original drywall jambs. This is a common install method if the exterior measurement is the limiting factor.

Ex. The drywall can be cut back to provide a stud to stud measurement for the installation of the new window, however, many times the exterior cladding (brick, siding or otherwise) is the limiting measurement and the windows must be ordered to the smallest allowable dimension. This is where you will see and inside the jamb installation.

As long as the window is sealed properly to the exterior, there is no issue with this approach/method.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lafern View Post
I do not have a photo unfortunately. I did ask them how they would install new vinyl windows. They said they would cut out the aluminum frame and the vinyl frame would rest over the area where the alum frame was removed and the sheetrock/drywall of the window sill. So about 1 1/2 inch sheetrock would be covered. Is this normal practice?
As indicated above, it can very well be.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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Installing replacement windows over drywall?


+1 to WoW's comments. That is an acceptable installation. It may not always be "preferred", but that really depends on the circumstances of the install. Either way, it is an acceptable method when done properly, and would not cause any issues or illnesses.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:17 PM   #8
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Should the drywall be removed? No. In fact, itís common practice in a replacement window application that the drywall is not disturbed. This is the benefit of a custom-sized replacement window because it is manufactured to fit the existing opening, including any allowance for the drywall.

There are no studies and no indications that there are any chemical reactions or toxins being emitted when vinyl is introduced to drywall. Vinyl emits some off-gas, like all solid materials do, such as new carpet or paint, etc. but not enough to make you ill.

It could be the smell of the caulk, or the urethane seal. That smell could possibly make you feel sick, until the caulk, etc. cures.

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