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Old 01-21-2009, 11:17 AM   #1
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Semco windows?


i am looking for information and opinions on semco windows. we just got a new modular home with semco low e argon windows. double hung wood clad. i suppect they are not the top line, but are they a decent window? anything to watch for while under warranty? i am not a window expert. i always thought pella was top of line.

thanks.

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Old 01-22-2009, 10:35 PM   #2
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Semco windows?


I will not trash any particular company's product, however I just finished replacing several 5 yr old Semco windows that were in horrible shape. That being said, every company has low and high end offerings. You get what you pay for.

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Old 01-26-2009, 06:40 PM   #3
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Semco windows?


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Originally Posted by gene_champ View Post
i am looking for information and opinions on semco windows. we just got a new modular home with semco low e argon windows. double hung wood clad. i suppect they are not the top line, but are they a decent window? anything to watch for while under warranty? i am not a window expert. i always thought pella was top of line.

thanks.
Pella is going through some rott issues. Look at consumer complaints against Pella/Class Action Law suites/my pella windows are rotting. I would stay away from Pella especially the 250 and 450 Series sold at Lowes. I believe the issue is Pella did not back glaze the aluminum to the glass, water currently runs down the sashes in behind the aluminum and eventually rotts the wood from the inside out.
Eagle-is the best massed produce window-50 exterior colors
Marvin- is a great window also-lots of options-19 exterior colors
Ansdersen-not many colors-but a great window
then it falls off
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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Semco windows?


I joined this site just to try to prevent anyone from going through the nightmare we as a 30 unit associations are going through. Within three years we had leaking from our semco windows. We tried to work through their warranty department for 4 years as other unit showed progressively more damage. I've never seen a company run from their obligation and warranty as Semco has...Their service reps don't even have email or voice mail...I beleive this is specific company strategy to delay the process long enough to be out of warranty. I would rather brick my windows over and live in complete darkness than to have Semco windows put in again....We have hundreds of thousands of dollars of repairs to do and semco has not called anyone back. Please spot check the lowest windows and corners for wood rot, it will be there eventually. Semco is a terrible company....
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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Semco windows?


Hi,

I bought Semco windows for my Greenhouse entry in '94. I have five doors out there and five casement windows (15 glass lights). Of the fifteen windows eight windows are fogging up. I got the tech coming tomorrow to figure out the cost to replace the foggy lights. Oh, I forgot I got a Semco upstairs 4x8ft. w/2ft. sliders on each end and the right 2x4 window you can't see out of. 9 of 18 windows have seal problems in the insulating glass! Would I buy SEMCO again? forgetaboutit!
For what it's worth.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:24 PM   #6
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Semco windows?


We just moved into an 12 yr. old town home with Semco windows. I HATE them!! We have condensation and frost all the time on them. When my husband called the co. they told him the past owners called in '06 with similar problems and they told them they should not have window coverings on them! What window is made NOT to have a window covering??? I never heard of such nonsense! The wood around the window, needless to say cannot hold paint because of the moisture. Short of replacing all of them, I don't know what to do. They are drafty too. I welcome any suggestions!
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:03 PM   #7
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Semco windows?


What is the relative humidity in your home? Condensation is the enemy of wood windows regardless of brand. Keeping the window coverings open will allow the warm interior air to circulate across the window, keeping the glass temp warmer and therefore reducing condensation. Keeping a finish (paint or stain) in good condition, and wiping off any moisture that does form will extend the life of the window as well. In regard to the air infiltration, that will be a factor as well, and unfortunately there is probably not much that you can do about that.
Here is some more in-depth info on the condensation issue from another forum:
From tru_blu:

I'm going to throw a lot of statistics at you to address condensation on your windows. Keep in mind that these stats are based on a worst-case scenario of 0 outside and 70 inside, which sounds like it may apply to your climate but is not applicable to warmer, southern climates.

Now for some stats. If a window is clear double glazed insulating glass (doesn't matter if it's wood or vinyl), the center-of-glass roomside temperature would be about 44-45F. (Incidentally, single pane windows with a storm window would be about the same) Adding a Low E coating to the glass bumps it up to about 52F, and Low E insulating glass with Argon gas raises the glass temperature to 57-58F. Not bad for 0 outside. You didn't mention if your windows are Low E; hopefully they are and that they have the argon gas as well.

However, with insulating glass the edge-of-glass temperatures are much lower than center-of-glass. The type of spacer that separates the panes of glass greatly affects the edge temperature, and much could be said about the merits of different types of spacers. Naturally, condensation, and even ice, would normally occur at the edge first, since that's the cold "weak spot." Clear IG with an aluminum spacer has an edge temp of only about 29F. Low E glass with an aluminum spacer only raises it to about 32. Then there are "warm edge" spacers, which are warmer and provide more condensation resistance. Stainless steel spacers are about 37 edge temp on a Low E/argon unit, and Superspacer and TPS spacers would be at the top at about 39. Again, warm edge spacers typically range from 35-39, but still tend to max out usually in the upper 30s. So it's normal for windows to be colder on the edge than they are in the center.

Now for the fun part. If you cover a Low E/Argon gas unit with some type of roomside window treatment such as a shade, blind, etc., the center-of-glass temperature drops from about 57 to only 36. That's an amazing 21 drop. I don't have any exact stats on what that does to the edge temperature, but I would imagine it must drop 5-15 as well. The reason it drops is because the air in the room is no longer freely circulating against the glass. Even a couch or desk in front of a window (or door) will significantly reduce the glass temperature if the furniture is partially blocking part of the window. Condensation often tends to lessen or dry up by mid-day because cold/condensation caused (in part) by the shades being down at night are now opened and the windows now have circulation against them.

Enough stats. Condensation, and worse yet, ice, can NOT occur unless two conditions are present at the same time: high humidity and cold temperatures. The cold temperatures on your windows could be due in part to missing or defective weatherstrip, poorly-fitting windows, faulty installation, or just because of cold winter weather. If you have cold weather but low humidity in the house, condensation cannot occur. Both conditions have to be there. If you're experiencing condensation on your windows, you have too much humidity given the current outside temperature with the existing glass system that is in the home (assuming that the windows are properly installed and not defective in some way). There are TWO basic solutions: raise the glass temperature or lower the humidity. That's it in a nutshell - those two things. More about those in a bit. First, I'd buy a digital hygrometer from Home Depot, Radioshack, a hardware store, etc. to measure the amount of humidity in the house (about $10-$29). You need to know that. Then I'd contact the manufacturer of your new vinyl windows if possible or visit their website for recommended humidity levels for various outdoor temperatures. Most window manufacturers have brochures on condensation and recommended humidity levels. They usually will state that when it's 0 degrees outside your humidity level inside should be in the 20-25% range. (Again, this is a worst-case scenario) I'm guessing your humidity level is significantly higher than that.

RAISE THE GLASS TEMPERATURE - One possibility is to raise any shades up when it's really cold out. As mentioned before that can increase the glass temperature by an additional 21 or more, but unfortunately that leads to a lack of privacy. A compromise is to open them just slightly, maybe 4" to 8", so that warm air can circulate against the bottom of the glass (the most condensation-prone area) and partially warm the glass unit. For your older existing windows, the best solution is often to replace them with modern, energy-efficient windows. But you've already have newer windows with the same issue and it's evidently still not enough given your humidity levels. For those who replace their windows, it's ideal to replace them with windows that have warm-edge spacers, Low E coatings, and gas fillings in the units to hopefully avoid condensation. If someone really wanted to get the absolute maximum condensation-resistant windows out there, there are windows that are triple glazed that have a better performance than what you currently have, but most modern "energy-efficient" windows are made with double glazing and that's usually all that is needed. An advantage of many triple glazing systems is that one can have higher humidity levels in the home before condensation issues would arise. Some even have between-glass shades to avoid temperature drops when closed for privacy. Other ways to raise the glass temperature include taking out roomside casement screens during the winter, using free standing fans or ceiling fans to better circulate air against the glass, and adding another layer of glass or plastic (I hate to see that though - it shouldn't be necessary).

LOWER THE HUMIDITY - The bottom line here is proper ventilation and insulation. One of the best solutions for an airtight home is to have an air-to-air heat exchange ventilator installed to the furnace. It's required by code for new homes in some areas. It brings in the DRY fresh air from the outside and exhausts the stale HUMID air - giving you healthy air to breathe and lowering the humidity to the desired level. New homes are built so much more airtight than older homes, so they often need mechanical help to get air exchanges. Older homes exchanged air by being drafty. Dehumidifiers will help too, but are generally not as effective, since they usually can't get the humidity low enough. Great for basements though. Simply turning down your April Air humidifier probably won't do it - that simply means the humidifier won't turn on, but it won't remove humidity like DEhumidifiers are designed to do. Other ways include running exhaust fans when showering (and leave them on for a while), or simply stop bathing

In summary, condensation on windows can and will occur under the proper conditions. Even ice can form if the humidity is high enough, the temperature is low enough, and other factors are in place such as restricted airflow to the glass because of window shades. You need a humidity-measuring device to see if your humidity is too high. You need a humidity guide to suggest proper humidity levels. And ultimately somebody has to address raising the glass temperature or lowering the humidity

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