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Old 07-04-2009, 04:30 PM   #1
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Window advice


I bought an eight year old home a few years back. I noticed that all the storm-windows on the north side of the home are rotting on their interior, lower-left corner.

The windows in the house are newer, double-hung low-e glass windows. The storms are custom-fit wood with sliding double glaze storms/screen, with painted enamel on the interior side, aluminum clad on the exterior.

We have previously taken them down and sanded/painted and rehung. They always decay between the summer we do this and the next spring. Each year it seems the paint peels off from this area and this time they also smells strongly of mildew, and has a black buildup.

Is this problem due to:
1. Leaking windows (even though they are "efficient" newer ones.
2. Poor construction, sill/flashing issues.

Any wisdom is appreciated.

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Old 07-04-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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Window advice


Storm windows need air circulation to avoid moisture buildup. There should be weep holes at the bottom of the storm windows. Well meaning people caulk these sometimes. They might have been painted shut. Make sure they are open to avoid moisture buildup.

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Old 07-04-2009, 08:05 PM   #3
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Window advice


I don't understand why you would need storm windows if you have Low-E windows in the first place. Storm windows are usually needed for single pane windows that don't do enough to keep the cold/heat out. Especially if they are creating alot of extra work to keep them in good shape. Most Low-E windows also come with Argon gas (not all, but most) that really eliminates the need for a storm window.
Can you eliminate the storms, or are they there for another reason?
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:42 PM   #4
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We live in Wisconsin, so pretty extreme weather. 90 degree plus summer days, sometimes driving rains in the springs, and of course winters that go -40 or 50 degrees.
The extreme cold in winter causes a heap of internal pane condensation without the storms. They were in place when we moved in, and have the sliding pane that allows it to be a screen in the summer (or in our case usually the autumn we use).

These storms are easily removed, so no paint sealing or caulking...but I did notice no weep holes (clad exterior and wood interior). I asked our inspector about it, and he said that this type did not require weep holes?? the only place we see this in the lower left interior corner (no evident between window and storm condensation when they are in use). Weird.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:51 AM   #5
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I've had window-replacement folks out, and I guess the windows are not gas-filled (are double pane and coated though). That could explain why they were installed with the storms now.

The advice was to get the low-e coating with the argon gas filled. It was mentioned that I could get new aluminum storms--but it was mentioned that would be throwing good money into a band-aid fix.

The storms cost about 100-147$ per window, and are the higher quality by Larson and another company.

The replacement windows are 700-1000$ per with install. Everyone has emphasized that proper install is critical. The products we've seen have been Andersen and Pella, and a few regional companies. I am getting very confused. (and BTW did anyone notice the cost of replacement windows JUMPING since the energy credit??)

This may be a new thread, but what is the best replacement window for an extreme climate (-50 with windchills through 90's in sumer). Product quality, energy effeciency,urability, great installation, warranty and service, etc.
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penjet View Post
I've had window-replacement folks out, and I guess the windows are not gas-filled (are double pane and coated though). That could explain why they were installed with the storms now.

The advice was to get the low-e coating with the argon gas filled. It was mentioned that I could get new aluminum storms--but it was mentioned that would be throwing good money into a band-aid fix.

The storms cost about 100-147$ per window, and are the higher quality by Larson and another company.

The replacement windows are 700-1000$ per with install. Everyone has emphasized that proper install is critical. The products we've seen have been Andersen and Pella, and a few regional companies. I am getting very confused. (and BTW did anyone notice the cost of replacement windows JUMPING since the energy credit??)

This may be a new thread, but what is the best replacement window for an extreme climate (-50 with windchills through 90's in sumer). Product quality, energy effeciency,urability, great installation, warranty and service, etc.
Renewel and Pella companies do charge that much for window and install. It's not uncommon, but you could buy through a lumber yard that recommends a builder/contractor who might be slow on work. I sale Andersen Windows through a local lumberyard i would recommend not too jump with getting three quotes. I would not buy Pella, they are in a class action law suit for there windows rotting, look for your self under mypellawindowsarerotting.com and pellaclassactionlwasuit.com. I'm telling you too look for yourself, Andersen stands behind there products, with their customer service, reps, and service after the products are sold. I telling you, I have had nothing but problem with Pella with service seeing the windows rotting with in ten years. Plus Andersen Windows you can get parts for their windows 40 years from now... why would you even consider Pella they don't compare to the Andersen Windows, only the 200 series windows compare with the Pella. You'll do what you want with your money, and you can call me when you have to replace those roiting pella window.
The Andersen Window Premium Window called "A" Series was just lunched but you need to have $20k in windows to get it. I would now recommend the Woodwright Window. The exterior of the window is made of Fibrex and will never rott. TREX DECKING uses the same materail to make their deck railing, its a very durable composite materail.
Also Andersen is also making custom 400 Series Casements and 400 Series Awnings now!! but you'll need to get a A/W rep to quote it for you or your local lumber yard.
Good luck and dont get hoodwinkled in buying pella they are not the best window out there far from it.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:13 AM   #7
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Window advice


Penjet,

How did the folks who visited you determine that your windows don't have argon fill?

And assuming that you only have this issue in winter, related to condensation between the storm and the interior window, and that you don't have any leaks at the window or storm for any reason.

There is no reason not to use storms with dual pane windows, other than in some cases you can have trouble with vinyl windows because of potential heat build up in the air space between the storm and the regular window. From your post, I assume that you don't have vinyl windows, so this is not an issue.

Using storms with dual pane simply gives you an added layer of energy performance, more than you would get with the dual pane alone. Think of it as a triple pane window in a sense.

It is silly to replace eight year old windows because of the problem as you describe it. You would be wasting your money in my opinion.

As kd4ttc pointed out, storm windows need to "breathe". You need a way to exhaust moist air that builds up between the interior window and the storm to the outside. Failing this, you do have a potential for moisture problems between the interior window and the storm.

Older storm windows had several holes drilled in the bottom rail to allow moist air to escape to the outside whenever needed. Typically there was a wood strip that covered the holes when not in use. This strip could be moved aside to expose the holes when moisture build up required it.

I would refurbish the storm windows, add a way to exhaust the moist air that will build up in there, and keep your original windows intact.

I would also take a look at the original windows just to make sure that the weatherstripping is intact and that they are sealing as well as they can. Warm moist air that is getting into the space between the window and the storm is coming from inside your home. By making sure that your windows are as tight as they can be, you will be limiting the amount of air and moisture that escapes from inside your home.

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