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Old 04-01-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


This past winter we had a serious frost problem on our 4 year old Pella windows, both casement and double-hung. It shouldn't be a humidity problem, we have a whole house Ultra-Aire dehumidifer which keep the RH around 28% in the winter. Indoor Temp around 69 degrees.

The problem starts when the outside temp drops below 5-10 degrees. Unfortunantly we are the 2nd owners of the 4 year old house and Pella's Window warranty only covers the original owners according to their website. I attached a few pictures of the problem. Our local heating and colding guys say it's the windows. Does anyone have any advice? Matt - NE Iowa
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue-bedroom-upstairs.jpg   Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue-bathroom-up1.jpg   Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue-bedroom-up4.jpg  
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


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This past winter we had a serious frost problem on our 4 year old Pella windows, both casement and double-hung. It shouldn't be a humidity problem, we have a whole house Ultra-Aire dehumidifer which keep the RH around 28% in the winter. Indoor Temp around 69 degrees.

The problem starts when the outside temp drops below 5-10 degrees. Unfortunantly we are the 2nd owners of the 4 year old house and Pella's Window warranty only covers the original owners according to their website. I attached a few pictures of the problem. Our local heating and colding guys say it's the windows. Does anyone have any advice? Matt - NE Iowa
Everyone on this web forum this exactly what I'm talk'n about! PELLA WINDOWS stink, and do not back up their products. I thought Pella had a transfferable warranty.
Contact Pella asap. Ask for a Local Rep to Come out. Then tell them if they are not going to do anything, you will post all the picutres on the PELLA COMPLAINTS . COM or better yet check out the class action law suite against Pella for your self maybe you can join. You have a legit complaint here.
Couple things: Were your blinds shut during the day over the winter, if so, this could be a condesation problem. THen also check the window to see if it's square and plumb. measure cross ways or X, if they are different measurements it's out of square, it's an install issue, which no MFG is going to do anything.
Maybe one of these contractors who believes in Pella can get you a rep out there to inspect the issues. Good Luck, I have never had good luck with their service. Remember, also in the future not buy a Pella Product.
Contact the B.B.B. it should not matter how many people lived in the house, it's with in 20 and 10 year period. You have junk for windows, and I tried to tell everyone on this site about all the issues I had in the past. Good Luck, remember to stand your ground against this corpration ask them about their pending class action lawsuite. I think, you have a window problem, please keep everyone here informed of your Pella Progress....

OH yeah.....
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


Hey, I believe Tom from Home Seal sells these wonderful (yuck) pella windows, he has all the answers for you on this one. I sold Pella for several years, they are worst to deal with when it comes to service and warranties. Good luck. I hope, HomeSeal replies to your mess. Home Seal a member of this DIY Chat Room.
No one believe's me about all the Pella issues, but I'm so glad you have pictures to show everyone.. One these contractor will be able to tell you exactly whats wrong with your windows.
Just another reason why Marvin and Andersen Windows, is all around better companies-they stand behind there products and service is second to none....I hope your wood doesn't rott out soon, like lots of other Pella Windows I've seen.

YOur pictures speak volumes, for someone who has sold windows since 1992. Yeah, things like this could happen, could be several issues besides the window. But it also.. tells me Pella Windows does care what your issues are, passing the blame...Again the customer looses out...Pella does not stand behind their products....check out pellaclassactionlawsuite.com and pellacomplaints.com add your pictures their also...maybe someone from Pella will contact you by the kindness of their heart.... good luck....
should you replace your windows, when they do rott...you know now, hopefully that Pella's Services stinks and pass the word to any one thinking of buying a pella product is buying problem window, eventually it's got to catch up to them....
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:14 AM   #4
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


Thanks Emily for the feedback. I will continue to follow-up with Pella and keep everyone updated. Regarding to the window shade/blinds; during the day we keep them 2/3 of the way up in the winter and at least a 6-8" gap at the bottom when closed at night to allow warmer air to circulate between the cold window and blind. Still a big frost problem as you can see. All future windows I purchase will be Andersen. Matt
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:04 PM   #5
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


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Originally Posted by EMILY P View Post
Hey, I believe Tom from Home Seal sells these wonderful (yuck) pella windows, he has all the answers for you on this one. I sold Pella for several years, they are worst to deal with when it comes to service and warranties. Good luck. I hope, HomeSeal replies to your mess. Home Seal a member of this DIY Chat Room.
No one believe's me about all the Pella issues, but I'm so glad you have pictures to show everyone.. One these contractor will be able to tell you exactly whats wrong with your windows.
Just another reason why Marvin and Andersen Windows, is all around better companies-they stand behind there products and service is second to none....I hope your wood doesn't rott out soon, like lots of other Pella Windows I've seen.

YOur pictures speak volumes, for someone who has sold windows since 1992. Yeah, things like this could happen, could be several issues besides the window. But it also.. tells me Pella Windows does care what your issues are, passing the blame...Again the customer looses out...Pella does not stand behind their products....check out pellaclassactionlawsuite.com and pellacomplaints.com add your pictures their also...maybe someone from Pella will contact you by the kindness of their heart.... good luck....
should you replace your windows, when they do rott...you know now, hopefully that Pella's Services stinks and pass the word to any one thinking of buying a pella product is buying problem window, eventually it's got to catch up to them....
WOW! You are nuts. Please refrain from calling me out in the future. I do install Pella windows in addition to several other brands so I'm not sure why you are incinuating that I am some major defender of Pella. They have their issues just like any other company... As far as window issue, it really can't be diagnosed by just looking at a picture. The fact is that the ice is caused by condensation. There are two things that will directly affect condensation on your glass: Moisture in the home, and the temperture of the inner most pane of glass. When you buy a cheaper window many times the glass unit does not insulate as well for various reasons (thickness, LOE, argon or lack thereof) and when the warm moist air hits the cold glass surface it causes condensation--which in extreme cases can ice-up. The other main cause is the amount of moisture in the home. This is determined by many factors, not just the HVAC system. The siding material, insulation, attic venting, basement, as well as obvious things like people and plants can all contribute to the amount of moisture produced in the home as well as its ability to breathe and expell that moisture.
Despite the crazy ramblings of Emily, your issue may or may not be a product issue. It may not have anything to do with the windows at all. How would you like to spend $15k replacing all your windows with another brand and have the same issue?... I would reccommend first contacting Pella and get them to come out and assess the situation. Depending on your warranty situation they may want a service fee, but it is up to you if you want to try and fight them on that. Either way, get their diagnosis and also have a home inspector who specializes in these issues to give an objective opinion. Then determine your next step based on the findings. Be careful who you take advice from on this forum because some people just have an axe to grind rather than give you advice that is in your best interest. In my opinion it is a good rule of thumb to give weight to those of us who are not afraid to put the name of our company out there on all the advice we give.... and btw, my name is Brandon, not Tom.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


Matt,

A couple of things you need to check for to start.

First, do you know if your windows have a LowE coating? When it gets dark hold a lighted match (or candle or lighter) flame close to the window glass.

Look at the reflection of the flame in the window and how many flames do you see in reflection?

If you see two then you don't have a LowE coating.

If you see three and the center reflected flame is a different color than the other two, then you have a LowE coating.

Second, take a look at the spacer at the edge of your window glass. Does it look like metal or does it look like a plastic?

If it looks metallic, then does it have a single or a double row of perforations along the length of the spacer?

If it doesn't look metallic then what color is it?


Basically, you have condensation or moisture on the surface of your windows because the temperature of the glass at that point is below the dew point temperature of the air that is in contact with the window. You have frost or ice because the temperature of the window/glass at that point is below freezing. The trick to avoid condensation on windows is to ensure that the surface temp of the window remains above the dew point of the air. Sounds simple enough...

If you look at different types of windows and how they mount into the wall of your home one thing that becomes obvious is that casement windows "stick out". The frame/sash/glass generally are outside the exterior plane of your wall - the window is "outside" the exterior wall. Inside your home you may notice that casements often have more "space" between the face of the glass and the interior wall than some other common window styles.

For this reason it is possible for the glass on a casement to be cooler than the glass on a different window type both because the sash/glass in the casement has more "outside" exposure, but also because it is possible that the sash/glass has less exposure to warmer interior air. In a sense the window can be somewhat isolated.

Because of this design feature and because it is a good idea in any event, adequate insulation in that the rough opening space between the window jambs and the studs is VERY important to help keep the the air space surrounding the window as warm as possible. In your situation I would carefully remove a piece of the vertical trim just to see what kind of, and how much, insulation is in that space.

Next, do the windows seal tightly? Hold a match close to the area where the ice formed and see if you get any sort of air movement affecting the flame. If cold air is seeping in where the windows seal, then that could lower the temperature of the glass resulting in condensation/frost.

Keep in mind that the relative humidity that you are reading in your home may be a good bit different than the relative humidity that you would read close to your windows.

Relative humidity is relative in that it is a comparison of actual vapor density versus saturation vapor density at a particular temperature. Lower the temperature without changing the level of moisture in the air and RH goes up. Raise the temperature without changing the level of moisture in the air and RH goes down.

But dew point, unlike relative humidity, is based on the level of moisture in the air without taking temperature into account - air temperature has no effect on dew point in the world that we live in.

To (hopefully) put a bit more simply, dew point is 100% relative humidity or the point where the air - at that temperature - is no longer able to hold any more moisture.

If the air in your home has reached vapor saturation (100% relative humidity), then the air will release moisture...in your case on the interior glass surface of your windows in the winter time, it makes no difference what your interior RH reads - if the surface temperature happens to be below freezing, then that moisture becomes frost or ice.

Okay - probably long enough for now!
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


good info
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


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good info

From the Crazy lady,

What if the house finally settled, and the exterior walls have shifted down putting stress on the window frame causing a gap somewhere in the frame meets the sash. Or Matt, may have a crowned sill caused by weight of bricks on the outside, putting pressure again on the sill.

Or condensation issues, do you have a humidstat on your furance, if so keep it around 45 to 40 or below. Humid air has water/moisture in it.

HomeSeal will call a Pella rep for you since has the inside track... If he contact's his Rep. Home Seals Rep could call you and find out your information...you need to act quickly so your windows do not rott out, time is running out on their warranty....but be sure to log every call with a date time and who you spoke with from Pella and responses....if you get no where, always ask for their boss, or his/her boss's boss's. The reason for the call log is to cover your bases, if you have to go to court... and just keep posting the info, eventually they will respond, but it will take time....

I know HomeSeal has Pella contact info for you, he's holding back....
Again,
remember, if Pella cared they would have responed to you already and addressed the issues, by sending out a local Pella Rep. The rep would be their eyes and ears.... take some outside pictures for us and measure cross ways for us... WOW, Image you live in the same area where these yucky Pella windows are Manufactured...you would think Pella would have already sent someone out... I never had any luck with their service department...

Come on HomeSeal, you need to give out the info for Matt, give out the contacts and or the President's name and number....
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:07 PM   #9
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


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WOW! You are nuts. Please refrain from calling me out in the future. I do install Pella windows in addition to several other brands so I'm not sure why you are incinuating that I am some major defender of Pella. They have their issues just like any other company... As far as window issue, it really can't be diagnosed by just looking at a picture. The fact is that the ice is caused by condensation. There are two things that will directly affect condensation on your glass: Moisture in the home, and the temperture of the inner most pane of glass. When you buy a cheaper window many times the glass unit does not insulate as well for various reasons (thickness, LOE, argon or lack thereof) and when the warm moist air hits the cold glass surface it causes condensation--which in extreme cases can ice-up. The other main cause is the amount of moisture in the home. This is determined by many factors, not just the HVAC system. The siding material, insulation, attic venting, basement, as well as obvious things like people and plants can all contribute to the amount of moisture produced in the home as well as its ability to breathe and expell that moisture.
Despite the crazy ramblings of Emily, your issue may or may not be a product issue. It may not have anything to do with the windows at all. How would you like to spend $15k replacing all your windows with another brand and have the same issue?... I would reccommend first contacting Pella and get them to come out and assess the situation. Depending on your warranty situation they may want a service fee, but it is up to you if you want to try and fight them on that. Either way, get their diagnosis and also have a home inspector who specializes in these issues to give an objective opinion. Then determine your next step based on the findings. Be careful who you take advice from on this forum because some people just have an axe to grind rather than give you advice that is in your best interest. In my opinion it is a good rule of thumb to give weight to those of us who are not afraid to put the name of our company out there on all the advice we give.... and btw, my name is Brandon, not Tom.
LOL. "OK Pella Bandit"... how can you sleep at night?...Knowing you just sold a Pella window that really does not compare to the top pf the line windows ..yet people get hoodwinkled....this could have been one of your customers...how could you push Pella....stick with Weathershield please... it's even a better window than Pella...Plus you know Pella has lots of issues...compared to the other brands....you know it's true.... the new Preachtree window line is still a better window.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:12 PM   #10
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


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Thanks Emily for the feedback. I will continue to follow-up with Pella and keep everyone updated. Regarding to the window shade/blinds; during the day we keep them 2/3 of the way up in the winter and at least a 6-8" gap at the bottom when closed at night to allow warmer air to circulate between the cold window and blind. Still a big frost problem as you can see. All future windows I purchase will be Andersen. Matt
Try keeping them the blinds open to see if it makes a difference...just one or two nights and see if the frost goes away... you might have to much humidity in the air.... and it may not be a window issue...which I hope it's not, but it propably is....

Call the lawfirm on the classactionlawsuite and ask them what they think...if you get no where with Pella Service....Good Luck...
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:19 PM   #11
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Emily, has anyone ever warned you about "drunk e-mailing" or in this case, "drunk-posting"? As I've said many times I install several different brands depending on the wants, needs, and budgets of my customers. I have never been a whore for any one company and never will be. As a matter of fact, I do believe that Weathershield (and a few others) make a better window than Pella so where are you coming up with this stuff??? I think you are the one who is hiding something here. Do you work for Anderson? If not you should apply....Also, even though I've come to expect slanted nonsense in your posts, at least do a spell check before submitting it.
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Last edited by HomeSealed; 04-02-2009 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:52 PM   #12
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Emily, has anyone ever warned you about "drunk e-mailing" or in this case, "drunk-posting"? As I've said many times I install several different brands depending on the wants, needs, and budgets of my customers. I have never been a whore for any one company and never will be. As a matter of fact, I do believe that Weathershield (and a few others) make a better window than Pella so where are you coming up with this stuff??? I think you are the one who is hiding something here. Do you work for Anderson? If not you should apply....Also, even though I've come to expect slanted nonsense in your posts, at least do a spell check before submitting it.
tHEN WHY DEFEND Pella? I do nto work for Anderson. Duh, if you can get me a job as a rep let me know. I just "feel bad" for these customers who get hoodwinkled in Pella. When I did sell Pella in the past at 84 Lumber and Wickes, the Pella Rep always blamed it on something other than the Product and never offered service of advise on how to fix the issues...Now that Pelaa has a class action law suit on the windows rotting wiht in 10 years...it's finally catching up with them...Viewed to be the best???? Not what I've seen.. I'm not spell checking either...Pella Bandit.. maybe you work for Pella? And it gets better now that we see all the issues show up on the net...Finally Pella is going to have to step forward or loose the reputation they have.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:44 PM   #13
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


All windows aren't built equal. It looks like your window are making sufficient contact with the weather stripping. it has nothing to do with the glass. It is working just fine. You may have a warped sash or your weather striping may need to be rejuvinated with a hair dryer or heat gun. Partially becauase it is set to far back.

It isn't just inside humidity that affects windows and condensation but outside humidity aswell. Pella windows are very tight. Older homes air circulations systems are equipped to handle this new air tightness. Unfortunately, older homes or newer homes aren't designed well enough for higher end windows.

Try heating gently the weather stripping, and pull it outward slight towards the window sash. Also check to make sure the sash is sitting flat to the weather striping. Finally Consider adding an HRV to your furnace system. I don't know all your environmentals but windows are the least of your concern.

Sorry.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:54 AM   #14
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


We are in coastal North Carolina. I wanted to add my two cents here for what it's worth.

We are dealing with over 75 windows with bad seals - these are part of the Pella ProLine Series manufactured between 1999 and 2000.

Before I go on about this windows, I wanted to ask a general question to all of you about the indoor humidity levels, especially those who feel they are experts: Wouldn't a bad seal between the outside of the window, particularly at the bottom and the inside create condensation? By cold air from outside mixing with the warm inside - I would think the answer was yes...... But please advise me.

Okay, back to the story. I feel the adhesive and design flaw on these particular windows were what caused the seal between the aluminum and wood to fail. I'm posting a few pictures (have plenty more) here so that you can see for yourselves. This has absolutely nothing to do with the install whatsover and everything to do with design and adhesive.

I simply want people to judge what they see for themselves.

This same failure happened on opening and non-opening windows (transoms). By the time the transoms actually showed leakage, it was too late, the sill was actually in the decaying stage at this particular home.

Emily, I appreciate your details throughout the message boards, you seem quite thorough and very knowledgable.

Now for the pictures......

Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue-img_5219.jpg

Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue-img_5225.jpg

Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue-rot1.jpg

Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue-rot2.jpg

Last edited by NC_Contractor; 08-05-2009 at 11:11 AM. Reason: photos
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:15 PM   #15
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Pella Windows - Serious Frost Issue


Simple.......wood covered with aluminum. They heat and cool at different rates. Anyone can see that, and the windows in question are not something to brag about.

A rep will probably say.....take the screen off and open the shades. Just let it dry..............the next thing will be to inspect the insulation around the windows........after that it will be because the casing stain isn't dry yet, or the humidity in the house from painting......then it will be because it probably wasn't caulked in place correctly.

Buy vinyl windows and have them installed correctly. Steel, wood, and aluminum obvious does not work with changing climates.

Yes, cold air is meeting warm inside air, condensing and freezing on the cold window.......but why is the window so cold?

Answer......aluminum transfers cold and hot. Not a good thing in windows.
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