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Old 09-26-2014, 09:15 AM   #1
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Rot in lower sash of windows, root cause and prevention suggestions


I would like ideas on what might have caused the lower panel of 7 out of 8 first floor Marvin double hung windows to develop wood rot after just 12 years. Clearly, they need to be replaced, but I want to make sure this does not happen again. I also want to be knowledgeable when talking with the manufacturer and installer. They are floor to ceiling windows, a couple inches off the flooring inside and a wood deck outside. However, the wood deck is a couple feet above ground level and dry most of the time. We live in Maryland where accumulated snow does not last very long. There is no evidence of water on the window, frame, or walls inside or outside. Curiously, the rot seems to start on the inside and work its way through the board. There is no indication of mold or insects. The windows are metal clad outside, painted on the inside and have always been well maintained. A photo is attached.

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:38 AM   #2
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That window is getting soaked with rainwater splash back from the deck.

Any wood window you put in there is going to look like that after a similar number of years.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:40 AM   #3
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Rot in lower sash of windows, root cause and prevention suggestions


Thank-you for your quick response. If I understand correctly, because the windows extend almost to the floor, they get rain splash that would not occur with more conventional higher windows -- that makes sense to me. It is not clear to me exactly where the water is seeping in. Can you recommend any prevention actions that I might take once I purchase replacement lower windows? e.g., replace the weather stripping at the bottom of the window, enhance the caulking between the wood and the glass, strengthen the sealing between the window and the double hung track somehow, perhaps with additional flashing.

Bob
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:50 AM   #4
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Marvin, Anderson, Pella all have had issues with that bottom sill rotting.
The older clad windows where the worst.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:00 PM   #5
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I'd be removing the whole window and reframing the opening for a smaller window so it's not so close to the deck.
Only other way is to toss those and install new fiberglass, composite or vinyl replacement windows.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:44 PM   #6
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Cannot you make a bottom sill out of PVC materials, like they are door frames?
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:05 PM   #7
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The issue is not the sill, it is the bottom panel of the double hung window. Thanks for your suggestion!

Bob
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmjones
The issue is not the sill, it is the bottom panel of the double hung window. Thanks for your suggestion! Bob
+1

This is the bottom rail of the sash.
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:55 PM   #9
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Exactly, that bottom panel of the window sash is what is rotten. In a few cases, it has extended into one of the side panels or sashes of the window, but it appears to have started in the bottom one.

Bob
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