Air leaks and condensation

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daughtersrus
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Air leaks and condensation

#1 Post by daughtersrus » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:51 am

We recently had all of the wood slider windows in our home replaced with Alside UltraMaxx vinyl double hungs.

We have been having problems with air leaks since fall. At first, we were feeling air leaking around the wood trim around the patio door. The contractor sent someone out to fix that. They took the trim down from the outside and said that there was very little insulation. They replaced the insulation. We were still feeling air at the door as well as many of the other windows so the contractor sent the guys back out to caulk around all of the wood trim in the house.

That seems to have helped but we were still feeling air leaking at the top of the bottom window in the corners and near the locks. We also felt air where the two double hungs were joined. They sent the guys out to fix them again and this time they adjusted something inside of the track so that the windows would fit tighter. Since it didn't solve the problem, they had a rep from Alside come out a few weeks ago. He installed some fuzzy things that he stuck to the windows.

We're still feeling air leaking near the locks as well as where the two windows are joined together.

Does this sound like an installation problem or a warranty problem?

For what it's worth, our humidifier hasn't worked all winter and the old windows that don't have frost are those in our master bedroom. That room would probably be the most humid since the shower is used twice on a daily basis.

Here are a few pictures.
Thanks!

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FenEx
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#2 Post by FenEx » Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:42 pm

"Does this sound like an installation problem or a warranty problem?"

Unfortunately, it sounds like neither. It's the design and expected perfomance of the product you were provided. I have seen this in many Alside products. To date, I have not heard of anyone being compensated by Alside as they claim, "The windows are doing what they were designed to do". If you keep drapes, shades or blinds closed on these openings, you may wish to keep them open a few inches to allow ambient heat and airflow to help warm the glass to reduce interior ice.

If you do happen to get a resolution from Alside, please share how you did it, as I know many others that would love to know.

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Window4U (IL)
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#3 Post by Window4U (IL) » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:00 pm

Yeah, I agree. They are probably performing just like they are supposed to. The leakage you are feeling may be within the C.F.M. air infiltration numbers the window was tested to perform at.

Oh, and one more thing.........those aren't Alside Ultramaxx windows. They look like the cheaper Excaliburs to me, which are the 4th series down from the top in quality in the Alside window line.
Last edited by Window4U (IL) on Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

windowmannjny

#4 Post by windowmannjny » Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:11 pm

Window4U, great eyes, i too was looking at the posted pics and saying to myself (and my dog) hey those dont look even close to ultra-maxx windows. its hard to tell from the pics, possibly geneva or excaliburs, but definetly not ultra-maxx nor sheffields for that matter

windowrep
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#5 Post by windowrep » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:47 am

Those are not the ultamaxx however, the ultramaxx will have the same performance characteristics as above pictures. When people with years of experience with these products do not like certain brands it is for a reason. I had the ultramaxx in my house for 4 years and pulled them out. They looked liked the pictures above and their performance was terrible. alot of my customers had the same complaints. Most posters here are trying to advise people based on years of experience and unfortunately some trial and error. If you buy certain windows because they are cheaper, and they are better then what you had, then when the weather gets bad you have to expect this. This is not directed at you personnally daughtersrus however i do remember you posting in the spring of 2006 and you did not want to go through a "sales pitch" because price was such a big issue. You are not alone however, every summer on this and the sister site people come on and post how great their new windows are and they could not be happier, they saved so much more money over the salesmen who was just trying to rip them off and get them into his higher priced window ect. ect. ect. Then winter comes and it gets cold and this is what their new windows look like. I have seen no less then 8 homeowners in the past week in northeast ohio that bought windows less then 3 years ago and are looking at replacing them again. When the weather dips to wind chills at 20-30 below zero that is the ultimate test for a replacement window. forget the nfrc, step outside in the midwest this week. your higher shelf windows will really set themselves apart from the drop windows at these temps. unfortunately for daughtersrus your windows are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.

daughtersrus
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#6 Post by daughtersrus » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:10 am

Oh, and one more thing.........those aren't Alside Ultramaxx windows. They look like the cheaper Excaliburs to me, which are the 4th series down from the top in quality in the Alside window line.[/quote]

Why do you say that they are not Ultra Maxx? They look just like those pictured in the Ultra Maxx brochure? On the serial # tag it says "series 0201 double hung PL 004-01" Does this tell you which series it is?

Thanks!

randy
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#7 Post by randy » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:21 am

0201 identifies your window as the Excalibur, just as Window4U said. If they were the UltraMaxx window it would be identified as the 0601 model.

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Window4U (IL)
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#8 Post by Window4U (IL) » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:59 am

Why do you say that they are not Ultra Maxx? They look just like those pictured in the Ultra Maxx brochure? On the serial # tag it says "series 0201 double hung PL 004-01" Does this tell you which series it is?

Thanks!
Besides the serial number giving it away like Randy said, you can visually identify them as not Ultramaxx by the vinyl extrusion sticking up as high as the lock on the upper sash. On the Ultramaxx, the two sashes are flush and the lock is next to the glass.
I'd say you were bait and switched ....possible consumer fraud. It may or may not be intentional. If it was intentional, the Illinois States Attorney General might be very interested in this.


The first illustration is the Excalibur, the second is the Ultramaxx.

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daughtersrus
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#9 Post by daughtersrus » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:03 am

[/quote]


I'd say you were bait and switched ....possible consumer fraud. It may or may not be intentional. If it was intentional, the Illinois States Attorney General might be very interested in this.


We were! Our contract says Ultra Maxx so I have a few phone calls to make!

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Window4U (IL)
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#10 Post by Window4U (IL) » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:46 am

We were! Our contract says Ultra Maxx so I have a few phone calls to make!
Keep us informed what happens......I'm dying to know the details!

crankthisout
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#11 Post by crankthisout » Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:34 am

How about an obvious question?

There has been a cold spell lately in many parts of the country. Has it been below zero?

Many windows of all kinds (wood, vinyl) have condensation which turns to frost under these extreme conditions.

What I have learned on this board is condensation forms when the surface temperature reaches the dew point in the home. Around the meeting rail or lower parts of the sash is where cool air pools and this event happens more readily which can turn to frost.

Maybe the NFRC should have a initional frost point as part of their testing.

What type of glass do you have? My guess is a Low-E/Argon with an R-Value of a 3 or 4 will not have helped this situation. A clear thermopane would explain everything with an R-Value of 2.

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