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 Post subject: condensation
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:20 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Indiana
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Hey guys,
I recently had a customer with a replacement bay window. This was a year old, similar to a simonton bay, dh-pw-dh. They thought they had a water leak in the top of the window, the company came and inspected. They found alot of condensation in the area between the top of the window and the soffit of the house. He asked what I thought. I really didn't know what to say, to be honest. I asked if the header of the window was insulated, he said he didn't think so. The outside has coil stock as a filler from the top of the bay to the soffit, and sealed up well. The inside trim was left off for drywall repair. It seems to have plenty lf insulation, with no gaps or daylight. I just wandered if anyone had any ideas. Also, there are water stains on the seat board. Can these be sanded out ? This guy has done nothing with the window. Still raw wood after a year. I told him he better get it stained and sealed soon. But will those stains sand out or are they deeper than just the surface?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:58 pm
Posts: 1335
Location: Northern & Central Illinois, Chicago suburbs
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If you are in a northern climate, the problem is more than likely ice damming on the roof. In northern climates, the home loses heat up through the attic and the heat loss continues up through the shingles, which melts the snow and ice. The water trickles down to the portion of the roof near the gutters where the attic is no longer below it and refreezes since the area below is now the soffit area where there is no heat loss below, and the melting stops. The result is a build up of ice near the gutters. The more the melting continues, the bigger the chance that water will hit this build up and actually back up under the shingles and leak down into the soffits.
Since the top of the bay is attached up into the soffits, the water will come right down onto the bay when this condition exists.
A product called Ice & Watershield is a must in northern climates when re-roofing to control this ice damming. It is a self-adhesive membrane that is put along the roof edges to a point one to two feet (depending on code) inside the point where the roof goes over the exterior wall. The membrane self seals even when punctured by a nail and will prevent this problem. Many people see that their rafter tails and fascia boards are rotten and think it was caused by leaky gutters, when in fact ice damming is usually the culprit of the damage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 10:17 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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I agree with the Ice Barrier application. We cover all our roofs with it first overlapping the existing roof where ever possible. In the case of no protruding roof line. Your getting condensation somewhere through the soffit or facia. Did you look and see if they insulated above the top of the bay unit. Sometimes in a hurry they forget to throw insulation above the head board. If so there's your heat loss. I'd pull back the outside wrap and peak inside. That would cause some serious Ice Dams outside. Also make sure the seat board is insulated. Another item missed by many when ordering for the colder climates.
Technically per the manufacturers warranty they should have finished the stain and seal within at least 60 days. I wouldn't tell the factory that one. I've had some similar customers who just never got around to it. I've been able to sand some of the water stains out very carefully. The veneer is very thin and really needs your full concentration while sanding. Otherwise I get an oak cabinet side cover and cut a new top piece. It sucks to do this without splintering the wood. I then have to cut the trim down to picture frame the opening. No quarter inch reveal after installing a new bottom board. I use contact cement like laminating a counter top. Works out well. They are no fun at all. I suppose it's ten feet off the ground also! Good Luck!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:38 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:20 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Indiana
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I called this customer back. I asked him to call the window company that installed the bay, ask them if the unit was insulated on top. Turns out they charge extra for that and he didn't pay for it. So, no insulated head. I mentioned the ice dam situation, he said, the company told him that the soffit and top of his bay were dry, but the back of the coilstock headfiller was soaked and running down onto the edge of the wood top. They are at a loss with this as well. If there is no insulation on top of the bay, that would explain radiant heat loss. But, would that explain moisture transfer through, I'm guessing at least an inch of wood. I understand there is a dew point, because of heat transfer into the cavity above the window, the dew point is at the back of the coilstock. But I wouldn't think moisture could transfer from inside the house through the wood on the bay into the cavity. I also am a little confused why the company didn't at least offer to insulate, they didn't mention it and this guy would have been glad to pay a little extra for that. He won't tell me who they are, but I think his brother-in-law might be the culperate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:17 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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That's the problem! There is more than enough heat loss through that head board to warm the area and cause the ice dam. He needs to insulate that entire area above the head board. I can't believe they would do this and walk away. At least explain it to the home owner so they know what will happen. Ounce that's insulated I'm sure the problems will be gone!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:22 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Peoria, IL
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Not too mention the metal spacer, which conducts cold through the air space, giving you the glass of water syndrome......condensation


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