Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: pret On: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:06 pm

Hi... still ranting here!

Maybe my expectations are high... but I just built a new house, and my double hung Simonton windows leak at the airlock... everyone of them... if there is any type of breeze! If the trees are swaying a bit... the windows are leaking.

I hung a piece of tissue paper from some string and took videos of myself lowering the paper hung from string down from the middle of the vertical window sash to the air lock (where the upper and lower windows touch) - you should see the paper blow! At times it blew 2 to 3 inches and maintained that distance - from the side of the window! I sent these videos to my builder and they came out worked on shimming some of the windows and installing little doodads in the track just below the airlocks - spent about half a day here doing that. Didn't change a thing!

Oh, I looked up the specs of these windows from the Simonton website. I did the math and determined that at the pressure difference listed on the specs sheet, which translated to a wind speed of 48 miles per hour, the windows are allowed to seep .1 cfm of air per linear feet of window sash. Each of these windows are 5 feet high and 3 feet wide... so that means that I can expect no more than 1.6 cfm of air seepage per window at a 48 mph outside wind speed. Anybody know what 1 cfm feels like? I guess that meas that a 1'x1'x1' cube of air passing through my fingers in one minute... trying to imagine... nope - can't do it. I got enough air coming through the air locks on a windy day... maybe 15 - 18 mph gusts that blow tissue paper 3 inches from a vertical standstill! I could only imagine a 48 mph hour wind.

Am I crazy????

Pret
pret
 

Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: jjmason On: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:29 pm

Seems uncharacteristic of Simonton. Thay are usually a very good window. I've installed dozens without fail or callbacks. Thay do make different grades though. I only ever used the 5500 Reflections series. I believe it is called the Impressions that is a slightly lower grade, but in any case what you are saying sounds like something is wrong. Is it only one size? Or do all the windows leak so bad regardless of size? If was only all of one size, it would leave me to think it was something in manufacture. If the leak is where the sashs join and the latches operate smoothly, it doesn't sound like an install problem.
jjmason
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
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Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: tvb On: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:01 pm

My goodness, Pret - if you need to name your new home, I suggest "Squeak and Whistle".

Have you contacted the manufacturer about the problem? Is it possible the windows are warped?
tvb
 
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Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: Dann757 On: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:12 pm

I put in the Home Despot el cheapo vinyl double hungs here. They seep a little in a wind, but a vast improvement over the single pane antiques I replaced, and energy star rated.



Take a careful diagonal measurement from corner to corner, both ways, and see if the length matches. And put a framing square on the corners and see if the windows were installed square! Check for level and plumb too. Put a straightedge up the sides and see if they're bowed even slightly.

You should get a factory rep out to your home for sure. See what he says.
Dann757
 

Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:15 pm

I agree with Dan.
I have all new replacements. None leak air like that. And they are the cheaper windows.
cArNaGe
 

Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: pret On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:11 am

I'll make the measurements to my squeak and whistle home sweet home tomorrow - good idea.

I didn't know how much this was bothering me until I began to write about it and... well you see how I got a little crazy there...

Pret
pret
 

Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: coal berner On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:17 am

pret wrote:I'll make the measurements to my squeak and whistle home sweet home tomorrow - good idea.

I didn't know how much this was bothering me until I began to write about it and... well you see how I got a little crazy there...

Pret

Make sure when they installed them that they did put some kind of insulation in the window Jambs around whole window
coal berner
 
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Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: WNY On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:58 am

I put in 23 New Survivor Double hung Vinyl replacements (low E and argon) and can't feel any air leaks, except if the wind is blowing hard over 30mph, one of them will whistle a little bit.

A little bit of moisture does build up on the bottom of the top window, but way better than 100 year old single hung with storms....:)
WNY
 
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Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: gaw On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:24 pm

New windows should not leak as you describe. If you want to feel better come and feel the air leaks I have with 100 year old single hungs. Then you can feel real air leaks, at least the house is well ventilated.

WNY wrote:I put in 23 New Survivor Double hung Vinyl replacements....)

I think Survivor went out of business in November or December. Times are tough for most window manufacturers.
gaw
 
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Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: pret On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:46 pm

Hey Jay... don't know if they insulated around the windows... I would have thought the framers would have used expanding foam... the house has 6" of blown cellulose insulation in the exterior walls... but every window leaks where the two come together if there is ANY wind outside... even like a 5 mph...

Still got to make those measurements... anybody get a shipment of bowed windows?? I just didn't think that happened... yes... I'm naive.
pret
 

Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:00 pm

pret wrote:I would have thought the framers would have used expanding foam...


Wouldn't you want non-expanding foam for windows and doors? I would think the expanding stuff would cause problems.
coaledsweat
 
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Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: TimV On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:13 pm

10 years ago I replaced most of my windows with a vinyl that Lowes was selling not top of the line but a decent window for the money.We also resided from the sheating out. Rough openings were made so they wer 1/2 inch over actual window width.
We caulked all around the sides of the windows and a bead of silicone was put under nailing strips that hold window in place. No more "curtian dance" when the wind howls .No wind noises nothing. But I did them myself with the point in mind I didnt want any air leaks and it is possible if you careful and make sure its sealed up 100%
Either your contractor guys messed up (my guess) or you just have a bad run of windows.
TimV
 
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Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: jjmason On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:22 pm

If they leak the whole way across where the top and bottom sash meet and they latch properly it must be a manufacture problem. All the the insulation in the world around the frame won't help you. It doesn't sound like an install problem, but your builder should still be liable to straighten it out since he sold you the windows. He should arrange for a Simonton rep to take a look.
jjmason
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
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Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: pret On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:45 pm

I don't know if any foam was sprayed... my ignorance is exposed for not knowing why there would be problems with expanding foam... :oops:

The leaks come from the tracking - where the bottom window slides up and down... but only where the top window and the bottom one meet. Hard to explain... hey.. how about a picture! :doh:

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The air comes up from below that plastic 'thingy' in the tracking of the bottom window.
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The leaks are in the same places on both sides of the window... on any window being subject to wind.

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Close - up
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The specs on these windows are: http://www.simonton.com/Products/_Produ ... i=215&pd=3

They have the same specs as windows 'reported' to having an R-50 rating!
http://www.simonton.com/Products/_Produ ... i=226&pd=3

We have the ones with the argon gas... not sure which of the two options we have.
pret
 

Re: Should new, properly installed windows leak air?

PostBy: jjmason On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:11 am

ok misunderstood you about where the leak was could be an install problem
jjmason
 
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