2 Pella problems need help

wlachanMarch 6, 2006

This is the first time I have posted here. I have searched and read most of the related posts but have not found the answer so hopefully somebody might be able to help.

Our house is about 16 years old and we have rotten woods at the corners (sill) on 3 particular fixed Pella windows. We headed to the local Pella store asked for help and was promised twice but the manager never came. We have grown tried of their disappointing service and need to find some answers quick. So what could be the problem of rotten wood? I have inspected the windows myself and suspect it's the rain water being trapped underneath the outer metal cover and eventually works its way in. For all 3 windows with rotten wood on the inside, I have noticed some recessed bare woods on the outside are not sealed (but all other Pella windows I have inspected are). Could the windows be not properly sealed during manufacturing causing this problem? I have tried to sealed them off myself on the outside and the moisture seems stopped for 2 windows, but the last one keeps growing some fungus.

Another very weird problem I have noticed is one particular window (also the one with rotten wood) has a distorted outer glass. It's like being sucked from the inside and looks convex from the outside. That wall has 5 Pella windows in a row and only the middle one is like this. In fact the centre of the outer glass touches the inner glass. What may cause this problem? Was the sill being rotten so badly it loses its support and compress the window frame? The inner glass doesn't seem to suffer from any distortion but I have a very bad feeling on this. But since I know next to nothing about home repair, any expertise is much appreciated.

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You might want to go straight to the top and contact pella headquarters and explain the lack of service by your local distributor.Even if your windows are no longer under warranty, i doubt corporate is going to like the way your local distributor is handling(or not handling) your situation.The wood could be swelling to the point of stressing the outer pane.As far as rotting,usually the cladding is sealed at the factory. Maybe it was from a bad install, or as you mentioned, a factory defect.I would make contacting pella central my first course of action and go from there.A reputable window,siding ,door outfit might have some advise even though they aren't pella distributors.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 10:24PM
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I have prepared a picture of these 3 , if they help.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 3:42AM
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We have had lots of problems with our Pella windows with rotted wood from water. About half of our Pella windows were made incorrectly. The Pella people even admitted this when they saw them. On the aluminum frame on the outside, the bottom panel overlaps the side panels instead of vice versa. Which allows for water entry unless they are constantly sealed. It's kind of hard to explain. Also, on our bay window, the aluminum frame had a gap in the bottom corner, which allowed water to get in and rot the wood which made the window sag. Someone from Pella came out and told us it was a defect and that Pella may replace it even though it was well past warranty. (he was probably fired later!!)After months of pestering them they gave in and gave me a large discount on replacing the window. But then they doubled the price of labor (in their estimate) to make up for their loss. I took the window at the reduced price and had someone else install it. They are HORRIBLE to deal with. I now have a window which has completely rotted wood on the bottom of the frame from water and I am dreading dealing with them to replace it. We love our windows, they were in the house when we bought it - they have the roll down screens and in-between-the-glass shades but I would have a real hard time getting Pella again. they require constant preventative maintenance and are hugely overpriced. I would keep bothering them about it. I think their philosophy is that if they ignore complaining customers they will give up at some point. Don't give up.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 9:42AM
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Thanks for the reply. I have been suspecting about those exposed corners too between the metal covers. I sealed the edges between the metal cover and the glasses and stops the water to certain extend, but still not completely. Unfortunately it has been rainning like crazy this winter and I will have to check them all again ASAP. I think I will have to custom made some tools and sealed every exposed wood and holes that I could find. I am really stressful since I don't have the budget to have those windows replaced at the moment and the quote from Pella was simply ridiculous. And what's more. They said our windows are quite old so I have to replace them with newer models, which mean they will look completely different unless I replaced them all. I have no idea how I am going to sell my house if ever. Sigh...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 5:50PM
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You might try an aluminum siding contractor or home improvement specialist that deals with aluminum siding/clad windows. They are generally set up to do custom aluminum work onsite and could possibly veneer over your existing cladding.I realize the original cladding is incorporated into the window, but possibly they could come up with a permanent solution, no more leaks.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 8:04PM
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DO NOT GET PELLA!....my background is in construction engineering which is why i spec'd pella windows when i designed and had my home built in 1991.....within 5 years some doors and windows started signs of leaking....i called over the past 120 years and was told there was only a year warrenty on all 50 windows and 5 doors and i'd have to pay for relacement so should just caulk the leaky areas myself....my contractor caulked but that lasts only 1-2 years....now at least 15 windows are leaking where glass meets metal cladding and one window has extensive dry rot....others on the web have experienced rotting pella windows....the local company said they will come out to look ONLY if i pay $95 an hour for their visit!!!!....i sent them pics and they refuse to even look at the problem areas without being paid....main office in iowa says to deal with local rep.....CAN ANYONE HELP ME????....this is totally ridiculous!!!!.....

Here is a link that might be useful: http://memberdirectory.aol.com/aolus/profile?req=edit-save&sn=rockrosey

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 2:06PM
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My old neighbor works for Pella and is the guy who comes to houses where there are complaints and makes the reapirs. Form what he tells me , Pella is very lineant and repairs more problems then they should. Most of the problems he sees are with installation errors from the contractors that is installing the windows. It use to be that Pella never installed windows but would refer customers to outside contravtors for installation. He himself use to own his own bussiness and would recieve phone calls from customers about installing windows. Times turned bad and he had to close his bussiness and take a direct job working for Pella Service department. They just started doing thier own installation. Maybe its different around here. As far as $95 an hour, They dont charge that around here. I would be making more phone calls. I dont think you are talking to the right people. I have Pella windows in my home and none of them are rotted. I think they are a great window and have lowered why heat bills a lot.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 12:23PM
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I have found that the quality of Pella 10 years ago to be fine. Today, trash. On top to that, where we live (DE), the distributor is the bottom of the barrel. Great service folks, but it can take months to get them on site.

Just did an addition just over a year ago, so far 6 service calls, all for poor workmanship items. Would never use them again, we were just trying to match up with other existing windows and doors.

Don't mind spending for quality, but expect quality in return!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 11:30AM
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I have pella windows in a house bulit 1953, they're double hung, double pane. On two of the windows the outside pane is broke (baseballs) but the windows are made with aluminium clading. How do you replace the glass with this clading on. Tried pella service and they canceled the first appointment and never showed or called for the make-up appointment.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 11:37AM
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Posted by rockrosey (My Page) on Fri, Mar 9, 07 at 14:06

DO NOT GET PELLA!....my background is in construction engineering which is why i spec'd pella windows when i designed and had my home built in 1991.....within 5 years some doors and windows started signs of leaking....i called over the past 120 years and was told there was only a year warrenty on all 50 windows and 5 doors and i'd have to pay for relacement so should just caulk the leaky areas myself....my contractor caulked but that lasts only 1-2 years....now at least 15 windows are leaking where glass meets metal cladding and one window has extensive dry rot....others on the web have experienced rotting pella windows....the local company said they will come out to look ONLY if i pay $95 an hour for their visit!!!!....i sent them pics and they refuse to even look at the problem areas without being paid....main office in iowa says to deal with local rep.....CAN ANYONE HELP ME????....this is totally ridiculous!!!!.....

You are severely mentally ill. This post is imbecilic.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 7:26PM
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There is now a federal lawsuit against Pella.

Here is a copy of the lawsuit;

Press Release Source: Freed & Weiss LLC

Freed & Weiss LLC: Pella Faces Class Action Suit Over ProLine Windows
Wednesday February 20, 1:16 pm ET

CHICAGO, Feb. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued today by the law firm Freed & Weiss LLC:
A Chicago federal court denied a motion to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit against Pella Corporation that alleges Pella's ProLine series of windows suffer from a design flaw that has resulted in widespread failures. Saltzman et. al. v. Pella Corporation 06CV4481 (N.D. Ill., March 20, 2007). The lawsuit also covers the "250 Series" and "450 Series" windows sold through major retailers such as Lowe's. Specifically, the suit alleges that Pella ProLine aluminum-clad windows are prone to water penetration resulting in rotting of the internal wood frame beneath the aluminum cladding. Wood rot requires replacement of the window sash and/or frame. Because of the aluminum cladding, such damage is not always visible to the homeowner.

If you have Pella windows, wish to discuss the lawsuit or have any questions concerning your rights, please contact Freed & Weiss at (312) 220-0000 or e-mail info@freedweiss.com. Information is also available by visiting the firm's website at http://www.freedweiss.com/.

Source: Freed & Weiss LLC

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 12:47AM
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I have been a builder for twentyfive years and have installed hundreds if not thousands of Pella windows on both coasts. If my experience has taught me one thing it is if you do not anstall a window correctly it will FAIL. I would guess that about 90% of the windows I've seen that have some type of failure are directly due to poor installation.
Out of all the widow companies my best experience has been with Pella. This is not to say some of their competitors don't make a good window as well but most of the homes I have built in the past 15 years are custom million dollar homes in which the owners want the highest quaility and aestetic appeal. Many times I do not even have to suggest Pella because that is what they know they want.
In terms of customer service, I guess this really depends on who and where you are dealing. It is important to get assurances and warranties in writting and keep in close contact with your contact. Remember, windows for a new or existing home is an investment and should be treated as such. Make sure you have the right person for the job (installation) because you can have the best window in the world but if it is installed improperly it is futile and you've wasted money. Pay the extra buck to have it done right and speaking from experience you will then get what you paid for. QUALITY.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:57AM
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Pella is the worst company I've ever dealt with. The sales rep was dishonest, Pella's installers damaged my house and Pella wouldn't reimburse me, the Pella doors are warped and Pella keeps sending defective replacements, the windows are horrible quality and don't close properly. I called their home office in Iowa and was told someone would get back to me but no one ever did. These were installed less than a year ago. After Pella gets their money, don't expect them to stand behind their products. I'm writing off the $10,000 I spent on the doors and ordered replacements from a different company. I will never use Pella again.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 5:13PM
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Any roll-form aluminum clad window is going to have water problems because the wood has been wrapped with a thin sheet of aluminum and water will inevitably get behind it at the mitered joints. The better brands changed to extruded aluminum cladding long ago in order to avoid this problem.

I don't understand why people are willing to spend so much money for low maintenance but won't spend enough to buy a window that will last as long as a painted wood window.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:43AM
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Over the past nine years I have purchased and paid for installation of 26 Pell Designer series windows and a patio door. I was replacing Rockwell windows which had rotted, warped, leaked and were clouded between the glass. The windows I purchased from Pella are aluminum clad outside and wood trim inside - all casements. I purchased the Pella rol-screens when available and mini blinds between the glass, also when available.
But here are the significant problems. Yesterday I discovered the interior wood trim on the portion of the window that cranks out is peeling off. On a guest bedroom window that is used rarely I discovered the trim is completely off. That caused me to inspect the other windows and discovered 16 windows in total are peeling from 2 inch to 8 inches starting from the top and working down. Some of these windows have been in as briefly as 5 years, some up to 9 years. This is the final straw in a series of disappointments. The first disappointment was cosmetic - the realization that I could not get the mini blinds on all sizes. So the cohesive, clean, contemporary look I was striving for is unattainable. The second was quality - 22 of the windows have blinds. The blinds are poorly constructed - some of them do not drop all the way to the bottom of the window - this appears to be a matter of mismatched tolerances, a manufacturing problem. About half of them have the protective piece installed over the string mechanism falling off, a materials/adhesive problem. Some of them have warped blinds, blinds that have never been outside the glass are distorted. On these "older" blinds, the strings are a hassle - they blow between the window and its frame and they tangle, and washing the window around the hooks provided to wrap the string is cumbersome. Which is the third frustration - when Pella introduced their new design without strings, they left all the earlier customers without an opportunity to upgrade. And I repeatedly asked for an upgrade plan.
Finally I reached the phase of replacement where we were installing tall narrow windows, and then I discovered Pella doesn't offer true casements. The benefit of casements is that you can wash both sides from the inside - but not with Pella. Pella provides you a casement window with a butt hinge which means you are (I am) dragging out the ladder and buckets to wash these windows from the outside - and yes, blinds are not an option for these windows either. Oh, and to lock them requires multiple mechanisms. After being surprised when the first set of windows arrived with butt hinges, I waited four more years for Pella to get with the program. Finally I replaced the remaining nine windows with Andersen windows. Should have done that in the first place - the Andersen windows have a great strong hinge, open for ease of washing, have a single mechanism to lock the tall windows (vs multiple on the Pella), have more glass for light and view than the comparable Pella windows, and were clad by Andersen to match my existing investment in Pella. No, I am not employed by Andersen - I am just tired of being ripped off by supposedly credible companies like Pella. Pella got over $50K of my money and I got a series of problems and disappointments.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 2:02PM
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I have had Pella windows for maybe 7 years. I have not painted all of them yet, a work in progress here at home. I am just getting ready to paint the bedroom windows, they are casement with the roll screen (double pane?). I noticed that there is some sort of silicone, very sticky substance, oozing from the area where the glass meets the wood frame, both inside and outside (vinyl clad outside) and inbetween the panes.

These windows are on both the east and west sides of the house, not too many trees, so they get the heat of the day. Has anyone had this problem? I will be contacting Pella tomorrow to find out what they are going to do about this but if someone else has had something similar, I would like to hear about it. I scraped one inside window with a single edge razor blade and it was still soft and very sticky. I had to use paint thinner to get it off of my fingers and I had to use several razor blades because they were getting all gummed up.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 3:21PM
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WOW!!! I cannot believe all of these issue with Pella Windows... :(

I purchased 6 custom designer Casement windows Crank with (not double-hung) and 10 foot wide double french patio door outswing. The 6 custom designer series windows replaced my existing BOW window (Fixed structure) in my living room while the double french pato doors were for my dining room.

Both sets of Pella Windows were contracted by the RETAIL Pella store here in Hicksville Long Island. Pella, rep stopped by multiple times to ensure that measurements were taken and detailed all of the product specifications and designs and the units arrived without issues/problems and were installed by a Pella approved installer... I paid extra to have the windows and doors stained and they are beautiful...

It's now september 2010 almost three years to the date that these units have been installed and this weekend I'm going to check and make sure I don't have rot... :(

Questions to you ALL:

1. Since this installation was done by Pella from SOUP to Nuts, do you think I will have any problems with warranty?

2. How does one check to see if the seals are still in place?

3. How does one check to see if there is ROT if the wood is CLAD/SEALED behind the Aluminum?

4. Saved the best for last... Maintenance?!? I was told by the installer/carpenter and Pella Sales rep that I would periodically have to clean the windows and make sure no dirt/water accumulates in the sills... Is this standard practice, did anyone here perform this maintenance and then STILL have problems???! better yet, is there a methodology on how to maintain these windows?

I was told that if I wanted to get mainenance free windows to simply buy VINYL windows and to forgo Anderson/Marvin/Pella windows as they are wood products these would not be maintenance free...??

I live in Syosset, NY and have been through two winter seasons already without issue and about to start a third... I want to insure my $$$$ investment with Pella to last and if maintenance is key to avoid rotting issue then so be it... but if I could only rewind the clock, I probably would not be on this forum talking about Wood Rot and Pella... :(

PS. I'm just surprised to see so many OUTSPOKEN people about pella ALL over the NET and I mean ALL over... complaints ONLY!!!

I just wish I could find one thread that discussed preventative measures... :(

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 4:08PM
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I live in St Albans, VT. Built my house 11 years ago and had all pella windows installed. Believed their adds, I now have had 2 windows repaired from rotting and need two more replaced. The dealership will repair them at full cost and refuses to consider reducing the repair cost. I have contacted Pella over the web and they apparently have ignored my e mail as they never bothered to at least answer me. Extremely disapointed in the quality and more so in the people associated with the product.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 5:54PM
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We purchased 49 Architect Series Douglas Fir Double Hung windows in the fall of 2009. The windows leak water/snow/air. We have not been able to live in our home since that fatal decision. We are residing with a neighbor as our home has so much mold now, that we cannot even finish it, due to the amount of water that leaks inside because of the windows. We produced a video and posted it on YouTube under Pella window problems. We also posted a page on pellawindowproblemsdecideforyourself.com. Please educate yourself on just how awful Pella Window products really are. These poorly produced products will harm your life! Please spend the time necessary to research your window decision prior to making the decision for yourself.

Here is a link that might be useful: pella window problems

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 3:37PM
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