New window has DRAFT - was it installed right???

scuzzynuttyApril 17, 2012

So I had all the original single-paned windows in our house replaced with Simonton double pane energy efficient windows.

This morning, I noticed one of the vertical blinds was moving, I went to the window and on the bottom there's a small 1.5 inch long 1/16 inch gap. It looks like when the caulking dried, it shrunk a bit and hence the gap. I can caulk it back myself no problem, but was wondering if there was a problem with the installation. If they put the weather seal/foam inside while they're installing it, shouldn't it prevent any draft whatsoever, or is the caulking part of the "complete draft" removal process for anything that gets by the weather foam?

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I would be a little concerned. Proper insulation should prevent any air leaks. I'm also concerned the caulk is already seperating. Call the company and ask them to come back out. I would also let them know you are concerned the insulation wasn't installed correctly.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 6:04PM
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I agree, have them come out and look. Caulk shrinkage is common, but there should not be air leakage regardless as long as the opening around the window was insulated properly, preferably with foam.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 6:29PM
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Will they have to take out the window and reinsulate it then, or how is that normally remedied?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:02PM
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You need to read your contract and make sure it specifies they will insulate. If you jumped at a lowball price, it's possible they did a very basic "caulk & walk" install. There is no building code standard on insulating that would allow you to demand they re-install the windows. They simply have to say they installed them to their normal standard.

Hopefully this is something easily remedied.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:14PM
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The foam should be a secondary seal, the caulk on the exterior should be the primary seal,preferrably with OSI quad 4 or something smilar in quality.The interior caulking should more of a cosmetic thing and air should not enter even if this seal fails. I would check the exterior caulking first,many here have used fiberglass before without problem. Did the Wrap the windows in aluminum coil?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:56PM
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I agree with toddinmn and the above posts.

Even if the window openings are of the type where there are weight pockets behind the jambs, proper installation should remove air flow from leaking through separated caulk. The air leak through the parted caulk bead is indicative of improper insulation.

I would hope that the window company will rectify this. What EcoStar said above is correct, there are no codes for this. However, for decades it has been considered customary to insulate around the window frame, and if the installers didn't do it, I can guarantee they were expected to by the company. Hopefully you went through an established company and not some guy on the side. If you don't get prompt results you should tell them your next call will be to the BBB and the attorney general. That usually gets some action.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Will they have to take out the window and reinsulate it then, or how is that normally remedied?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 11:11AM
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oops, I refreshed the page this morning and it posted my yetserday's message again...sorry.

Thanks for all your input. Unfortunately, I can't check the outside caulk because it's on the master window on the 2nd floor, and I don't have a ladder going up that high and there's a trellis in the way too :( Regardless, as you all have said, there shoudln't be any leakage. I will contact them today.

I did use a reputable company that's an A+ on BBB, so hopefully i won't have any problems...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 11:16AM
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BBB ratings have become a comodity. What else did you do to satisfy yourself the install would be top natch?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

There are instances where the air leakage can be from inside the wall. This is more commonplace on dormer windows and other windows where there are multiple angles and framing junctions.

If this is the case, without removing the casing around the window, there may always be air leakage and it may feel more prevalent now as compared to your previous windows because of the change in pressures and infiltration rates.

Ex. Assume that your old window was very leaky and the new unit is very tight. What bit of air leakage you feel may be from inside the walls and feel more dramatic as a result of the reductions at the window.

This is just another option. In most cases, air leakage around the window is the result of an unsealed installation and should be fixed by the installation company.

I just wanted to point out that there are other options at the end of the day and air leakage can come from multiple sources.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 11:37AM
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Well they're supposed to come out next Tuesday and take a look at it.

My question is if they have to remove the window (it's a retrofit) and reinsulate it, is there potential to ruin the window frame and then they have to order a new one, or they might ruin some of the parts of the window opening that won't be covered up.

I'm wondering if it's worth it, or if I should just caulk the bottom and seal up the hole. If the hole is sealed, no wind or draft will get into the house right? Or are there any other adverse affects?


    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Have them come out and take a look. Even if it needs better insulation, there is really no reason that the window would need to be removed. Whether it is foam or fiberglass, it is insulated after the windows is secured anyway.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:02PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


Removal of the capping or the interior trim is not a big deal and will not ruin the windows.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:06PM
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Oh ok...thanks for the followup.

I thought they put all that foam and glue around the perimeter and then stick entire window piece which is why I thought that they would have to remove the entire window.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 11:30AM
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