glass unit shifted within vinyl frame -- please help!
We just moved into a house in eastern Washington state (very hot summers, somewhat mild winters.) The house was built in 1985 and had Pacific brand vinyl windows installed (the company has since gone out of business.) We have just noticed that the glass unit (the "sandwich" of the glass panes and aluminum spacer) has shifted considerably in many of the units. On one unit, there is a 1/4" gap between the glass and the frame and about 1/3 of the windows are showing so much of the aluminum spacer that I fear they are not far behind in separating. The shifting is a sort of rotation -- it's typically noticeable on the lower right vertical edge and the upper left vertical edge.
I did have a representative from the window company I thought had installed them come out and take a look -- "I've never seen anything like that!" is not a good thing to hear from a window installer. The cost of repairing (cutting out the glass and resetting it) is comparable to the cost of replacing it.
I do plan to have a couple of other local glass companies come out to bid new windows, at least on the units that are really bad, but would LOVE any advice about this situation. Has anyone ever experience vinyl window failure in this way? We knew they weren't the greatest windows when we bought the house, but thought we had a few years before we needed to do this. We're really disappointed that our home inspector didn't notice this problem. Most of the problem windows are fixed picture units. The house isn't showing any other signs of settling/shifting and the window frames look just fine.
Once you've had vinyl windows in you home, do you always need to install vinyl windows?