Marvin Clad Wood Conduct Cold, Leak Air and Condense

greggz1959December 19, 2009

Just installed 26 Marvin Ultimate Insert Double Hung window, Low E 179 with argon double-paned, clad aluminum outside, primed pine inside, in November and having major buyer's remorse one month later.

The installer shimmed, leveled, and foamed around each frame. Old weight pockets are filled with fiberglass. Exterior perimeter is sealed as well with backing rod and Titebond weathermaster sealant. No air is coming through the rough opening and frame. However, plenty of air is leaking through the new windows themselves, called "blow-by" as the Marvin rep calls it. Also, at the top of the unit, the jamb tracks don't go all the way to the top and there are gaping holes with air pouring in where the jambs should be sealed instead. So much for quality contraol at the factory. In addition, the cladding and spacer bars are conducting much cold, especially at corners where convection is occuring. Even though the rep said we got "warm edge" stainless steel spacer bars,we are getting chronic condensation along the bottom edges of both sashes, even with low indoor humidity, at 20 degrees or less outside. Much cold air blows through the foam bulb weatherstripping in winds or 20 mph or more. Today I had to run a hairdryer to heat up the window to open it as it was frozen shut. When I did get it open, I tilted in the bottom sash and saw ice, yes, ice channeling up the interior track of the sash itself, as well as running along the interior of the jamb bulb weatherstripping, and also ice pockets at the bottom of the sill, inside the tracks, sitting on top of the foam cube, and along the inside of the bulb weatherstrip running along the bottom of the sash and sill. Plus, the side jamb foam bulb weatherstripping soaks up rainwater from the sill which then freezes and makes the weatherstripping rigid rendering it inflexible and unable to move with the movement of the sashes in high winds, hence more air infiltration. When I stand in front of these windows, the conduction of cold is worse than when we had the original single panes with storm windows. I wasn't expecting air tight, but this is ridiculous. The Marvin seals are simply inadequate in our New England weather. Our reason for springing $28,000. for these windows was to never have to rope caulk and plastic over windows again. However, I spent the entire day yesterday applying rope caulk to the new windows. Yes, the air infiltration is less, but the conduction of cold is still so intense from the aluminum that we still feel quite a draft standing in front of the units. Now were considering buying interior storms to cope. I think that's probably a cheaper alternative to suing Marvin...but at this point, we feel majorly ripped off. Yes, the windows look beautiful and they replicate the "prairie style" of the original windows perfectly, but what you get in aesthetics you lose badly in terms of energy efficiency. I confess, I am a design snob and that's why I avoided vinyl because I wanted to preserve the look of our 100 year old house. However, "Fashion windows" don't equal good sense. This is a hard lesson to learn.

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I see some of your problem right away. Why did you choose low e 179 when there is much more efficient glass available?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 10:49AM
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How...of all the issues that he is discussing, would you say that Low-e 179 is his issue?

To top it off, your suggestion of what is wrong is likely incorrect.

Low-e 179 may be the correct glass package for his climate region.

To the original poster, I would get in touch with Marvin. I have read several posts about them and they, apparently more than most, seem to take care of any customer issues.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 12:09PM
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The OP should learn how to be more concise, get to the point, and use the return key so others will be willing to read his monologue. I wasn't.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 12:24PM
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I agree with Websnooper and Macy. Did you actually talk to a Marvin factory rep or someone with the company that did the install. I find your experience very hard to believe, as I know Marvins reputation for first class service.

Call the MARVIN home office and get a manager on the phone. I'm certain they will solve the problem for you.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 3:51PM
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Greg, you wrote of the same complaint in a different thread. This sounds very odd to me as i sold Marvin for years and never heard if this problem and i live on Long Island and the wind had been known to blow here and be cold as well. I would definitely look up the factory rep and have him to your house because something does not seem right with this issue.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 10:34AM
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Are you sure it's the windows and not that the house is 100 years old?

There wasn't much insulation technology used back then and I doubt the blame can rest with just the windows.

Perhaps your home needs an energy audit?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2009 at 11:04PM
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This is just another one post, drive-by shot at Marvin. I love it how these kind of posters never stick around to answer questions. Likely just a competitor.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 9:55PM
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Where are you located? I have some friends in the Marvin service department I could get you in touch with.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 7:01PM
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