Marvin Integrity Wood Ultrex performance?

Joyst719December 10, 2012

Hello everyone - this forum has been really helpful. I'm looking at the Integrity wood ultrex replacement windows. The consensus on Integrity seems to be pretty much that a nice looking solid, reasonably priced choice. But it is a leaky, drafty window. Do people agree? anyone who in the Washington DC area with these windows? Also have quotes on Trimline, Infinity, Weathermark and Starmark, Andersen. Hard decision. Is it really worth paying $4k more for slightly better performance? I'm guessing it would take a very long time to recoup $4k in energy savings. But I want to be toasty warm in my house and not feel cold air blowing through my nice new windows. Please weigh in if you have these windows installed (or are experienced installer).

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Who is the 4K price more than if it is Trimline, Weathermark and or Starmark from what I can tell they are not in the league of Integrity period (Weathermark and Starmark must be regional as I see nothing on them on the web). Infinity is generally more expensive than Integrity and Andersen can be depending on the series. No one stated that Integrity is a "leaky, drafty window". The statements have been is that there are other windows, vinyl fiberglass etc with better performance numbers. The Integrity is still a solid performing window no matter how you look at it.

This post was edited by millworkman on Tue, Dec 11, 12 at 7:38

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 7:33AM
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Integrity is an ok window but not Marvins top product. I think the Integrity looks very cheap and it has a very high air leakage rate.
higher end vinyl and composites will outperfom the integrity. that said, no one is saying the integrity is leaky. that would be more of an installation related concern.
StarMark is a composite and offered in certain area's in the northeast.
i think "Windows on Washington"offers starmark as well as Okna/ HiMark . they serve your area if im not mistaken.

This post was edited by mmarse1 on Mon, Jan 13, 14 at 8:23

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:23AM
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As mmarsel mentioned, the Starmark is a composite and is actually the at the top of that list of choices. It indeed is not in the same class of the Integrity as it pertains to performance-- because it is better, not worse. All that being said, the Integrity is a very well built window. I actually offer both of those products and each have their pros and cons which appeal to different customers. The Starmark has nearly unrivaled thermal and structural performance and the option of a synthetic stainable interior. I look at it like the Infinity on steriods. The thing that is nice about the Integrity is that it offers a nice price point, looks good, and has a real wood interior option if that is what you desire. If ultimate performance (and a lifetime warranty)is your goal, go with the Starmark. If you want a real wood interior, the Integrity is a good option. You really won't go wrong either way, it just depends on your priorities/preferences... I also attached a link to the Starmark site as it was mentioned that it was hard to find.

Here is a link that might be useful: starmark windows

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Ok thanks I stand correct on the Starmark, I appreciate the info as it was not a product I had heard of.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:16AM
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Kinda regional as mmarsel mentioned. Popular in the northeast and popping up more now further south and in the Midwest. It is made by Okna.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 10:24AM
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I have installed these windows in my house in the last 90 days. I just had the window vendor out today. They all leak warm air out the top sash. I received a call from Integrity today saying one of their reps will contact me in the coming weeks. All windows were found to be properly installed but I did have higher humidity in the house. There is NO condensation on the windows but I was told at least twice that they are concerned about the moisture. The only problem with the moisture is that it shows that the windows leak at the top. I have no moisture issues on the windows what so ever, just on the outside of the top sash. Temp today is 5 degrees F.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:30PM
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Flextech, how is this problem manifesting itself? Generally speaking, air leakage in that type of temperature is foing to show up as frost around the seals.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


Frost at the interlocks and other meeting points.

Do you have any pictures?

While the Integrity windows is the tightest window on the market, it certainly is well above average and this is a new complaint.

Are the windows showing moisture at the top sash, interior surface?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:04AM
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No moisture on the inside. I do not consider this as a moisture issue but rather a warm air escape issue. I love the windows but was disappointed when I saw this. Hopefully they will make it right.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:52AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Post up a picture of the window when it is nearly shut in the head jamb.

Might just be a case of some additional weatherstripping or it could be a fitment issue.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:00AM
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The alignment is perfect. It is obviously a weather stripping issue. I think it is funny that the Marvin customer service rep called and left a message stating to keep the moisture down etc when moisture on the glass isn't even the complaint. If they used something other than a vinyl type of weather stripping for the jamb it may operate better. It could easily be solved I think with a foam strip at the top, but I wouldn't think you would need to do that on new windows. Like I said, I cannot bad mouth them without giving them the opportunity to fix.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:28AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

The fact that it is not condensing on the interior surface does not necessarily mean that the humidity isn't high.

It does mean that the glass is working well and that there is not that much conduction at the glass/spacer level.

If, however, there is still some air/moisture leakage at the sash interface, that moisture can leak out and condense/frost on those coldest sections of the frame.

What does the outside of the home look like? Any vents or bushes in front of those windows?

I would also recommend removing the screens to get more air flow in front of that window.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:43AM
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WonW, I appreciate your efforts to explain it to me, but I still do not comprehend. The problem is not the frost but rather that the windows are leaking with the frost only showing that the window leaks. If the frost was not there and I used a thermo imaging camera, I would see heat escaping at the top. No? And since heat rises, I am trying to figure out why it is all the way down the side. thx

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

If the humidity is high enough, you could get that frost effect on the windows.

What does the outside of the home, on those windows, look like.

Is it doing it on all the windows?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 6:36PM
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So what happened with your window problem? I have a similar problem- ice buildup along the top, sides and bottom of the jamb. I have the exact same windows. Indoor relative humidity has been between 40-55% in all my rooms- and yet all my windows have this same issue. My Sashes have been frozen shut it has been so bad.
What gives?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 12:35AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

40 - 55% it too high depending on the outside temperature.

-------------Window condensation --------------by Oberon
The reason why there is condensation on the interior of your windows has a really simple explanation �" the surface temperature of the window is below the dew point temperature of the air in your home…that’s it…a very simple explanation.

Unfortunately, the reason that the window surface temperature is below the dew point temperature can potentially become somewhat more complex, but I am going to offer a few thoughts and even throw in a few numbers that I hope might help your situation.

In the summer, when you pull something cold and refreshing out of the refrigerator, and the air is warm and humid, that cold and refreshing beverage container suddenly and quite magically becomes instantly wet �" just as soon as it is exposed to the air. What has happened is that the temperature of the container fresh from the refrigerator is below the dew point temperature of the air �" which has caused condensation on the outside of that container.

What happens to your windows in the fall and winter is that the surface of the glass is below the dew point temperature of the air in your home �" which is causing condensation on the surface of that glass.

Dew point is defined as saturation vapor density...or put in simpler terms, when the air reaches 100% relative humidity and can hold no more moisture.
Relative humidity is, well, relative.

Relative humidity is a comparison of the actual vapor density versus the saturation vapor density at a particular temperature. Basically, dew point is 100% relative humidity or the point where the air - at that temperature - is no longer able to hold any more moisture. If the air has reached vapor saturation (100% relative humidity), then the air will release it on the outside of that cold beverage container in the summer time, or be it on the interior glass surface of your windows in the winter time, it makes no difference. If the surface temperature happens to be below freezing, then that moisture becomes frost or even ice.

In order to stop condensation from forming on the surface of a window, you either have to lower the dew point temperature of the air in your home to a level below the dew point temperature of the window surface, or you have to warm up the window surface to a temperature above the dew point temperature of your home, or a combination of both.

Lowering the relative humidity of the air in your home MAY have absolutely no effect on controlling window condensation…and I bet that that statement is a bit of a surprise to some folks…it is true however.

There are two ways to lower relative humidity �" increase air temperature or decrease moisture content. If you increase the air temperature you will lower the relative humidity but you will not change the dew point - which is based on the amount of water vapor in the air and is not based on the temperature of the air.

The amount of moisture in the air is measured in grams per cubic meter, which is kind of nice for our metric folks but not so nice for our non-metric folks; but the metric version is much easier on the calculator than the English version. However, in the interest of making this stuff easier to understand for all of us non-metric types, I am going to use Fahrenheit rather than Celsius temperatures in the calculations.

Okay �" consider your home at 65 degrees F and with a relative humidity reading of 40%. There are 6.25 grams of water in a cubic meter of air in your home in that particular scenario - which then equates to a dew point temperature of 38 degrees F. So at 38 degrees the air will be at 100% relative humidity or at saturation vapor density.

Now, if your neighbor keeps her house at 75 degrees, but she also has 6.25 grams of water per cubic meter in her air, then the relative humidity in her home is 29% - versus your 40%. But, and here’s the kicker, the dew point temperature in her home is still 38 degrees.

While the relative humidity in her home is much lower than is the relative humidity in yours; if the surface temperature of the windows in her home is 35 degrees she will have condensation on those windows…yet if the surface temperature of your windows is 40 degrees �" only five degrees warmer �" you will not have condensation on your windows.

So, while her handy humidity gauge reads (correctly) only 29% RH �" she has a condensation problem.

While your handy humidity gauge reads (correctly) 40% RH �" you don’t have a condensation problem…SWEET…well, for you anyway, not her.

If your home hygrometer measures the relative humidity in your home at 60% while the temperature of your home is 70 degrees, you will have a dew point temperature of about 51 degrees �" meaning that if the temperature of the window surface is below 51 degrees then you will have condensation - so now we talk a little more specifically about windows.

The interior surface temperature of a single lite of glass, when the temperature outside is 0 degrees F and the inside air temperature is 70 degrees, will be about 16 degrees.
Add a storm window on the outside and the surface temperature of the inside lite jumps up to about 43 degrees �" a huge improvement.

But these are center-of-glass readings and not the temperature readings at the edge of the window where condensation usually forms. A typical clear glass dual pane window is going to have center-of-glass temperature reading pretty much the same as a single pane with a storm.

However, if that dual pane has a LowE coating and an argon gas infill then the center-of-glass temperature will be about 57 degrees �" a 14 degree improvement over a clear glass dual pane or a single pane with storm window �" but again, and more importantly, there will be a comparable edge of glass improvement as well, particularly if the IGU (Insulating Glass Unit) was manufactured using a warm edge spacer system. Also, the dual pane is going to have desiccant between the glass layers. Desiccant absorbs moisture keeping the inside of the dual pane system very dry.

The advantage? If it gets cold enough outside, the temperature in the airspace between the lites can get very low. By keeping that space dry, it helps to keep the dew point temperature very low as well; something not always possible when using a single pane and storm window.

Although a single pane with a good and tight storm window can help the interior lite to avoid condensation (when compared with a single lite and no storm), the storm window itself will frost up when the temperature is low enough �" at a temperature usually well above the temperature that will cause the dual pane to ice up. It is unavoidable given the right circumstances
So what does a window temperature of 57 degrees mean? Well, as I mentioned earlier a home kept at 70 degrees with a 60% relative humidity has a dew point temperature of 51 degrees so it is unlikely that there will be condensation problem on those particular windows despite the relatively high relative humidity in the home.

But what happens to the dew point if you keep your home at 70 degrees and you have a 65% relative humidity? Well, for one thing the dew point has jumped up to 57 degrees which we have already noted is the same as the window temperature. For another thing, anyone with 65% relative humidity in a home at 70 degrees has way too much moisture in their air and they are in serious need of some sort of ventilation system �" or at least several good exhaust fans!

Somewhere back in this post I mentioned that lowering the relative humidity in your home may not help control condensation…that is still true…IF the relative humidity is lowered because of an increase in temperature. But, lowering the relative humidity by removing water is a different story because in that case you will also be lowering the dew point as you lower the relative humidity and that WILL help to control condensation on your windows.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 9:34AM
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Heated air rises, it also falls and can move side to side and even diagonally. Heated air will also move to areas of low pressure such as air leaks at the sides and bottom of your window. The air leakage could be from the jambs, sill, or possibly from rough opening .
Marvins are known to have one of the higher air leakage rates in the window industry, I personally have not seen the data as it is hard to obtain, they usually only state that it is less than the maximum allowed.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 9:35AM
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Not to hi-jack the thread, but I have posted asking about the performance and quality of Marvin windows, the Integrity, as I feel it meets our aesthetic demands. I read about the above average air leakage rates and question how it is considered a quality window?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 7:19AM
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Because it is a quality window. While the AI numbers will be better in higher end vinyl the rating is still good just not as good. You will not be standing in front of the window feeling air rushing in by any means.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 4:35AM
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Millworkman- Thank you for your answer. We are trying to decide between the Integrity and Marvin's made- to- order or architectural (alum clad). We have quotes for 17 windows and two sliding french doors. The difference is about $5400. The cladded window seems better made with better weather stripping. In your opinion are the alum cladded worth the extra $.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 4:59AM
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We used both in our house, the Integritys upstairs, in the basement and in some back room on the main floor, Infinity in the front rooms. I didn't like all the exposed plastic on the Integrity windows, but didn't like paying the difference everywhere. The patterns and colors match up very well so no one notices that we have two different kinds. There is no readily obvious difference in performance of the two; both are tighter than the Andersen 400 windows in our previous house as judged by noticeable drafts and tendency to frost on the glass. Standing in front of one with my eyes closed when it's 10 below outside I couldn't tell them apart, not to say that there aren't differences that could be measured with the right instrumentation. The hardware on the traditional Marvin line is definitely much nicer.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2015 at 10:36AM
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Personally I think the wood clad line is a better looking more traditional product. While the Integrity as rwiegand points out has the fiberglass exposed as opposed to wood. It really comes down to your choice of appearance versus dollars. I am traditionally a wood window guy so my choice would be (dollars not withstanding) the Marvin Ultimate's.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2015 at 4:36AM
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Our Integrity windows upstairs are wood on the inside, in the basement we used the all ultrex. Once they are painted they are hard to tell apart. The exterior colors on the two lines are identical and at least to this point (two years in) they still match perfectly.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 20, 2015 at 7:36AM
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