vinyl windows leaking

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Old 11-11-04, 03:09 PM
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Question vinyl windows leaking

Hello.

We moved into a house a few months ago and recently i noticed that the windows are either hung wrong or seated wrong. It looks like the frames are too big for the windows by perhaps enough to stick a dime into the gap. Not all the windows are like this, but there are a few that have this gap.

What are my options to fix these? Should i buy larger felt or weatherstripping or fix them? If i have to fix them what is the potential issue and what might i have to do to fix this?

Thank you!
Charlie
 
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Old 11-12-04, 05:34 AM
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Sounds like someone installed them out of square.
Did you just buy this house?

Options...

Go back to the seller and have them fix it.
Remove and reinstall the whole window square.
Remove the sliding glass unit, line up the slider section with the window jamb, and reinstall glass unit.
 
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Old 11-12-04, 05:48 PM
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Glasman just a heads-up be sure to suggest that the jamb-adjustment screws inside the tracks are also attended to. Ataririot: the jamb adjustment screws are located halfway up from the sill of the replacement and clockwise adjustment will push the jambs inward - toward the sash. Just don't overadjust as you can risk cracking the vinyl.

This is the MOST overlooked adjustment in these vinyls and is just as important as squaring up the frames upon initial install. I think the problem is the damn things are hidden behind the sash and thus "outa sight outa mind".
 
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Old 11-13-04, 05:13 AM
Screen King
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Vinyl Windows

Dear Charlie;

Take a tape measure and measure the width of the frame at the bottom, the middle and the top. My guess is that the frame is wider in the middle due to the settling of the wooden framing that the window is attached to.

The same can happen with the frame height dimension. Check the height on the left of the frame, the middle and the right side of the frame.

Settling is quite common and vinyl windows, especially newer ones, dont have lots of clearance to accomodate any movement in the frame.

If the settling is bad, which it sounds like it is in your case, you need to remove the capping on the outside of the window to access the shims that were used to fit the window in the original rough wood frame opening. You need to remove the shims and put thinner of thicker ones in to bring the vinyl window frame back to being perfectly straight.

This may be easy to do, or next to impossible without putting a new window in. I dont know what you have on the outside. The fact that you have frames warping too wide suggests there is extra space, which is good. Hopefully your rough opening is still pretty much square.

Some people have the opposite problem with brand new windows so tight they cant be opened. Then the only solution there is to buy new windows slightly smaller than the original.

I hope this helps

Adrian D.
 
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Old 11-13-04, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jackofalltradez
Glasman just a heads-up be sure to suggest that the jamb-adjustment screws inside the tracks are also attended to. Ataririot: the jamb adjustment screws are located halfway up from the sill of the replacement and clockwise adjustment will push the jambs inward - toward the sash. Just don't overadjust as you can risk cracking the vinyl.

This is the MOST overlooked adjustment in these vinyls and is just as important as squaring up the frames upon initial install. I think the problem is the damn things are hidden behind the sash and thus "outa sight outa mind".
Guess that depends on the windows and what type they sell there.
Here I have never seen an adjustment in a vinly window jamb, so thats new to me and I've been in glass for a LONG time.

I would like to know what brand of window you are talking about so I can look this up.
 
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Old 11-13-04, 11:46 AM
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Screen King, why would you want to shim a vinyl window? You have a R/O and a window with nail fins. If you shim anything, it should only be the bottom and that should be continuous. You shouldn't need to shim anything else.

Note to ataririot: If you just bought this house you moved into, you have at least a 1 yr warranty on the house from the seller. I see no need to spend the time and money to fix something yourself ( unless you want to ) when you can go back on the seller. This dime size gap you have, where is it and is it the whole side, or just the top or bottom?
 
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Old 11-13-04, 01:35 PM
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sorry i didn't note this. The gaps are on the side. There are short felt strips that are attached to the windows, but they are not reaching each side of the frame so there are tiny gaps. i can feel the air coming into them. the thing is it occurs closer to where the two windows meet. it isn't like that near the top or the bottom.

btw. i forgot to mention. the house is new for us... but it isn't a brand spanking new house. its an older home with newer vinyl windows.
 

Last edited by ataririot; 11-13-04 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 11-13-04, 05:38 PM
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give a brand name and style, like slider, casement, ect.
Sounds like your window isn't closing all the way.
It's doesn't happen very often but I have seen where the interlock was not installed right, thus making the same air gap.
 
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Old 11-13-04, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by glasman2
Guess that depends on the windows and what type they sell there.
Here I have never seen an adjustment in a vinly window jamb, so thats new to me and I've been in glass for a LONG time.

I would like to know what brand of window you are talking about so I can look this up.
<CRASH!!!!!!>


Sorry, I just collapsed after reading your reply.....Ahem! Now, that's better.

Anywho, although I'm not aware of what type windows the original poster has, let's assume double-hung.

ALL vinyl replacements have jamb-adjustment screws located in the sash rails of the side jambs. Certainteed, Landmark, the defunct Mercury-Excelum.

When you install vinyl replacements, do you tilt down the sash during installation, or do you just slide the sash down & up to get at the mounting screws in each top and bottom corner? If not, than of course you would never know of their existence! Hint - they are midway up the rails, inside where the sash mounts travel. They may have either phillips or flat screws to adjust them.

My personal story stems from Mercurys installed in my parent's house 10 years ago. The gaps between the vinyl jambs and the sash were nearly 1/4", and when my mom tilted a sash down to clean the outside, the daddratted thing slipped out of the rails and nearly bopped her on the head - so don't tell me they don't exist - I adjusted all of them in my parents' house and also cut a lot of drafts in the process!

Please pardon me if you have only done new vinyl installs - I do not know if they possess such adjusters.
 
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Old 11-13-04, 07:36 PM
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Exactly what glasman has been saying!

The ONLY shimming you do on a vinyl window is across the sill (bottom), and that HAS to be continuous.

Sashes not closing properly -- that happens once in a great while. Could be that the installer put the wrong sash in the frame, especially if you have several windows that are very similar in size. (There are ways to prevent that error, but some installers never will figure it out!!) Or there could be bits of vinyl in the frame (if the corners of the frames are welded) that are preventing the sash from closing. OR, if the windows were retrofitted, it could be that the screws into the sides of the frame weren't sunk quite deep enough, and the sash is hitting a screw head before it fully closes. (You don't want to sink the screw head into the vinyl -- the frame needs to expand and contract!!) You might try turning the screws in another 1/2 turn to one full turn.
 
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Old 11-13-04, 07:41 PM
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okay.. i'll do my best to explain them since i don't know the style exactly.

the windows are one above the other. the inside is behind the top one at the bottom. where they come together in the middle is where the problem seems to be... its in the corners where they come together.

the windows are the kind that you click the buttons on the tops and they tilt in for easy cleaning. there is a pull that runs up and down in the middle for sliding. is there more? I don't really know too much about them.

will there be a name somewhere that i can locate on the window? the only thing i see inside is a small paper label that says "SASH - White Double Hung"
 
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Old 11-13-04, 08:06 PM
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AHH!! Now we're getting somewhere!!

Your windows are double hung. You MIGHT find the mfgrs. name on the latches, but don't count on it. If you tip the sash in, you MIGHT find something on a paper tag that will give you a clue. They probably mention the customer's name, and POSSIBLY the contractor's name.

Why they won't close and latch COULD be because of where the screws were placed when they were installed -- make sure that the sashes aren't hitting a screw head. If the windows have welded corners, you MIGHT have some waste vinyl in the corners that are preventing them from fully closing. (A little careful whittling with a razor knife will cure that.) Or it could be that the installer used a level to install the windows PLUMB in an opening that wash't plumb, causing the sashes to hit on one corner before it closes competely. Use a level and check the frame for both LEVEL (across the bottom) and PLUMB (the sides). (AND CHECK YOUR LEVEL!! Across the bottom, check the frame for level, THEN helicopter the level end for end. It should read the same! On the sides, check it for plumb, then, keeping the same end up, spin the level 180 degrees, using the OTHER side of the level to check for plumb. Again, it should read the same.)
 
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Old 11-14-04, 12:51 PM
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okay. i have a crappy level. i will need to go get a new one tomorrow. but in the middle of football commercials i've discovered something interesting.

first.. the windows say "Champion" on the latches.

Second. i noticed that some of the windows weren't locked in on the lock latches. they window has to be moved over to have them lock and align perfectly together. when they are locked right --like a puzzle piece-- there seems to be no gaps for air. but there is still some huge gaps on one side of the bottom or top window. the latches pull them tight to one side and looser on the other. i looks awkward, but seems to temporarily solve the air issue. on one window we are talking a gap where i can stick the tip of my pinky in and i know that can't be right.
 
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