Marvin Clad Fixed Window taking in water

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Old 08-27-07, 01:10 PM
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Angry Marvin Clad Fixed Window taking in water

Anyone experience a Marvin fixed window taking water in off the botton sill? Looks like the water is sitting on the sill and then wicking up into the wood.
 
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Old 08-27-07, 03:21 PM
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A little better description would help. You say it's taking on water. Is there water inside the house?
 
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Old 08-27-07, 04:31 PM
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Marvin makes a quality product, and properly installed, there should be no place for water to pool. That said, check around the sash/sill joint for proper caulk, and the glass/sash seal.
 
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Old 08-27-07, 07:18 PM
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Further on this Issue

The fixed window sits between two casements. A transom sits atop all three.
Windows are set in a brick wall. The brick wall sill is composed of bricks, not a solid slab of rock.
The only obvious evidence of water collecting on the sill (or beneath it) is discoloration of the wood composing the bottom of the window. If it's not coming in via the sill, I have no idea where it's coming from. I do not have water in the house.
Marvin windows? In a ten year old house, I have seen water standing on the sills many times. I have already replaced one rotted casement window due to water standing on the sill. Draw your own conclusions.
 
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Old 08-28-07, 07:47 PM
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Two possibilities

There are two main possibilities that come to mind as to why water may be getting in.

The first (and most likely) is that the water is coming in from on top of the unit, between the mulls of the casements to the fixed window. Water runs down and to the left and right of the transom and hits that 3-way joint of the casement-fixed center-transom. If not perfectly sealed and flashed, eventually water would find a way in, run down the mull, and stop at the sill. I've seen this so many times (and not just on Marvin windows). Marvin would have sent nailing fins loose for the contractor to install, and often the seal at the corners and mulls aren't properly sealed by the installer. One should never rely on caulk alone to seal up the window watertight. Nowdays installers routinely use an installation tape to seal the nailing fins to the sheathing before the siding is applied. That wasn't typically done 10 years ago. I'd venture a guess that there is a 80-90% chance that that is the problem, ESPECIALLY if the transom is a half circle.

The other main possibility is that water may be coming in through the sash-to-frame seal, or the sash-to-glass seal. I recently had a conversation with a builder that mentioned many of the homes they built in the mid to late 90s with Marvin have just recently started to leak water (I think they said between the glass to sash), and that have since made a design change to correct the problem. My thinking is that there's maybe a 10-15% chance that this may be the issue. You may want to contact Marvin to see if they'll check it out.

There's other less likely possibilities as well, such as bad installation, severe house settling causing the windows to not be properly sealed, water coming in not from around the windows but in a non-window place and stopping at the windows, etc. Good luck.
 
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Old 08-28-07, 08:37 PM
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Like Tru_blu, I've seen lots of problems with field mulled half-circle units on top of 3 or more lite windows. Terrible flashing details cause infiltration down the mullions, and eventual rot to the window frames.

The last one like that I replaced was on a 2nd story gable end where the builder had failed to use any building paper over the OSB sheathing (on the entire home). Needless to say, we ended up replacing a LOT of sheathing. The homeowner was so fed up with the leaking transom that he opted to replace it with a 3 lite window with no transom- rather, a half-circle piece of millwork (for decoration only) above it!

Anyway, from your description I'd guess that it's the glass to sash cladding seal. If I recall, Marvin uses a gummy sealant like chewing gum to seal their units. But the corner miters are usually the weak point in that link. Once a little water gets into a clad wood window, it's all over. That goes for any wood window, not just Marvin. Every window company will have a few problems.

Window companies usually have a section in their warranty that refers to annual homeowner inspection and maintenance. This is usually a loophole that lets them off the hook for wood rot. It basically infers that nothing lasts forever... that wood is a natural product... and if it gets wet it will rot. So it puts the responsibility on the homeowner to make sure that as the window ages, preventitive maintenance is performed. (By way of illustration, you could compare it to checking the oil on a car, and changing it as needed. Chevy won't stand behind a blown engine if you never change the oil.)

So even though most warranties won't come right out and say it, it's always a good idea to check over windows and look for potential problems... like where the glass meets the cladding.

If you do that you might find that your picture window could use a bead of clear silicone where the cladding meets the glass. But it's hard to say. If you have pictures, it might help for us to see what you're seeing too. Since you mentioned you've replaced other sashes, I'm just assuming this is a problem with the sash glazing, not with the masterframe or the way it's installed.
 
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Old 08-30-07, 07:41 PM
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More on Window

I should have stated that the transom is a rectangle (about 1' high) that runs atop all three windows.
These are good ideas which I will explore this weekend.
Interestingly enough, the sash I replaced was one of two casements, both of which sit beneath a half-circle transom.
 
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