Leaky Pella casements, looking for advice

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Old 03-30-12, 05:45 PM
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Leaky Pella casements, looking for advice

I have Pella casements installed about 15 years ago, they are wood windows with aluminum cladding on the outside. Each window has one stationary and one opening window.

For some years now, I noticed that the wood was darker in the lower corners of the stationary windows. Recently my wife decided to clean the wood to restain it when we noticed that the wood was saturated with water! I went to the outside and saw some bad caulking and some questionable caulking. I removed it all and re-caulked everything.

I have multiple windows with this issue but I used this one for a test window, especially since it is on the weather side. The first time that it rained, everything was wet again, even with all new caulking.

The windows have a 1/2" wide filler strip between each window, it does not look like it is caulked. Not sure if that has anything to do with it or not, it was never caulked.

Any suggestions before my windows rot out?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 03-30-12, 06:01 PM
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I'm not clear on exactly where the water is showing up... maybe if you upload a few pics it will become more clear.

My first thought is that it's likely that your windows needed some maintenance long ago, especially if you noticed the darker wood (from water infiltration) for several years now.

The thing I have found that most Pella windows need is a fresh "wet glazing" of silicone on the exterior side of the glass. The best silicone to use is DOW Silicone 795, which is readily available online, and at a few of the better suppliers. All it needs is a very tiny bead, the smaller the better as far as appearance is concerned. Clear silicone usually ends up looking the best.

The corners of the exterior cladding were often suspect... and the silicone around the glass perimeter should take care of that.

The above advice is primarily for the sash- the part that cranks open, and holds the glass. Your fixed windows are actually fixed casements that are screwed shut- (without the hardware). If you are noticing dark spots on the extension jambs... which is the part of the window frame that your interior trim (casing) is nailed to... then that's a different matter. That might indicate that water is entering the rough opening, which would "likely" have nothing to do with the window itself, but would have more to do with the way the window was installed, or how the window is flashed behind the siding. Some pictures of the exterior would help in that case.

The filler strip you are referring to sounds like it is an aluminum mull cap, and no, they are not caulked. They are usually factory installed, and they hammer them on to join two window units and they snap tightly into an aluminum groove on each window- I've never seen one leak.

So I guess when you say "everything is wet again", I'd like some clarification or pictures of what exactly is getting wet.
 
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Old 03-30-12, 06:51 PM
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Here is a picture, it is the stationary window that is leaking. My wife has started trying sand it and clean it up, but you see what we're up against. The dark area is where it has gotten wet

 
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Old 03-30-12, 08:34 PM
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Yeah, that definitely looks like its coming from the perimeter of the glass and/or the corners of the cladding. Try the clear silicone around the exterior perimeter of the glass. I doubt you will ever be able to sand all that mildew stain out of the wood. Replacement sashes w/glass and cladding (nice new clean wood- ready to stain) could be ordered from Pella but it would probably cost you a pretty penny... I doubt if they would still be under warranty, but you could look into it. I think they have a service/repair web site.
 
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