Ice on Inside of New Windows

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-01-18, 01:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
Ice on Inside of New Windows

New windows were recently installed in my apartment building. This morning I discovered that the entire bottom edge of the window frame was covered in ice and there were water droplets on the mid-window frame. Would be grateful for advice on why this occurred and what needs to be done to resolve the problem. Many thanks.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-01-18, 01:46 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
Lower your humidity or hope it warms up outside. Leaving blinds and curtains OPEN and running fans can help too.
 
  #3  
Old 01-01-18, 01:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
The old windows did not do this - what could it be about the new ones that is causing the problem? Thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 01-01-18, 01:53 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
Well you haven't told us anything about the windows... either old or new so..... want me to guess?
 
  #5  
Old 01-01-18, 01:56 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
They're casement-style - old ones were double-hung.
 
  #6  
Old 01-01-18, 02:23 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
Wete the old windows wood? Aluminum? Was the glass single pane or double pane? Were there storm windows before? Are the new windows wood? Aluminum? Vinyl? What thickness of insulating glass? What kind of spacer? How were they installed? Have you changed the blinds or curtains at all?

First guess I would have is that the glass is farther away from the interior of the wall than before. Can't say more than that without knowing more about what else has changed. Double hung to casement... got that.
 
  #7  
Old 01-01-18, 02:46 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
Old and new windows are double-pane aluminum. No storm windows then or now. No change in other window treatments.
Spacer looks like staples all put together for a staple gun, about 5/8" thick.
Can you specify what aspect of the installation you are inquiring about. I wasn't present during the actual installation, but I know the windows were pre-assembled. I think that the outer frame was installed first, followed by window frame itself, then sealing, spacer and glass.
I'm not sure about the thickness of insulating glass.
Many thanks.
 
  #8  
Old 01-01-18, 05:19 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
Ok, a few things I can think of... assuming you are SURE the windows never did this when it was this cold outside. Windows commonly get condensation when it's 0-20F and it goes away once it warms up. Aluminum windows are normally pretty horrible if you want a warm window. Metals readily conduct heat and get cold in the winter. But aluminum is commonly used in commercial settings. Throwing more heat at the window is one way you can usually get away with it. Suffice to say, no aluminum window is very energy efficient.

A casement window is structurally different from a double hung. A casement's main weatherstripping is positioned on the interior side where the sash closes against the interior perimeter of the frame. This means you get more cold air freely moving around the outside perimeter of the window sash (around the sides of the frame next to the glass)... it is basically wide open on 4 sides so that it can crank open. (Plus the glass is usually several inches farther out to the exterior on a casement than it is on the bottom sash of a double hung). All these things put together adversely affect any warm edge glass technology or thermal breaks on the aluminum frame.

A double hung has weatherstripping on both sides of the sash, inside and out so there is less air movement there... except for the bottom edge of the top sash.. which is why you often see condensation on a double hung... right above that exposed area around the locks.

There are also differing sizes and qualities of aluminum frames. Like I mentioned a while ago, some aluminum extrusions are thermally broken... some are not. Basically the thermal break is a non-conducting material positioned in the middle of an extrusion that reduces heat loss... keeping the cold metal on the outside isolated from the warmer metal inside . The heat loss of a item is what makes it feel cold. I have no way of knowing, but it's possible that the older windows were better quality and thermally broken... these may not be. No way for me to know without knowing the name and model number of each, or without seeing a cross section of each.

Frame thickness is another factor. An old 4 1/4" frame would likely be better than a new slimmer 2 3/4" profile frame. Installation of old windows could have been direct set with all frame edges caulked... more air tight. New windows might have been installed into a sill and receptor frame... which can be a drafter installation that allows more cold air to circulate around the perimeter of the window. In cold weather this makes the whole window colder. Or maybe they haven't finished the installation yet and the caulking isn't even done yet. No way for me to know.

Thicker insulating glass panels generally perform better than thinner ones. So a 1" igu would likely be better than a 3/4" igu. Triple pane glass better than double pane.

The type of spacer material and type of glass also has a lot to do with the temperature of the glass. How it was glazed, how air tight that glazing is... whether weep holes allow air to circulate around the edges of the igu... all variables.

Bottom line is that the interior glass temperature is colder (for some reason) now than it was before... especially at the glass edge. If you take a smoking incense stick and trace the edges of the window with it, are they drafty? Even the best window would ice up if it is drafty when it is this cold out.

Since this is an apartment building... and the windows have been purchased and installed, I'm not sure what you intend to do about it. It seems like it is kind of out of your control at this point. Are you the owner or a tenant?
 
  #9  
Old 01-01-18, 05:47 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
Many thanks, XSleeper, for the thorough reply and extremely useful information. I will read it again (probably several times) to see where my problem is likely to have arisen from.

In answer to your question, I am an owner here (or, technically, owner of shares in the co-op corporation). The co-op board decided that the shareholders would pay half the cost, over a 3-year period. So I have paid 8 out of 36 installments, or $592. I've contacted the building superintendent and the builder liaison (who came in when the problem first occurred. I'll just have to see what they say.

Again, many thanks for your attention to this.
 
  #10  
Old 01-01-18, 05:58 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
If you wanted to include any pictures (inside/out) I would be glad to take a look.
 
  #11  
Old 01-01-18, 06:22 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
Thanks - I took some, but I couldn't manage to get them reduced to 4MB to upload. I'll try again, probably tomorrow.
 
  #12  
Old 01-01-18, 06:24 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
You can also just paste a link if you have them in a public folder somewhere. Picasa, flickr, etc.
 
  #13  
Old 01-01-18, 06:50 PM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,214
Likes Received: 22
4MB is too big. Go here: Web Resizer - Crop & Resize Images Free Online - Optimize images for websites and email
It’ll automatically reduce them to the right size.
 
  #14  
Old 01-02-18, 04:55 AM
johnam's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 1,939
Likes Received: 1
Have you checked with others in the building if they are having the same problem?
 
  #15  
Old 01-02-18, 07:27 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,167
Likes Received: 11
This morning I discovered that the entire bottom edge of the window frame was covered in ice and there were water droplets on the mid-window frame.
The metal window frame conducts heat better than the window;
the outside off the metal window frame is cooling down to 8 degrees in the middle of the night, and the inside of the window frame is thus below 32 degrees.

In this extreme cold, the windows are providing better insulation than the window frame.
Thus, the frame is colder than the window, and you're seeing water on the window, which then freezes to ice when it touches the window frame.
 
  #16  
Old 01-02-18, 08:40 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
Johnam - So far, one neighbor says they have not had the problem. Waiting to hear from others.
XSleeper - Here are some pictures. Many thanks. (And, yes, I am SURE that the problem never occurred before!)
 
Attached Images    
  #17  
Old 01-02-18, 09:40 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
Two more neighbors have responded - so far no one else has had the problem, on either side of the building.
 
  #18  
Old 01-02-18, 11:17 AM
johnam's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 1,939
Likes Received: 1
What you have is fixed top sash and a project out window at the bottom. The ice is forming on the bottom of the sash which could be an indication that cold air is getting past the weather stripping at the bottom.
 
  #19  
Old 01-02-18, 11:41 AM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,214
Likes Received: 22
Curious as to why you haven't called the company that installed them yet?
 
  #20  
Old 01-02-18, 03:05 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
Yes, now that we can see it, I would agree with Johnam's comment about air infiltration. They appear to be leaking air across the bottom where the awning closes. (An awning window hinges on top) This could be from something as simple as not having them shut all the way when it got cold.

I would take a hair dryer (NOT a heat gun) and melt all the ice... open the window, melt that ice... make sure you get it all. Stick your head out and inspect the weatherstripping (probably a bulb westherstrip) and see if it is continuous with no gaps all the way around the perimeter. The corners are often "welded" together so there won't be any gap at the corners. Then as you close the awning window, see if it appears to be straight with the jamb... whether it contacts the weatherstripping evenly... and whether the lock pulls it in tight enough to stop any drafts.
 
  #21  
Old 01-02-18, 03:21 PM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 3,876
Likes Received: 47
Are you closing the curtains at night?

With an area now insulated from the inside warmth the moist air will condense and freeze, if you open the curtains to allow in warm air the ice will melt.

We close our curtains/shade every night and there is the same ice in the morning. Windows are the worst energy efficient barrier!
 
  #22  
Old 01-02-18, 03:38 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
Curtains and high humidity were mentioned in post #2.

The glass and spacer looks like a Cardinal glass product... Endur... probably coupled with their low-e 366. A decent glass package, so I doubt the glass or spacer is at fault.

Here is a link to information on the spacer, if you care.

Endur Insulating Glass
 
  #23  
Old 01-03-18, 02:21 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 3,876
Likes Received: 47
Curtains and high humidity were mentioned in post #2.

I saw that but there was no confirmation from OP if curtains were closed at night which would cause ice form and would indicate a normal usage condition vs defective windows.
 
  #24  
Old 01-03-18, 03:55 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
"Curious as to why you haven't called the company that installed them yet?"

Shadeladie - it's a cooperative apartment building. The contract was with the coop board to do the entire building. The board has contacted the company and they are scheduled to inspect my windows this Friday, along with those in other affected apartments. The superintendent has indicated that thermal bridging is suspected but the reasons are not yet clear. My window frames are certainly ICY cold.
 
  #25  
Old 01-03-18, 04:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
XSleeper - FYI: drafts seem minimal. Windows are shut very tightly and have been for weeks. Thanks for link to Endur.
 
  #26  
Old 01-03-18, 04:07 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
By melting the ice and checking the contact of the sash to the weatherstrip... you would be looking to see if the sash is perfectly straight with the frame or if the sash is racked. If the frame is racked, it means the 4 corners of the window are not all in the same plane. (One side may be plumb but the other side may not be).

The same thing happens to a door, and it causes the door to not contact the door stop evenly. This "could be" the exact same thing happening.

Let us know what you find out, if anything.
 
  #27  
Old 01-03-18, 04:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 131
Many thanks, XSleeper. Bit scary to be sticking my head out 17 floors up, but will be sure to ask the people who come in on Friday. That would explain why only some of us have the problem.

If the frame is racked, would that require removal and re-installation?
 
  #28  
Old 01-03-18, 05:37 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 22,564
Likes Received: 106
Possibly......................................
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes