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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,
All of my double glazed windows are showing condensation in between the glazing. These windows are now about 18 to 20 years old and they are low E and I think were charged with Argon. About 4 years after installation, the ones facing east were the first to show moisture and foging in between the glazing. The one's facing west took much longer to show this problem. I would guess it started about 15 years after installation. Obviously, the seals on these windows have failed prematurely. I am thinking about replacing all of them but I want to avoid purchasing sealed windows from the same company that sealed my original windows. I believe the manufacturer of the window purchase's the glazing from another company and installs it in their products such as replacement windows, bay windows and storm doors. It is the maker of the glasing that I find fault with ; not the contractor or window manufacturer.
So my questions are: How does one determine he is purchasing a quality glazed product along with quality window construction? Does anyone know the names of glazing companys that have complaints against them? Thanks, Bob.
 

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They WERE charged with argon. Once you see the condensation between the glass, the seals have busted and all the argon is gone and has been replaced with regular ol' air.

I install Simonton vinyl repalcement windows and Marvin new construction windows. I find both to be VERY TOP QUALITY. I even think Simonton gives a lifetime warranty against seal failure.
 

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Grumpy,
I am not familiar with the Simonton brand but have come across the Marvin brand locally. I once checked the hardness of the Marvin wood models and I felt that my fingernail went too deep into the wood like it was made of pine or other soft wood which I do not care for. About 5 years ago, a contractor installed a Pella sliding patio door leading to my deck and it is made of wood with aluminum clading on the outside and I am most happy with it. At this moment, I get no air infiltration from it and which is more then I can say about the Bay window which requires me to place a electrical heater below it to ward off the cold air. The Bay window along with the double hung windows were made by the same manufacturer, ( a mom and pop business) but the quality was not there as I discovered. Before I purchased the Pella sliding door, I went to the annual home show in Philadelphia, Pa and I noticed that none of the Philadelphia manufacturers were represented. Thats because the quality of their windows does not come close to the windows mfg by Pella, Anderson and other top brand names that were represented. So I will take another look at Marvin and compare their products with Pella. Thanks, Bob.
 

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Seal Failures

I am very familiar with the issue of seal failures. I have been selling windows for the last 25 years. All manufacturers had problems with seal failures in the early to mid 1980's. It is true that most manufacturers were purchasing their Insullated glass in from glass suppliers during that time period. Most window manufacturers are now producing their own insullated glass. They are still purchasing the glass itself but they making the insullatted glass from single pane glass that they buy in.
Most manufacturers have a very long warranty against seal failures now. The problem of seal failures is much less prevalent now then it was years ago. I see very few service issues about seal failures now.
Marvin and Pella are both very good windows with a very good reputation. They do get a little pricey when compared to many other lines. I am more familiar with the Marvin line than I am with the Pella line. If I were putting windows in my own home, I would be using Marvin.
Remember though even the top manufacturers have different grades of windows within their line. All Pella windows are not created equal nor are all Marvin.
 

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Maybe you can save me some research. Do these meet the Miami-Dade High Velocity wind/impact codes as now required here?
 

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"I will take another look at Marvin and compare their products with Pella."

Both are pretty comparable when comparing like-series. We typically spec Pellas though because we've built a relationship with our Pella rep and he's good about getting bids to us quickly.

Tim
 

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I have always had bad service when it comes to dealing with the people at Pella. I should say until recently. They hired a new guy at my local outlet and he is hungry for my business. I can't complain any longer. They've always made a good product, but my complaint has been from the stand point of customer service.
 

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Is reglazing an option?

I too have begun to notice similar problem, funny it does appear to be worse with east facing windows. But now it has begun on north facing as well. At first it appeared as a slight fogging which followed the pattern of the fake internal mullions (sp). On the most extreme case however there are obvious drops of water that have collected at the bottom of the window. Can the glazing unit be replaced? My windows are from a company called Malta- they appear to be out of business, possibly regrouped as another company (Phillips products)? My situation: The home will be 4 years old in June 2005. I have not yet contacted the builder but I expect due to being past the 1 year warranty period he wil laugh.

Thanks in advance
 

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You should be able to determine the actual glass producer from the "bug" on the glass. Pretty much most quality glass has this, it's found on a bottom corner and should be branded by the glass producer. At least this is true of all commercial glazing I've done - I'm sure there is glass in prefab windows that isn't marked, but it's worth a shot to look for it if you want to avoid getting glass from that particular manufacturer again.
 

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rjordan
If your windows are 18-20 yrs old they probably were not Low E glass .
Low E has only been around for a short time actually. Im not exactly how long since it was developed but ,Im guessing if your windows are around the age you are talking there swiggle seal or have perforated glass edging looks like a alum bar with tiny holes in it. If so they have desicant in them and over time draw moisture and gas off which is what causes the fogging. The center bar should have a stamp inside with a name. Like underdog said most companies make there own IG units now. Argon gas disapates over about 4yrs and is only in the IG unit for sound purposes. its heavier than air and helps cut down on sound transmitance by giving the window a dead sound or to keep the windows from being a drum.

Jeff
 
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