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Question DetailsAsked on 5/24/2011

Is condensation and ice on newly installed windows normal?

I had three Wallside windows and a doorwall installed in the fall (I live in Michigan). A few weeks after installation, the three windows and the doorwall were covered on the outside with condensation that I couldn't see out of and it didn't disappear till about 10 in the morning. The condensation was on the half of the window that had no screen. When I called, they said this was normal because of the humidity that time of year. I told them my old wooden frame windows never did that and they just said it was because they weren't energy efficient and would go no further with the discussion. I get varied answers about this when I ask friends, etc. Also, when the weather was extremely cold a couple of times this winter, I found ice (not frost) near the bottom window frame, on the inside. Should I pursue this further even though they were adament about not doing anything that might correct it?

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    Hi Faithann

    You didn't mention how much investigation you did about the Wallside company before buying their windows. I hope you checked on Angie's List and with others in Michigan (like the BBB and even the Attorney General's office) for complaints.

    Windows are hard to understand - why one part might look damp and another might not. There are a number of web sites that describe condensation from a variety of engineer and consumer perspectives. One that I found to be pretty clear was at http://www.cwdinc.com/faq.html . They are a window company but an explanation is an explanation.

    According to folks at that link, the condensation on the outside of your windows might be understandable.

    BUT, frost or ice on the inside of the window is something completely different. It sounds like your new windows do not have any sort of thermal break in the vinyl (something of a different material between the inner and the outter portions of the frame) to prevent temperatures from being conducted through the vinyl.

    If the frame is conducting temperatures into the home that are cold enough to let ice form then I think you might want to pursue a remedy with them or someone else. If you have a camera, taking pictures of the ice could be helpful since you might wind up chasing this clear into the spring and it's hard to duplicate winter when tulips are bloomin'. And, you might try putting a thermometer on the frame of one you know to have frozen in the past to measure temps the next time it gets really cold up there. Another test I like is to take a stick of incense, light it and get a good plume of smoke rising they gently move it around the outside edge of the window frame (inside of course) to see if you get any flow of air from outside that significantly disrupts the smoke. If you do, it could be a poor fit of the window or bad insulation around it in the frame of your home.

    Not that it's worth a hoot, but I did a search on Wallside before typing this and found a number of sites that contain fairly negative remarks. Take that with a grain of salt - - - many folks are motivated by revenge to go out and post bad stuff but satisfied people often don't take as much time...for what it is worth.

    I'm sure there are window folks who pop in from time to time and will offer more. I just wanted to give you something to start with.

    Uh, did you rate your experience with Wallside on Angie's List?

    Good Luck!

    Answered 7 years ago by Old Grouch




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