pella windows

I have a problem that arose on me and was wondering what kinds of experiences are out there.
I decided to wash my windows, on the outside, as this was a chore I neglected for a couple of seasons. I have Pella Designer III Windows with smart sash options (double pane outside, blinds inside and then a third removable pane). I got my cleaning solution, hose and dry rags ready.
I got through a few windows no problem but then I got to one where I noticed water was getting in behind the double pane (not between the glass but rather into the area holding the blinds). I carried on and the same thing happened on two other windows. All told, 3 out of the 10 windows I washed let water in.
I found this surprising because I haven't completed the replacement of my windows yet. I have the original windows on the rest of the house and they are probably the worst windows ever created by man. Yet, only one of those (out of 6 total) let water in.
I called the Pella service line and their response was that I shouldn't use a hose to wash my windows as they are not designed to be hit by water under pressure. I asked the rep what would happen in a rain storm with driving rain?
I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am because when I dropped the large amount of money on what I thought were some of the best windows I could buy, I thought I was getting a top quality window. As it turns out they are no better at holding water out than 18 year old builder grade windows.
If you're still reading have you heard of this "don't use a hose" to wash outside windows?
Any thoughts would be appreciated>
--
Edee Em
I know the truth is out there, but I like to stay in....
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I had a problem with the seal on a few,pella windows, they sent out a crew and fixed them .Dont tell pella you were using a hose and they will send someone out. by the way enough water pressure and anything will leak
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But this is my point. You had a problem with the seal and they fixed it. Whether you used a hose or not, is irrelevant: the seal was damaged and needed replacing. Otherwise, why would they send out a crew?
Thanks for your insights

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Edee .If they think you are blasting your windows with water to see if they are huricane proof, no they wont send out a crew, Im sure If you talk to them again tell them its been a problem every time it rains they will fix it no charge. I got them out here actualy because I was taking the instaler to court and needed pellas report, He instaled them out of square ! More than the 1/8th allowed by warranty.. Yes a bad install can make good windows garbage and LEAK, Iam sure pella will help you
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Thanks for the tips Mark and for raising another concern: I am sure that my installer is responsible for this as well. I can remember some horror stories when they were putting these things in.
I have an email in to Pella US. I was redirected to their reps up here in Canada. They didn't seem too interested in helping.
Thanks again Mark

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Edee tell me what kind of pellas you have , how they open and exactly where the water comes in , for an install issue you have to check Plumb,Level and Square among other issues. I hired a hack ,and even watching him, and double checking his work I couldnt catch all his mistakes, I won in court but he filed bankruptcy, It may be a simple fix, or a factory defect , have a nice day
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I have the Pella Designer Series Smart Sash III (between the panes blinds). One of the leakers is a casement (opens left to right) and the other, more serious leaker is an awning (opens from the bottom out).
The water entered in between the double pane and the third, removable pane, from the top. The awning had the water come in from the right side (looking in from outside) and the casement had the water enter from the left side. That's what has me puzzled. Water isn't coming into the house, it enters into the area where the blinds are. The service rep suggested the water came in through vents that are there but they are located at the bottom, not the top where the water entered.
I'd appreciate any advice you can give Mark and offer my thanks up front!

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Edee without actualy seeing it I cant say for sure but I think It is probably a rubber seal , look at your windows when closed and see if the gap around the closed portion of the casement has equal space all around in relation to the frame, if it doesnt it could have been foced into position by the installer = out of square. 1/8th is what is allowed by pella , measuring diagonaly from frame end. . If its out of square the seal may not meet. Mine also had a factory defect where the rubber folded wrong in the corners,they fixed this. See how the rubber seals at the moment it closes , opening and closing looking for the last rubber to seal. A person on the outside shining a bright light at night while you look from the inside to see any gaps is what I did ,my casements rubber problem was at the corners, pella does not have a perfect design.... I found my leaks in winter from cold air comming in. Either way you have a warranty and they have to send out a rep. tell them you feel AIR coming in at the seal they cannot argue with you then Let me know what happens, I thought that series of window was only sold and installed by Pella. At least here it is. You should call their factory and not the dealer they may never answer an email. menards or any place that sells them will give you the 800 # let me know what happens. mark
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I did use certified installers. What is interesting in this whole mess is that being from Canada, and Pella being in the US, we have to go through reps who I don't think have the same attitude as the parent company. I have a correspondence into Pella's home office. I'm sure this is far from over.

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We have a new house (built 2001) in Florida and during the first year, a tropical storm hit our area. Driving rain lasted for 12 hours straight (this is NOT an exaggeration). It sounded like hail hitting the windows from 6 PM until 6 AM the following morning -- it never let up. It wasn't hail, but just hard driving rain the entire time. It *pelted* the windows mercilessly.
Well, our house has Jacobson windows (of which I know nothing of their reputation), which were put into all the houses made by our homebuilder at that time (I think they still use them even now). About a dozen homes in our new (75 homes at the time) community had leaking windows from that storm. In most cases, the rain came in down the concrete block from around the windows. In these cases, it was poor caulking around the windows as far as we can tell (that is, more of an installation issue than a quality issue). We recaulked and had the windows tested and so far no more leaks into the concrete block from around the windows.
However, back to your point -- We did then notice other leaks during subsequent heavy rain storms. The leakage this time was around the panes of glass where they are sealed to the framing (which is very flimsily constructed in my opinion). We had several windows replaced, and one of them replaced several times until we finally got them all to remain dry under testing. How did the manufacturer test them at our site after installation? He took our garden hose with a sprayer nozzle on it and used it to spray water on the window -- directly on the window. In fact, he concentrated the spray at the edges, wherever glass met framing, to test the silicone seal between the glass and frame since that was what previously leaked. I stood there for each test, and I wouldn't have had it any other way since this was precisely the type of rain we had experienced when the first leaks occurred.
So, (very) long story short -- in my opinion -- especially with Pellas ("viewed to be the best"), a window should hold up against hard driving rain, even for 12 hours of it. My sister's house is located nearby and experienced the same storm with 8-year-old windows of similar construction and they never leaked a drop, and neither did most other homes in the area who underwent the same stress that night. So they can't say it's not possible to design a window that is able to withstand driving rain for 12 hours -- the vast majority of them did. The hose -- even wth the sprayer -- was definitely not hitting the window with as much, nor as powerful a spray, as nature that night. (Please note that we did not have the nozzle set to "Jet", but to "Spray" which is a more wide-angle conical spray instead of a pinpoint spray which would have much more pressure. I don't know if a window should be able to handle a hose with all its pressure on a single point like that, but it certainly should handle a hose spray with it set to a normal "cone-shaped" spray pattern from six feet away in my opinion). After all was said and done, the windows now do not leak, even under hose-sprayer tests and driving rain (of which we recently had some, but only for an hour or so).
-- Vinnie
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windows... they cost enough.... good luck, Joanne
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Is it possible the water came in as a result of missing flashing around the window?

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Edee,
I notice that you are from Canada. Would that be the Toronto area? (I am from Toronto). I have a 22-year old 2-story home (with lots of windows) and am contemplating replacing the windows, entrance doors and patio doors. For the windows, I am thinking of using the Pella windows with the blinds between the glass. This sounds like a great idea to me, e.g. neat, tidy and clean. I know you've had some problems with your Pella windows and am wondering whether you were able to resolve things with Pella. Do you like the windows? Pros and cons? Would you use them again? Do you know of any "good" installers for Pella windows in the Toronto area? Sorry for all the questions but any advice/comments you may have would be greatly appreciated. Comments from all other users are also welcome.
***********************************

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I am in the area. A bit west, okay 60 kms west but I guess they still call it GTA!
No, I would recommend the Pellas wholeheartedly. They are a quality window. Speaking specifically about the kind I have, the blinds in the pane are a "pane" reliever! We have two small boys and they destroyed our other blinds. They stay clean as well. Ours have been in for more than 3 years, maybe four now and I have never had to clean the blinds. The biggest con I can think about is the price. These windows are not cheap, but at the time no one else did the between the pane option.
Also, they have super insulation value. With the goldtone blinds, there is even more heat reflective value. Consider these (or similar as they may have new products now) on any windows where you want to block the summer solar heat.
As to my problem, I did get a hold of Pella's home office in the States and they basically told me the same thing: a hose, under household pressure is worse than even hurricane driven rain. I'll have to take their word on it (for now). I haven't had a chance to try and replicate the "problem" but I will. I don't think this has turned me off the windows. I still have four or five windows to do and they will be Pellas. Oh, as I'm typing this, my neighbour has just had his whole house done with Pellas (architect series -- I only know this as he left the signs up in his windows for about a week!).
As far as installers go, the only thing I can do is not recommend the installer I had. A good installer is a must so get a certified installer. I believe the Canadian number for Pella is 1-800- 88PELLA or 1-888-88PELLA. They are in Mississauga so it should be easy for you to check.
Good luck

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