OKNA 500 windows and Noise

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Noisy
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Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:10 pm

OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#1 Post by Noisy »

Hello all,
I had my cheap builder grade windows with broken seals replaced throughout my house at the end of July 2020 with OKNA 500 windows. At first, everything seemed great with the exception of an aesthetic issue. The caulking around the exterior window frame was extremely heavy and white and did not blend well with the paint on the house at all. The installer sent the painter back to replace the caulk on 10/22/2020. The original caulk was Quad max and the replacement caulk (with color matching my paint color) was Dap 920. This is when my experience as far as noise infiltration changed dramatically. The change in caulking could just be a coincidence and the noise infiltration issue could have more to do with the change in seasons. Either way, the noise level is unacceptable to me and something must be done to correct it.

Prior to the change in caulking, I wasn’t able to hear a siren that was quite loud outside my door. As soon as I walked inside, I could close the door and the noise was gone. I was elated. Now, I hear everything, including cars accelerating on roads exterior to my neighborhood, sirens blaring, air traffic, etc. I live on a culdesac deep within my neighborhood and not directly on a busy road although there is a highway not far from me and a moderately busy road outside my neighborhood.

Nail fin installation was used without replacing the interior trim and windowsills (except where noticeably damaged). I initially asked for full frame replacement but they convinced me that the installation would not be compromised by leaving the interior trim in place and it would save me money overall. I told them performance was my #1 concern and saving money was secondary, but I also didn’t want to pay more for something that provided no benefit. The installer also claims that the gaps were insulated with spray foam before any of them where caulked. I have no confirmation of this because I was not home when it was done. But, I did read that spray foam can actually make sound worse because it is rigid??

So, what do you think? Should I expect better from my OKNA 500 windows? Do you see any issues with the installation process I described? Should they have replaced both the exterior and interior trim? Is spray foam good or bad for noise? Could the caulking impact the noise levels?

What can I do at this point to reduce noise?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

P.S. I am here because the installer was not receptive to working with me to find a solution to the problem. He seemed to be telling me that I wasn’t hearing what I’m hearing. I know darn well what I’m hearing, but need to do my research before getting back to him to discuss possible solutions.

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toddinmn
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#2 Post by toddinmn »

What do you by Full framed Installation ?
When installing with a finned window it can be difficult to foam properly when leaving the interior trim on.
Even though batt insulation is a little better with sound reduction I doubt this Is the problem. Since it was not a problem before with the same insulation I doubt it should not be a problem now.
Doubtful it is the caulking, but I suppose it could be.
Perhaps something got disturbed when they removed the caulk or did not caulk as well this time?
One last one I can think of is the volume is set to high on your new Tac Amplifier.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#3 Post by Windows on Washington »

Where, region, is the home located? Is it getting cold up there?

Ricknez
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#4 Post by Ricknez »

Thats very difficult to quantify, what may be noisy to you may not be noisy to the installer. Its certainly not the installers fault.
Also, you claim “ prior to him changing the caulk you could’nt hear a siren”. Changing caulk has nothing to do with sound. I think you may be grasping at straws.

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HomeSealed
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#5 Post by HomeSealed »

As the others have stated, its very hard to say what you should expect as that is completely subjective. That window is relatively air-tight and it should be a little better at blocking sound than your old units, certainly not worse unless by chance the old ones had storms.

Caulking: A different caulk would not make a measurable difference. If the some areas of caulking were missed and new pathways for air infiltration were created that could have some effect. You mentioned that the first caulk job was "heavy", so while this is no sure-fire answer, it could be a factor.

Foam: As long as the foam is fully in tact and sealed this would not be something that would cause an issue, particularly in this case where that has been a constant from day one. As Todd mentioned, its tricky to use foam when existing interior woodwork is left in place. Not impossible, but tricky and potentially messy. You could remove a piece of casing or two to verify that the cavities are foamed. If the new caulking isn't sealing every nook and cranny the way that the old bead did, that combined with a lack of foam could be the primary reason.

Window: As far as the window itself, open the top and bottom sashes each 1/4" or so. The resultant gap between sash and frame should be relatively equal (generally a slight crown on the sill), not a significant difference from right to left (ie: one side has a large gap and the other side is tight). That along with making sure that you have contact from the sash weatherstripping to to frame will give you a pretty good idea that the window is installed square and sealing as it should.

Lastly, this is a pretty silly question but one that we often encounter, make sure that the windows are fully closed and locked. There is an extra "click" to fully seat the top sash, and its not uncommon for people to think that their windows are fully closed and locked, but the lock actually passed over the keeper. Pull down each upper sash and then push it back up with a little force, making sure that you hear/feel that click. Then lock the window fully. Do this on all windows just to ensure that its not something as simple as this.

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toddinmn
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#6 Post by toddinmn »

My sympathies to anyone who has to remove fresh Quad Max .

WindowsDirectCinci
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#7 Post by WindowsDirectCinci »

HomeSealed wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 2:35 pm
Caulking: A different caulk would not make a measurable difference. If the some areas of caulking were missed and new
Lastly, this is a pretty silly question but one that we often encounter, make sure that the windows are fully closed and locked. There is an extra "click" to fully seat the top sash, and its not uncommon for people to think that their windows are fully closed and locked, but the lock actually passed over the keeper. Pull down each upper sash and then push it back up with a little force, making sure that you hear/feel that click. Then lock the window fully. Do this on all windows just to ensure that its not something as simple as this.
Homesealed that happens way too often and tricky one to bring up with some customers :roll: .... Noisy, do you have many bushes or trees that may insulate your home from the noise in the summer/early fall? With less leaves on trees and bushes noise and wind would travel much easier.

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toddinmn
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#8 Post by toddinmn »

The problem With This case is that the only variable is the Caulk to our knowledge .

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Windows on Washington
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#9 Post by Windows on Washington »

I am with the previous poster in that I can see almost no scenario in which caulking changes the STC of the assembly.

Noisy
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#10 Post by Noisy »

Wow, great feedback! Thank you everyone! I will start looking into each of these possibilities!

Noisy
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Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:10 pm

Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#11 Post by Noisy »

I don’t hear a “click“ on either the upper or bottom sash. But, I felt the seal break when I opened the top sash and did hear the sealing sound when I pushed the top sash back up extra hard. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be my issue. On to the next possibility...

Lastly, this is a pretty silly question but one that we often encounter, make sure that the windows are fully closed and locked. There is an extra "click" to fully seat the top sash, and its not uncommon for people to think that their windows are fully closed and locked, but the lock actually passed over the keeper. Pull down each upper sash and then push it back up with a little force, making sure that you hear/feel that click. Then lock the window fully. Do this on all windows just to ensure that its not something as simple as this.

Noisy
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Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:10 pm

Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#12 Post by Noisy »

I checked my gas bill and my energy use in January 2021 went up 20 and 30% compared to Jan 2020 and Jan 2019, respectively. I was working from home in Jan 2019 and Jan 2020 so I had to have been using more energy to heat my home then. I work all the time now and keep it around 65C or so or for my pets during the day and when I come home at night I keep it a cool 64c so I can sleep. I dunno, I was expecting wayyy better performance than this with new windows. I definitely wasn’t expecting my gas bill to be lower with my old windows with broken seals. :|

I live in central NC, BTW.
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Windows on Washington
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#13 Post by Windows on Washington »

Have you checked with the installer on this? Any adjustments that can be made. Something isn't lining up here.

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HomeSealed
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#14 Post by HomeSealed »

@Noisy, my best recommendation would be to have an Energy Audit done on your home by a certified professional. Comparing year over year energy usage is not an accurate way to assess performance of your windows as there are far too many variables, many of which are more impactful that the windows themselves. The outside temperatures are a big and obvious issue if its been colder this January than it was last January, but the usage, state of the HVAC system, and other things play a role as well. Short of the the installers completely botching the installation where you have air leaking freely through or around the windows, its nearly impossible to see a reduction in efficiency of that magnitude due to the windows.

Assuming that you've exhausted this issue with the installation company, the next step would be to have a third party, certified pro come in and assess all of the energy-related systems of your home (including the windows) to find out what may be going on there.

You made a good choice on the window product, that's an airtight, energy-efficient window. What needs to be figured out is whether there is a major installation issue of some sort, or something else causing your problems. Did you have any other work done on your home in the past year?

Noisy
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Re: OKNA 500 windows and Noise

#15 Post by Noisy »

HomeSealed, thank you for the advice. I think I will need to hire someone to help me figure this out. I have not had any other work done on the house recently other than the work done by this installer. They also installed a new sliding glass door (Okna Forester) at the same time they replaced all the windows in the house. Even more reason to expect my energy usage to be greatly reduced!! I’m going to wait for one more “data point” with my February bill and then contact the installer. He was pretty gruff when I contacted him about the noise, but high energy usage coupled with the noise may get him back out here to check the work that was done.

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