vinyl DH window air leakage

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petras52
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:05 pm

vinyl DH window air leakage

#1 Post by petras52 »

Hello...I've been in the market for a house purchase, both new or old..lots of the houses have vinyl double hung windows..on many of them I noticed air infiltration at each corner of the meeting rail..is this a sign of improper installation or just a common weak spot due to the window design? are there any possible solutions? thanks

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HomeSealed
Posts: 3009
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:46 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Madison, SE Wisconsin

Re: vinyl DH window air leakage

#2 Post by HomeSealed »

petras52 wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 12:31 pm Hello...I've been in the market for a house purchase, both new or old..lots of the houses have vinyl double hung windows..on many of them I noticed air infiltration at each corner of the meeting rail..is this a sign of improper installation or just a common weak spot due to the window design? are there any possible solutions? thanks
Yes and yes.

That spot is generally the weakest point of a double hung window. A poor installation-- being either racked or poorly shimmed-- will definitely make that worse.

Window quality will come into play here as well, as a well built and engineered product will seal that up pretty well, whereas most of the lower end stuff (pretty much anything in new construction) will be leaky to varying degrees even with a decent install. At best they may use little stick on pads in the corners, but those fall off over time.

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Windows on Washington
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Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC

Re: vinyl DH window air leakage

#3 Post by Windows on Washington »

Indeed, as HomeSealed said above.

You can add a bit of weatherstripping window to a good window and further tighten up what is the bypass point where multiple surfaces meet and interlock. As alluded to, this point is generally the weakest in the assembly as it is the interface of multiple moving points.

The little bit of tightening you can do on a well engineered product is the result of shrinking the interference tolerances in an already tight window. Does the same happen in a poorly designed or poorly installed window...maybe, but to a drastically smaller extent. What happens in those situations is you wind up needs to put so much weatherstripping at that location that it bunches up, pulls off, usually interferes with the operation of the window, and promptly falls off.

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