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My horizontal double pane windows are leaking???
Old 02-08-2011, 12:35 PM   #1
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My horizontal double pane windows are leaking???

This is exactly what I have in the photo (don't know the brand):

Value Windows Doors - Quality Windows and Doors Manufacture in Los Angeles - 2009 Tax Credit Horizontal Sliding Window - English


My house was built in 1994 and has double pane sliding windows like the link shows on the bay windows--3 of them--in the front of the house. These definitely have cold air coming in where they lock in the middle. Is there anything I can do about it at all?

The rest of the windows in the house slide up and down and seem okay compared to the ones that slide sideways for some reason.

If cold air is coming in, I hate to think how much of my air conditioning will slide out the windows when it comes on = loss of $$$$$. Not good.

Any ideas
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:12 PM   #2
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Sure, look for a weatherstrip that folds like a V shape, it comes in a roll. There's a tacky strip on one side. This should help stop the leak if you think it's coming from the lock side of the window. Otherwise, you can get the window film kits that covers around the entire window unit using double stick tape.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:20 PM   #3
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Also check that they are really latching and engaging properly. We used cheap windows for our 3-season room (not saying yours are cheap), and you have to fiddle with some of them to get them to really line up and engage when you latch them. If you don't get them just right, the latch actually pushes them apart slightly, rather than pulling them tight.

I'll open them a bit, and then close them, looking to get everything aligned while I tighten the latch. Takes a couple tries sometimes. Kinda hard to describe, you have to go by sight and feel. When you get it right, you should see them pull together tight when you engage the latch.

-ERD50
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:59 PM   #4
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One easy test is to go to the dollar store and buy an incense stick. Light it and move it slowly around the perimeter of the window. Any leakage will blow the smoke trails. Once you find the leaking spot, you can diagnose why it is leaking. Look for a damaged weather strip or a warped window frame.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:46 PM   #5
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If the weatherstripping is the fuzzy felt stuff (rather than the folded vinyl V described by Dimsumkid), it might need replacing.

If you only open the windows a few times a year, slap a piece of clear tape on the junction once per season. Yes, it's a little "hillbilly", but it will seal out air more effectively than any weatherstipping and costs just pennies.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
..........
If you only open the windows a few times a year, slap a piece of clear tape on the junction once per season. Yes, it's a little "hillbilly", but it will seal out air more effectively than any weatherstipping and costs just pennies.
Good point. There is also peelable caulk that works well, but has some odor until it dries.

Amazon.com: Dap 18324 Seal 'N Peel Removable Caulk, 10.1-Ounce: Home Improvement
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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Seems to me that the air is coming from around the entire window--the sides and where it locks--which is why it's such a question as what I should do.

The windows latch tightly and, since they are aluminum, they don't warp; so, this has to do with the installation and the build of the windows I assume. And I don't want to go to the expense of new windows when these aren't very old.

And I only need to open these windows when the fire alarm goes off. I do have a tendency to walk away and let the food burn it seems... I even bought those napkins that say, "You know the food is ready when the fire alarm goes off." For me, it seems to be a true statement. (I shouldn't even tell people that I guess...)
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
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And I don't want to go to the expense of new windows when these aren't very old.
Windows are 16 years old, construction grade, aluminum frame. You may want to reconsider replacing with energy efficient windows. Take the tax credit if its offered next year and enjoy lower energy bills.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:30 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Orchidflower;1034803]Seems to me that the air is coming from around the entire window--the sides and where it locks--which is why it's such a question as what I should do.

The windows latch tightly and, since they are aluminum, they don't warp; so, this has to do with the installation and the build of the windows I assume. And I don't want to go to the expense of new windows when these aren't very old.
QUOTE]

Are you experiencing air leaks where the window frame meets the wood trim (assuming the trim is wood)? If you have a small gap there, use the caulk mentioned above, the V weatherstrip I mentioned earlier or if you have your own caulk gun (these cost under $10), get a tube of caulk to match the wood trim and fill the gap all around the window where it meets the trim. I had to do this on a few of my old windows. I beleive these are original windows, I don't think all installers bothered to caulk years ago. I've replaced 6 so far on my house and before I put back the wood trim, I would pack the gaps with fiberglass insulation to stop air leaks like this and caulk.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:41 PM   #10
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.......... I've replaced 6 so far on my house and before I put back the wood trim, I would pack the gaps with fiberglass insulation to stop air leaks like this and caulk.
I noted in my house that where the gap around the window frames was sealed with packed fiberglass, (this is under the trim) the fiberglass was filthy from the steady supply of air sifting through. I dug it out and used low expanding foam designed especially for windows and doors.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:56 PM   #11
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I noted in my house that where the gap around the window frames was sealed with packed fiberglass, (this is under the trim) the fiberglass was filthy from the steady supply of air sifting through. I dug it out and used low expanding foam designed especially for windows and doors.
I think expanding foam is a good but expensive product to use when you don't have the finish trim on yet. From the use here, all the trim is on the window. This product is very difficult to clean up, you need Acetone (nail polich remover) and it's not easy to change it once you've sprayed it on. I'm picturing the gaps to fill are maybe 1-4 pieces of paper thickness.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:58 PM   #12
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+1 on foam.

Fiberglass insulation only works if airflow is blocked by some other means, like vapor barrier.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
And I only need to open these windows when the fire alarm goes off. I do have a tendency to walk away and let the food burn it seems... I even bought those napkins that say, "You know the food is ready when the fire alarm goes off." For me, it seems to be a true statement. (I shouldn't even tell people that I guess...)
On second thought, I'm going to pass on that dinner invitation....
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dimsumkid View Post
I think expanding foam is a good but expensive product to use when you don't have the finish trim on yet. From the use here, all the trim is on the window. This product is very difficult to clean up, you need Acetone (nail polich remover) and it's not easy to change it once you've sprayed it on. I'm picturing the gaps to fill are maybe 1-4 pieces of paper thickness.
I totally agree. I just made the comment for the benefit of anyone sealing a newly installed window or door.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:04 AM   #15
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Orchid, I agree with above that you should get a couple of estimates on replacing that window. It might not pay for itself in savings for quite a while, but you'll feel more comfortable and won't imagine the dollars floating out the window during your summer AC use as the cold air leaks out.

If you go with the incense trick, remember to chant Omm too, or some other mantra, to get in the incense mood and in case the neighbors smell it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:51 PM   #16
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By coincidence, someone just sent this to me:

A BLONDE GETS REPLACEMENT WINDOWS *

Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with that expensive double-pane energy efficient kind, and today, I got a call from the contractor who installed them.

He was complaining that the work had been completed a whole year ago and I still hadn't paid for them.. Hellloooo,............just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am automatically stupid.

So, I told him just what his fast talking sales guy had told me last year, that in ONE YEAR these windows would pay for themselves! Helllooooo? It's been a year! I told him.

There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just hung up. He never called back. I bet he felt like an idiot.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:11 PM   #17
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Adhesive backed felt tape in white (your window color, correct?) may be a good answer. Felt is a tremendous insulator.

An example is at the bottom of this webpage. A local fabric store may stock it.

Benchmark: Exhibit mount padding materials, adhesive

I googled "adhesive backed felt tape white"
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:13 PM   #18
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That was hysterical, Braumeister!!!

Well, I got some great ideas on what to do here, so thank you, folks, again!!!
I will be heading to Lowe's soon to get started. Gotta do something before summer a/c season.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:26 PM   #19
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I'm way late to this thread!

Long ago and far away, I installed some aluminum double-pane horizontal sliders. The sliding sash can be taken out by opening the slider all the way, then lifting up, tilt the bottom of the sash inward, and remove the sash to the inside of the house. Then you can inspect the weatherstripping and see if it needs to be replaced.

The sash will have some weight to it, which is mostly the weight of the glass. If the sash does not want to lift up, then may have to slide it a little left/right to get to the spot where it can be lifted out. If yours are vinyl instead of aluminum, they probably work the same way.

Lifting the sash out will expose the rollers, in case cleaning is needed due to dirt accumulation in the track. I would not expect dirt buildup to have any real effect on sealing, unless you have a seed bed going on in there
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