M & W Window Problems

Poor Quality Windows & Improper Installation

For years builders and building suppliers have been selling and installing M & W wood, aluminum and vinyl clad windows in the Raleigh area. Now, homeowners are facing real challenges in dealing with these builder grade windows. Most of the issues are related to water infiltration into the structure of these homes having these windows. Combine that with improper installation, lack of flashing and improper or no vapor barrier and you have a real recipe for disaster.

Photo 1: Notice staining of plywood/sheathing, this is the beginning stages of serious water damage, photos 2 and 3 shows water damage to side frames not replaced by plygem warranty

Photo 1: Notice staining of plywood/sheathing, this is the beginning stages of serious water damage, photos 2 and 3 shows water damage to side frames not replaced by plygem warranty

We have found water penetrating in these window openings, especially in the M&W windows made from 1990 through 2006. In fact there are class action lawsuits for the very same reason.

If left in place these windows are causing, and will continue to cause, structural damage to your home! Inserting a window into these existing frames, also known as pocket replacement, will not correct or allow you to discover the potential water damage within the walls and framing. If you allow a person selling you this type of window to wrap or cap the exterior with a product called trim coil then you will trap the moisture in the window frame and inside your walls (see replacing windows in chapel hill for windows that have been capped). Notice the mold and fungus growing out of the frame from under the capping!! Some of these windows are only 6 years old! The worst part of capping is that you cannot see what is going on under it!! This is also true for windows with vinyl cladding, or wood windows covered with vinyl at the factory.

Brier Creek Homeowner Alert!

Photo 2

Photo 2

Most of the homes in the Brier Creek Country Club have these vinyl clad M&W windows!! Most of them have water damage especially those windows exposed to the weather, bay windows, first floor windows that are located under a second story window, windows on gable walls, any windows not covered by porches or overhangs. If you are concerned squeeze the bottom frames to check if there is give. The frame should be hard and not move when pressure is applied.

Plygem Corporation purchased M & W a few years ago inheriting this issue, now they are trying to service the windows that may still be under warranty. Their solution to the problem does little to fix the issue, they recommend replacing the bottom sill. This does nothing to address the side frames which are also damaged and most importantly is does absolutely nothing to repair the structural damage created by these leaking windows. Or stop the water leakage. 50% of the problem in BRIER CREEK is the installation!!! Modern building practices recommend vapor barriers applied over the homes sheathing. The windows need to be installed into this vapor barrier. Many builders mistakenly tape over the bottom installation fin, sealing any water that may leak from the window!! This water stays in your walls!! Wood and water do not mix anywhere, especially in our climate. Moist wood leads to insects, termites and other vermin infestation; let’s not discount mold, mildew and fungus. This is what happened at Brier Creek and other areas around the triangle that have M&W vinyl clad windows that were improperly installed.

 

Solution!

Photo 3

Photo 3

The use of solid vinyl windows has eliminated the leaking issue of the cladding however, the use of cheaply made vinyl windows is creating a new set of issues…this will be addressed in a future article.

Do you have these windows in your home? Have someone look at your windows, preferably not a pocket replacement window salesman as they will not have the correct product, resources or experience to deal with this serious issue in your home. Settling for a quick fix or Band-Aid approach, will only waste your money and potentially expose your family to mold and other issues in the near future.

To correctly rectify this you will need to totally remove, inspect and replace ALL pieces of these window and surrounding frame. At Windows, Doors & More Inc. we are experts in the full-frame replacement method and a NC licensed General Contractor.   We are here to help, please contact Todd Gillespie for more information. 919-460-6565, or email through the contact form on our website, all estimates are no pressure, informative and reasonable.

Photo 4: Shows what happens when these M&W windows are allowed to leak for 15 years!! imagine the expense if this were a brick or masonry wall!!

Photo 4: Shows what happens when these M&W windows are allowed to leak for 15 years!! imagine the expense if this were a brick or masonry wall!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *