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AlphaXray

05:57AM | 01/04/10
Member Since: 03/03/05
3 lifetime posts
I was one of the original posters to this thread, owning Semco windows that were less than 5 years old and having serious problems that Semco wouldn't acknowledge.

I thought everyone would like to know that a few years ago we replaced the Semco windows windows in our home--quite expensive given the number of windows.

As the Semco windows were being replaced, I took the opportunity to disassemble the sash on a few of the windows to see why there was water coming into our home.

Recall, we have casement windows, so the sash, the movable portion of the window, is easily removed. Each sash consists of the double pane glass unit surrounded by a wood frame. On our casement windows, the crank opens and closes the sash and there were two levers to secure and lock the sash closed.

I took the sash and using a wood saw carefully made a perpendicular cut through the horizontal members of the wood frame at the top and the bottom, allowing me to separate the wood frame from the glass.

Examining the saw cuts, the wood at the top of the window looked like new pine.

In contrast, the wood exposed by the cross cut of the bottom frame member was gray stained through and through and rotting indicating water exposure. The contrast between the top member and bottom member was striking, new wood vs. gray. It appeared that water was running down the glass on the outside of the window and getting between the glass pane and the wood frame, soaking the wood through. This pattern repeated on all the windows I checked.

As I suspected, it appears the water pouring through our Semco windows during heavy rain was entering through the sash, not around the sash, and not around the complete window assembly.

Based on my experience, I would not recommend Semco windows. Not just because our Semco windows leaked, but more importantly because of their denial of any problem and poor customer support.

BrendanD

08:46AM | 01/14/10
Member Since: 01/13/10
1 lifetime posts
I wanted to post my feelings about Semco Windows.

I have built many homes and used Semco in most of them (as well as Kolbe & Kolbe and Marvin). The Semco Windows have all performed beautifully and on par with the others I've used.

I suggest if you want a great window for a reasonable price, go with Semco. If you really want to spend big money, go for a higher-end brand, but you won't get that much more quality and performance out of them. To me, Semco is a good value.

All companies have their upset customers, and it appears there are a few on here, but other builders I know also have a good opinion of Semco, just like I do.

Take it from someone who has been in the building industry for many years...Semco Windows are a good choice.

Also note: They have an outstanding warranty/service department. When I've had to deal with them for some minor things (i.e. lost crank handles, etc), they have always been courteous and prompt.

fishglenn

11:00AM | 01/15/10
Member Since: 01/14/10
1 lifetime posts
I paid extra for vinyl clad Semco windows, after 3 years I started repairing, thinking the lead was from the framing,

What a mistake, two windows entirely rotted out, and took house structure with it. Finally had them replaced, installer indicated windows had been leaking from day one, and showed me the water path, No seal on exterior between glass and vinyl clad aluminum frame. Absolute crap

UpNorthGuy75

01:53PM | 01/15/10
Member Since: 01/14/10
1 lifetime posts
fishglenn, there is no such thing as a Semco vinyl window -- they only make wood windows with aluminum cladding.

I know this because I have been looking into purchasing their windows.

As I've been researching, some of the postings on here don't even make sense...I really question their validity.

Luckily I have a dealer showroom close by and have taken the time to look at the windows in person. The dealer had very positive things to say about them also.

arizona123

04:10PM | 01/25/10
Member Since: 01/24/10
1 lifetime posts
Hi Mark,

I have enjoyed reading your comments.

We have recently moved to the mountains in Arizona and our home is at 6,000ft.

Winters can be harsh. My builder has recommended Semco - but I would also appreciate knowing what brand you would give a close 2nd to? I am concerned that I cannot find any rankings from professional consumer organizations on them? Marvin seems to be respected - but they also seem to be very, very expensive. I have always thought Pella

was "the best money can buy"....what do you think?

Thanks so much.

motrads

04:17AM | 01/29/10
Member Since: 01/28/10
3 lifetime posts
The Semco Windows and Patio Doors in my 6 yr old home are the worst I have seen, and it makes me sick to look at them. When ever the temperature outside gets below about 40 degrees a 2 or 3 inch strip of moisture builds up on the bottom of the glass. If I don't towel dry it a quarter inch puddle will accumulate on the wood trim. When the temp drops below about 20 degrees the window and wood trim become covered in frost and ice. As a result the wood trim has all turned black and rotten on the bottom of all my windows. The humidity in my home is normally around 38%.

My Brother used Anderson Windows in his home. The same builder constructed his home the same summer, and it's nearly identical to mine. He has no moisture on his windows at all. He even uses his April Aire and raises the humidity to about 50% as the Children's doctor recomends. Even if he ever did get some moisture the windows are vinyl clad inside so there would be no damage.

Semco windows may by fine in warmer climates, but here in Wisconsin they are terrible. I am worried about how much damage may be occuring that I am unable to see.

People may try to say the windows are incorrectly installed, but when I compare these two homes built alike I feel the problem is with the Semco Windows.
6848-i_recomend_anderson_

motrads

04:38AM | 01/29/10
Member Since: 01/28/10
3 lifetime posts
Semco
6849-close_up

ClintFelker

06:14AM | 02/03/10
Member Since: 02/02/10
1 lifetime posts
I'm not sure why people complain about condensation when that is not really the window's fault. To eliminate condensation, all you need is low humidity and proper air flow (i.e. no curtains holding all the air against the window constantly).

I can say that I own Semco Windows that were purchased in 2001 (making them almost 10 years old now) and I haven't had a problem with them. Sure occasional condensation happens, but that does with any window (and it's not nearly as much as motrads posting).

I agree with some of the other folks who have had good experience with Semco, and was actually surprised to see negative opinions.

Clinton Felker

Palatine, IL

motrads

08:43AM | 02/05/10
Member Since: 01/28/10
3 lifetime posts
Why would you even consider Semco after seeing these photos. I have experienced both Anderson and Semco under the same conditions and Anderson is a much better performer. My humidity is around 36% today. How low do you think it should be? Any lower is not comfortable or healthy. The Andersons have no moisture problem even at 50% using a humidifier. My next house will be built with vinyl clad Andersons. End of Problem.
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