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timothy1966

07:12AM | 03/03/03
Member Since: 03/02/03
3 lifetime posts
Bvwindows
I am considering replacing som rotting windows and doors with aluminum-clad windows and doors made by Kolbe&Kolbe. Does anyone have any experience with this product?

Piffin

05:27PM | 03/03/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1284 lifetime posts
I have not personally used their product but I have heard from fellow professionalls that it is amoung the best.

timothy1966

04:33AM | 03/04/03
Member Since: 03/02/03
3 lifetime posts
Thanks

Fighter

10:40PM | 09/01/03
Member Since: 09/01/03
8 lifetime posts
Timothy1966,
I don't know if you have already made up your mind but I installed new Kolbe & Kolbe aluminum clad windows in my house and it's been the worst nightmare of my life. If you are interested in hearing more go to http://www.leakywindows.com
Fighter

doorguy

11:52AM | 09/24/03
Member Since: 09/23/03
3 lifetime posts
I have heard nothing but good about Kolbe & Kolbe windows. As with any window if they are not installed correct they all will leak. I have a home full of lesser quality windows, and wish I would have went with the upper scale products like a Kolbe & Kolbe.

Fighter

07:56PM | 09/24/03
Member Since: 09/01/03
8 lifetime posts
doorguy,
Most people will assume if a new window or door from an apparently reputable company leaks it is most likely not the manufacturers fault.
We purchased and installed new Kolbe & Kolbe Ultra Clad Series windows and doors about two years ago. Nearly every unit exposed to rain leaked. Most everyone’s first assumption was, and usually is that they were either flashed or installed incorrectly. These unit were installed according to the manufacturers installation specifications. These windows and doors were tested by Kolbe & Kolbe’s team of attorneys, technicians, and construction experts using an isolation procedure eliminating the possibility of water leaks from anywhere other than the window units themselves. When tested they failed (leaked). This test was performed after the Kolbe & Kolbe service technicians spent more than six months performing various unsuccessful field fixes which included among others, drilling holes into the frames and injecting large amounts of silicone into them.
I’m sure I may receive other replies to this message similar to yours where people have not had any problems with their Kolbe products and love them. We loved ours also until it rained. Every building site has it’s own unique situation with various weather and exposure. I have some of the same windows on parts of my home that we have not yet detected leaks because they don’t share the same exposure as the others. This doesn’t mean they wouldn't leak. Kolbe & Kolbe was aware of a leaking problem before I reported the leaks. They had already drafted a field fix memo that instructs their technician how to perform the procedure of drilling and injecting mentioned above. The Kolbe & Kolbe distributor in our area (Northern California Bay Area) who recommended this product to us has been selling Kolbe & Kolbe in our area for years. A manufacturer should stand behind their claims of quality and performance whether their product will be installed in the desert, city, or the mountains. We do occasionally experience moderate to heavy rains but they leaked even in light rains. It has been over two years since these windows were installed and Kolbe & Kolbe has yet to resolve our problem while it appears they are trying to divert the blame elsewhere (even after they have seen the failed tests first hand). As a result of these leaking windows and doors, the construction on our home was halted. We have been unable to finish and move into our new home that was scheduled to be completed over 20 months ago.
The leaks in the windows are only part of the problem. The way Kolbe & Kolbe designed the frame on the Ultra casements uses a flat sill design where the sash sits very snug on this sill. The bottom of the sash is exposed wood. When it rains water stands on this sill and gets trapped under and behind the sash. I can open up the window a day or two after it rains and trapped water will sweep and spill out. The wood on the bottom of the sash is wet. Most of our windows are clad with aluminum yet a few of the custom sizes were finished with their K-Kron. These units showed separation of the joints and the paint began peeling off just a few months into the wet season. I assume it is from the trapped moisture wicking up into the wood. I can't tell if the clad units are separating because they are hidden behind the aluminum.
The Kolbe & Kolbe doors thresholds we have also leak. They call them their waterguard thresholds, designed to insure that water will not enter the building. But during rains water would leak through the threshold and into the house. The Kolbe technician performed leak tests on these as well. All the thresholds tested showed some form of leaking.
Yes, it sounds too bad to be true. Before my purchase I heard that Kolbe & Kolbe made a fine product. I relied on their reputation, distributors advice, and their product literature, but in the end I made the worst decision of my life. Yes, now and then you are going to have someone incorrectly install something and yell "defect". I have lived with this nightmare for two years, and from this experience I probably know more about these products than most homeowners or contractors. I have documented proof from not only my team of experts but from Kolbe & Kolbe's hired team of experts that these products leak. I would imagine this is what most people would consider "defective".
I can appreciate that you have had only positive experiences with the Kolbe products, but the way I see it a company is only as good as it's latest product. I believe the Ultra Clad is their newest and most popular line. When I see posts from someone praising a company who's products have failed me, I feel obligated to set the record straight. If I can help someone make an educated decision and save them from the hell these products have put myself and my family through, then it is well worth my time to post such a message. I may be the first who you have heard of these problems, but I assure you, I am being contacted by others with similar problems and I'm sure there will be many more. If you have further questions or comments, feel free to reply or drop me an email. fighter@leakywindows.com
regards,
Fighter http://www.leakywindows.com

Leslie1011

05:26AM | 02/21/07
Member Since: 02/20/07
3 lifetime posts
My husband and I started construction of our home in Pensacola, Florida in 2002, and moved in July of 2003. We have had ten rotted window sashes and one window where water was entering the house from the seams around our Kolbe & Kolbe aluminum clad windows. The windows were purchased from Coastal Door and Window in Pensacola. Each time they have replaced the sashes. Yesterday I noticed that one of the sashes that was replaced already is rotting again. I called the K & K rep in Mobile, Al and they are coming out to the house again. I now know they are defective and we are just starting our journey and looking for guidance. I have been reading the threads on various sites on the internet and noticed there have been no new postings since late August, 2004. Is anybody out there that can help?

Leslie1011

03:07PM | 03/01/07
Member Since: 02/20/07
3 lifetime posts
The Koble & Koble is replacing all our window sashes on the entire house. Hope this takes care of the problem.

SophieM

11:57AM | 12/12/07
Member Since: 12/11/07
1 lifetime posts
We built our house in 2002. We have had 1/3 of our window frames and sashes rot. We do not have a flashing issue or caulking issue. They have honored the warranty so far but I am looking for answers because we only have 4 years left on the warranty. Help.

Did they willing replace all of your windows? What assusrances did they give you that the windows will not rot again?

dlwisc

07:34AM | 12/29/07
Member Since: 12/28/07
1 lifetime posts
We built our house in Wisconsin in 1996 and had leaking Kolbe & Kolbe casement windows after the first heavy rain with driving winds. We contacted our builder and his supplier, the local lumber yard. The Kolbe & Kolbe rep came out and they proceeded to caulk the windows. The leaking subsided for some time, but has returned on windows facing west.

Over the years we've had condensation on the windows during the winter months and we were told that the house is too tight. We regularly wiped the windows down to remove the condensation and last year I had an energy recovery fresh air ventilator installed to help reduce the humidity in the house. This has reduced most of the window condensation.

It appears that the windows in some cases are leaking air as the the wood frames of the windows have developed mold around the bottom corners and in one case the wood has completely rotted apart. I have been in contact with the lumberyard that supplied the windows, but don't expect any relief from Kolbe & Kolbe at this point since the house is almost 12 years old. Opting for the more expensive clad wood windows, I expected they would last much longer.
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