10:12AM | 06/26/10
Member Since: 06/25/10
1 lifetime posts
1) A number of people on this site, including some installers, have complained about Semco windows developing weather leaks and other problems.

My experiences with these windows are entirely favorable, and I have been living with a rural house filled with Semoo windows for 34 years. My wife and I bought our house from a Madison WI architect in October 1976. He had build this house for his own residence five years earlier, in July 1971.

The architect had exclusively installed Semco window units, all single-glazed non-clad wood casement crank-out units with exterior storm window panels, except for a slider unit in what he had designed to serve as a kitchen alcove.

A couple of years later, we finished two downstairs rooms and added more Semco casement crankouts.

2) The only problem we ever had with these windows related to the fact that the architect did not like rain gutters spoiling his roofline which gave only a few inches eave overhang in the SSW-facing living room. So more than 25 years of southern Wisconsin rain running down the five living room windows under the all but non-existent eave eventually took its toll.

This was some rot mostly confined to one of the lower corners of the sash. Meantime, we installed gutters back in the 1990s, which serve to extend the eave over the windows. We intend to repair that one window either by rebuilding the sash for by filling it with an appropriate epoxy.

3) Meantime, I have noticed a potentially useful design feature on these Semco wood casement units. The profile of the front and rear sides is identical. This will enable me to install interior storm panels at low cost, because the extorior storm panels precisely fit the grooves and spacing on the front side of the sash. By "precisely fit", I mean that the storm panels are a flush fit with the metal U-channels with with the storm windows are framed, and can be snugged in place with the same kind of thumb-clips used on the exterior side of the sash.

Why do this at all? My experiences with double-glazed windows is that the argon leaks out in a relatively brief time, which is an insulator I do not wish to depend on.

Instead, I will add a second storm panel, converting all these casement units -- stationary as well as operable -- into triple-glazed windows such as I understand in increasingly energy conscious countries such as Germany, and which are more or less standard all across Russia with its cold winters.

The result will be two separated window-wide more or less dead air pockets of about 9/16-inch depth on each window.

4) In obtaining information about all this, the Semco factory and sales staff were more than helpful in answering what many other such people would have considered tedious and exhaustive questioning from a man who owned a far out-of-date set of their building products.

If I have written anything here that relates to or even contradicts anyone else's experiences or knowledge of the same or similar window products, I will pleased to discuss the matter furher.

Arnold Harris

Mount Horeb WI
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