DWM Reader Requests Help

I am a small wood window manufacturer in the Midwest, and I have had a problem on new framed unit windows where casing and sills rot prematurely. The common denominator on all of these problem houses is that they have flush mounted (channel) combination storm windows. The weep holes are very small and located 4 to 5 inches from each end of the sill expander of the storm window. They are also caulked at the bottom from the interior, leaving a ¼-inch space at the weep holes. Any water that gets in doesn't reach the weeps; it just sits in our wood frame and eventually evaporates or freezes.

I cannot find many articles on this subject, but have looked at many other brands of wood and aluminum storm windows. They all seem to have the same problem: small weeps (to improve air infiltration numbers) and holes that are so far from the ends that they might as well just put one in the very center. This seems like a very important clash of design purposes. I give my frames a 14 degree pitch to shed water, but the storm manufacturer wants an "airtight" window, so the smaller weep the better. For this to work, storms should be 100 percent watertight, which wouldn't allow homeowners to open them. I have even looked at full screen surrounds that have no weeps. I think designers feel that standing water on sills will just evaporate out the screen.

This must be happening to other manufacturers. I am absolutely confused at why such a simple thing is not being addressed. If you have any advice or referrals at all, I would love to hear from you.

Respond to this question by emailing Tara Taffera at ttaffera@dwmmag.com.

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