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Aluminum versus Vinyl - The condensation question

10 replies [Last post]
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Joined: Dec 31 2007

So we pretty much have chosen to use Palo Alto Glass for our fixed window replacements, but my wife and I are debating on the aluminum versus vinyl for the sliding doors. We are also installing a slider in our master bedroom in addition to replaing the single pane one in the fixed glass wall.

From a pure aethetic standpoint, we both like how the Blomberg sliders are narrow and fit the look. We are also ok with the cost differential. and the differential in efficiency.

The question we have is how much condensation we can expect to see on the aluminum double paned Blomber slider versus a vinyl door? I prefer the aluminum, but have concerns about constant condensation during the cooler months. What say you, eichler network? Thanks in advance for any opinions.

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Joined: Apr 19 2007

condensation within the panes themselves or on the frame (inside of the house)? we've still got the original doors, but of the windows we replaced (milgard aluminum), the only condensation is on the bathroom windows after a hot shower. if it were between dealing with potential and occasional condensation a few months out of the year versus looking at a door i wasn't as fond of for 12 months, i'd take my chances with the condensation.

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Joined: Dec 31 2007

Yes I meant on the inside pane (inside the house). If there were condensation between the panes, I'd think there was a break in the insulation somewhere.

I mean obviously if we're cooking up a storm without the hood going, we'll see condensation on any window, vinyl or not. I'd also expect it in the bathroom too after a hot shower.

I guess I'm more specifically trying to get firsthand knowledge of any condensation issues just by having the house to normal temp and it being cool/cold outside; or by having a room closed up while sleeping, etc.

My in-laws had double-paned aluminum sliders in the past (pre-me) and my wife remembers condensation issues growing up (here in Belmont). I'm thinking that these were at least 25 year old technology and newer aluminum models insulated double panel doors won't have the same issue. Thanks.

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Joined: Apr 19 2007

new models might be "thermally broken" to prevent heat-transfer more than in older windows (check the blombergs), but wondering why there'd be any more condensation on a double-paned window than single pane...

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Joined: Sep 16 2005

I have all original windows and sliders in my house. I do get a bit of condensation on the bed room windows that have the honeycomb style blinds. The condensation is on the window, never enough to run just a bit of moisture at the corners.
Good luck

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Well, I have to say, I was surprised to see the website advertising a vinyl window/door company. I always thought white vinyl windows were up there with french doors, grecian column, and flocked wallpaper as the antithesis of the original Eichler aesthetic. But maybe I've been too quick to judge and my opinion simply reflects my ignorance of currently available products (or my lack of decorating taste). I'm always willing to be educated.

Can someone tell me if there are low-profile, non-white vinyl windows that would fit the minimalist streamline nature of the original Eichler aesthetic? If so, what are they called and where do you get them? If not, are people who contemplate using vinyl windows painting their posts white/light? Are these used in homes that no longer have stained paneling?

I understand people's concern with energy efficiency, but with the improvement in aluminum double-pane windows, I'm curious why we've seen several posts from people enquiring about vinyl. I don't know if aluminum is no longer the default choice or if the posts are simply from people who are following their own creative muse.

Thanks for any info to help update this old dog on modern materials.

Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

ajm
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Joined: Mar 24 2003

We've had the Milgard aluminum windows and sliding doors for 10 years now and have never had any condensation. We did have substantial condensation issues with the original windows. (and skylights for that matter, which was even more annoying because the water would randomly drip on your head).

I don't think condensation will be a big problem with modern, high-quality, aluminum windows and doors.

-andrew

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Joined: Jan 16 2004

Our Sliding Windows are 4 years old now and there is No Condensation.
Would suggest the brand you mentioned if you are cool price. We love their product and will buy or suggest no other Windows... period .
Good Luck
Gerald

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Joined: Feb 8 2005

Are you seriously removing beams from your ceiling? :(

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Joined: Dec 31 2007

Thanks everybody, guess we are worrying over nothing. We've decided to go with the Blomberg aluminum doors and keep the slim look :)

dommi99 - not sure what you're talking about. We're not removing any of the upper beams from the ceiling. There is one non-load bearing vertical post that was ready to fall off and our contractor, who is also a structural engineer said it wasn't needed. Since it would block a chair and the view into the living space, we elected to remove it.

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Joined: Feb 8 2005

My mistake. Sometimes my eye skips crucial words.

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