Condensation is the most common complaint about windows by building owners. While in some cases condensation is the result of excessively high humidity levels in dwelling units, in many cases condensation occurs at commonly accepted levels of indoor humidity.

Air leakage, both through the window and around the frame, is a commonly voiced complaint that occurs frequently when sub-standard windows are used, or as a result of shoddy installation practices. Drafts occurring around the window are almost always the result of inadequate detailing of installation procedures coupled with low quality control standards during the construction process.

Expectations of a window

  • strength
  • air tightness
  • ventilation
  • resistance to condensation
  • escape
  • reduced sound transmission
  • low heat loss
  • durability
  • security

As windows form an integral part of the exterior wall of the building, they must be aesthetically pleasing without undermining their performance.

There are many types of windows for residential buildings. The type chosen depends on various elements, including the height of the building, the size of the existing openings, operation requirements, performance requirements, energy efficiency, geographic location and architectural look.

Residential windows types:

  • fixed
  • casement
  • awning
  • dual action / tilt and turn
  • sliding (vertical and horizontal)
  • combination (combo)

Commercial window types:

  • curtain wall – An exterior non-bearing wall
  • store front – designed for high use and strength, usually installed between floor and ceiling
  • sloped glazing – sloped framing assembly that forms the entire roof of the structure.

ABC Ratings:

Most windows in Canada are required to have ABC testing/rating. The window manufacturers frequently provide it. The ABC ratings are classified as follows:

  • Air Tightness A1 – A3
  • Water tightness – B1 – B7
  • Wind Load Resistance – C1 – C5

Although higher ratings are better, the specific application determines the correct ratings for a particular project.

Accent Building Sciences’ Services include:

  • Evaluation and condition survey
  • thermographic scans
  • design specifications and tender documents
  • project management

Click here to contact our building consultants for more information or call our office at (905) 474-9569.