map-marker Austin, Texas

Rotting Windows

After 15 years, I could not believe how many rotting sills and sashes I have replaced or repaired. I built a new home in 2000 and wanted the best windows and doors. My contractor recommended Kolbe. What a mistake, after spending $85,000. We had the problem before 10 years, but the last 5 years has been a nightmare. It's a monthly job tending to repairs and replacements. The Kolbe rep said he can't do any warranty but said it was so bad that he would sell windows at cost. That's a joke because I called as another consumer to order a new sash and it was the same price as cost. DON'T Ever use Kolbe products, it is total junk. There, after that rant, I feel a little better but it's not making the problem go away.
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map-marker Exton, Pennsylvania


Windows are 14 years old have had multiple what problems starting at 4 to 5 years old have spent 10,000 dollars repairing them back then and now spend several thousand every few years . I have contacted manufacture and distributor both of which blamed me for improper maintenance which is ridiculous.... windows have been painted properly and sealed appropriately it is clear after perusing the internet i am not the only one..... several of my friends built at the same time using Kolbe they too have similar problems. Do not under any circumstance use kolbe. Please take this complaint serious. Do your research!!!!!
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1 comment

I am thinking My house is a little more palatial than yours because I had $120,000 in Kolbe windows installed. Mine were installed by a five star contractor with excellent references.

I am loving my windows and doors after 20 plus years. Sounds like you cut corners on the install.

J H Rsr
map-marker Broomfield, Colorado

Kolbe & Kolbe Windows - looking for restitution

Having read the numerous other complaints posted on this site we find ourselves joining in. We are experiencing the same issue with our K&K windows - sashes rotting away. We are in WI and have found several others with the same situation. We are told by the company doing our replacements that the cause of this problem is a manufacturing error - factory should have put a silicone seal on the outside of the window where the glass meets the frame - they did not and therefore over time water can run down and penetrate the wood behind the frame. Seems the manufacturer's standard reply is to tell us, the consumer, that we have not properly sealed the wood portions of the windows - well in this case there would be no way to seal the wood BEHIND the outer frame and that is where the problem begins. It appears that windows manufactured between approx. 1996 - **** are experiencing this epidemic flaw. We are very interested in seeking restitution from the manufacturer and would appreciate receiving any additonal informaiton regarding this. Is there a class action suit in process? If so, how do we become a part of it? Thank you for any information you are willing to share.
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The issues surrounding kolbe are....


Dear Meowza:

I have information about a Kolbe Window Class Action Lawsuit. Please contact me.

Matthew Roetter

Roetter Window and Door Company, Inc.

P.O. Box 1506

Hayden, Idaho 83835

(208) 704-****

Email: classactionig@***.com

reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-549186

I have had issues from Kolbe&Kolbe windows for years. I acturally had to buy some storm windows for some of them due to excessive moisture rotting the wood.

I couldn't afford all of them at the time.

Now due to the moisture and extreme cold weather, the moisture on the windows have actually turned to ice. If there is a class action lawsuit please contact me.


Pittsburgh, PA


Please contact me at (208) 704-**** or classactionig@***.com. I have information about a class action lawsuit. Matthew Roetter


I haven't heard of a class action suit yet but would be very interested in one if it were organized. We have windows manufactured in 2003 and the bottoms of the sashes are literally falling out in some instances.

In others they are just rotting.

If you here of a lawsuit or want to organize one please feel free to contact me. I am tired of the run around.

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map-marker Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Kolbe Windows rotting due to defect, Kolbe won't back them

We installed about 40 Kolbe Ultra Clad Windows in 2003. We have since discovered that the windows sashes (both fixed and active) are rotting away. The problem appears to be in the lack of angle in the sill. The sill has an almost non-existent angle which allows water to stand on the sill. It is subsequently wicked up into the aluminum clad sash and rots the sash. The distributor (North American Windows & Doors in West Chester, PA) came to investigate and determined the windows were installed correctly and agreed to replace about half of the sashes. This however only covers half the problem as all but 4 of the windows are rotting. It also is only a temporary fix since the sill appears to be the issue. The problem will not be resolved unless the entire window is replaced. I contacted Kolbe directly to say I dispute North American's assessment and would they please have a rep come out but they told me they stand behind their distributor. We are talking about $40,000 worth of windows plus installation. I am getting nowhere fast with Kolbe or their distributor and don't know what to do. Evidently I am not the only one with this problem as I have found numerous complaints on home improvement blogs. I wish there was a class action lawsuit to get involved in so I can get some money back and replace these windows with something better by a company that stands behind their product. Whatever you do, do NOT buy Kolbe & Kolbe products, You will be sorry.
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map-marker Kokomo, Indiana

Kolbe & Kolbe Windows 11 yrs leaky, moldy junk

We moved into our custom built home in the spring of 2001. Within the first 6 months I noticed condensation on the window glass and sashes. I addressed it with our builder and he came and made a void effort and sprayed the windows with something. Next he replaced the rubber seal between the top and bottom window. Of course this did nothing still. By this time I have mold to battle on every window in the house. I finally decided to emai Kolbe & Kolbe myself, the manufacturer of the windows. I sent them pictures of the mold and at the time it was winter and there was actually frost and ice on the insides of my windows on the wood sash. I sent pictures of that as well. They were very friendly and sent a rep to our home to inspect the windows. He said the windows were not leaking and the problem had to be something else. This has gone on for over a decade. Don't buy Kolbe & Kolbe as they do not stand by their product.
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Very likely that water and rot damage is caused by splashing rainwater due to inadequate overhangs or guttering, sprinkler system constantly wetting bottoms of windows, etc. The windows are just made of wood, it's not their fault.

reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-693403

Sorry, I have overhangs now I have ice on the inside of my windows. Explain that one


A little research would go a long way. Kolbe sued Dow Corning in 2001 and they alleged in their complaint that product manufacture by Dow fialed causing windows to rot and allow water to enter.

Case was filed in the Wisconsin Federal court. When were you windows purchased and or install. What Series/style of window are they.

If your windows were purchased prior to December 1997, track over to the Miami-Dade county web site and see if there are any Die Drawings indicating use of Dow Coring 3-0117(the Dow Corning product alleged to have failed.


The issue here is not the windows but humidy in the home as the previous comment stated. The home needs an air exchanger, HRV or ERV to help remove moisture.

reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-590265

Hi I read the note about moisture on the exterior inside of a window is not the window and rather it requires more air exchange with HRV or ERV. What is HRV or ERV.

I need to find a solution as my windows are Kolbe and they are have moisture build up which is starting to show mold.

I shut off april air but that makes no difference. thanks.

reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-590265

I had a rep from the company come and test the humidity in my home, it tested good. Explain that!


Problem is probably not with the window. Likely has to do with too much humidity in home, too little air movement in home and lack of ventilation. What you see on glass is being absorbed into walls, furniture carpet etc.Whole house ventilation is suspect.

reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-445116

so explain how a little condensation causes the entire bottom of the "OUTSIDE" PORTION OF THE SASH TO ROT OUT. If it were due to condensations, the inside where the sash buts up to the sill, there is NO sign of water. The water is coming from the outside, I have video tape of water running down the in between the two pains!

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map-marker Denver, Colorado

Kolbe and Kolbe windows are awful

We built a custom home 12 years ago and have had numerous problems with rotting sashes and frames on our home. A home that has a total of 64 windows and doors. Needless to say with the whole back of my house having windows, I have a lot of money invested in windows. Have had the middle man Al Lorenzi building supplies out to my home 4 times, replaced sashes only to replace frames of the same windows 2 years later. It is a tedious process that takes about 6 months from onset of first calls till the windows are replaced. Of course now the 10 year warranty is no longer in effect and now I get to foot the entire cost. Looking at a $10,000 cost to replace 5-6 windows and numerous sashes. They make it sound like I should be out there every year sanding and doing maintenance work and painting these windows every year. Hired a contractors a few years ago to recaulk every window. Do not buy these windows. Looking for a lawyer to perhaps aide us in this painful process.
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We have had kolbe and kolbe windows in are townhouse . They Mold always have to have maintenance done to them. Also the rubber between the Double pane keep's on coming out.


Thank for for your post


yes,,pure junk. I bought a 7 year old house and I have had to replace 9 casement windows.

Even though the windows are aluminum clad, the sashes were so rotten, they were crumbling in my hands. Operating hardware was corroded so badly, I had to remove them, sand them and soak them in penetrant.

Really Kolbe???


I've had this problem with other windows. It's caused by condensation which may not be your window's fault.

If your house is too tight it build up moisture and condensation on the windows which causes them to rot. Especially if your house is built on a hill the humidity tends to settle in the lower levels of the house. Get an air-to-air exchanger and it will solve the problem.

Then replace the windows. If you just replace the windows (any brand) you'll just be doing it again five years later.

reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-638370

The moisture level in my home was actually tested by a rep. from the company.

It tested good. I don't believe that it is not the windows. We then purchased some of the storm windows to go over them and the ones we covered have very little moisture at all.

For the windows that we didn't buy storm windows (because we couldn't afford them at the time) get soaking wet and now have ice on them due to the very cold weather. I think that a class action law suit should be started and at the very LEAST, the company should have to supply storm window to everyone.


We have the same problem but our windows are still under warranty. They want to replace some of the sashes but I know the entire window needs to be replaced.

My contractor and my husband who is an engineer both feel it is the sill that is the problem. There is little to no angle onthe sill which allows standing water to be wicked up into the aluminim clad sash. Kolbe pushed me off on their distributor who pushes me back to Kolbe. No one wants to take responsibility.

It is infuriating. I am EXTREMELY interested in being a part of a class action lawsuit.


Kolbe & Kolbe window sashes defective. Seems to be an overall manufacture problem. You would think they would provide new sashes to fix the problem, & install them properly.


We and several other people in our area have the exact same issue with Kolbe & Kolbe windows. Bottoms rotting out.

We too have a large number of windows and it is a very expensive repair. Would be very interested in receiving any additional information regarding restitution. We contacted Kolbe & Kolbe and they pushed us off on the local dealer since (conveniently) the windows are out of warranty on the wood portion. The company we are working with for the replacement advised that the rotting is due to a flaw in the manufacture of the windows - a silicone seal was not installed on the outside where the glass meets the frame thus allowing water to run down from the outside and collect in the corners and bottom of the wood which over time then rots the wood away.

Appears this relates to windows manufactured approx.

1996 - **** . Does anyone know if there is a class action suit in process - if so we want to be part of it.

reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-528537

Also have a large, well maintained home, custom built, windows KOLBE, dbl. hung, bay window, I very large customed built circle window, dormer windows and all rotting away.

Found out today that not under "warranty due to lack of being maintained"??? I'm not happy! Rotting sashes, etc.

Replacement will be well over $20,000 plus..........AND, I sure am not going to replace with KOLBE! If there is a class action, count me in!


We have an almost identical story to yours; we have replaced several windows under warranty, but now have many more issues and are out of warranty. NOW they are telling us what we should have done each year...

we have a large house, well maintained and this is the ONLY issue we have.

We have the house up for sale and need to get this resolved. We have been told there has/is a class action lawsuit - I am currently investigating.

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