The "Pella Neighborhood" advertising dilemma

Sending EDDM mail-outs and I have a neighborhood here with nice houses that are about 20-30 years old. Whoever was building the nice houses here back then LOVED the Pella windows.

I don’t really dig Pellas, I’ve had some issues with ones that weren’t maintained well. And even in the best case scenarios, I don’t like dealing with the potential fogging issues.

So, basically, I’m thinking of just skipping this neighborhood on my EDDM list and moving on. What do you guys think? I know most of us don’t enjoy Pellas.

For those of you that don’t like them, do you just usually skip them?

For those of you that do them regularly, any advice on making sure you get all of the moisture?

I do have some customers that I’ve done multiple times, and they tell me not to take the windows apart. They just have me do the exposed surfaces. But I’m starting to feel bad about those windows, because the interiors of the windows usually still look pretty bad. Does anyone else do this? I’m starting to feel that I’m leaving those customers with less than great service, and yet, a couple of them generally rave about the results, even though I personally feel like they don’t look that good. I guess if they are happy, that is all that matters. But I have a hard time taking money when things don’t look great.

Anyways, this is kind of a spin-off of another recent Pella thread. I just wanted to go a little further (farther?).

yeah, I feel the same way when I don’t take the apart. I’m sure you know, but it really helps the fog problem if you make sure the vent holes on the window are unclogged. Sometimes though, the seals just don’t do anything anymore.
From a strictly business perspective, money is money, and if the customer is happy, you shouldnt worry. but personally, I gain great satisfaction from making dirty windows- clean. So when I work really hard and they still look “dirty”, that doesnt sit well with me. Ive gotten better about letting it go though.

open up the pellas and do the insides first. Go outside and do those. Then come back inside and replace all the pellas. This gives the small amount of moisture around the gaskets time to air dry before you put them together. No fogging.
OR… you can just tell the customer that the fogging will clean up in a short time and not to worry about it. A good warm day and it will evaporate leaving the window looking great so long as you cleaned it properly.

In addition to what Rick said, while I’m letting the removable panel sit out for awhile, I try to elevate one corner if possible, maybe put a small towel underneath it, so that gravity will help any small amount of water trapped in the gasket drain out.

Also - do not SOAK the window. Light on the water/solution and you will have no problem with fogging.

Foam spray is good as well to help reduce fogging.

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I use foam in between. Spray on, sparingly, then you can either clean with the 2 towel method or squeegee off.

This has virtually eliminated fogging for us.

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Sprayway is the answer for me as well.

let us know how that EDDM thing works out for you…I’m looking into doing it and would like to hear a success story!

EDDM works great. We were able to triple the amount of pieces we are sending this year at approximately the same cost. Also, no buying mailing lists or addressing each postcard or stamps. We love it. And return has been great. For us It is somewhat less targeted (some mail routes will have a handful of homes we might not have otherwise mailed to), but this is a small negative to an otherwise great program.

I have been cleaning Pellas since I started in the business 19 years ago and I consider it one of my specialties. I have a lot of Pella customers (including my own house) and it’s a love hate relationship with those windows. The Slim Shades are nice becuase they are out of the way and eliminate the need to dust, but they can be a nightmare to clean as you know.

There are certain years Pella had some really poor production problems with bad glazing (I believe they even had a class action lawsuit brought against them) and they tend to leak in a lot of dust and others with some bad design flaws. There are certain homes I do that can honestly go 2-3 years without cleaning them in between and others that I have to pull apart every year (the ones with wood stoves, poorly maintained HVACs, bad glazing)

The best approach you can take with your customers, is to convince them to let you pull apart some of the South facing windows (most sun exposure) and let them compare the difference. It will be very noticable. I had a new customer a couple weeks ago who said he had his windows professionally cleaned but they never had them apart. Let me tell you, they were a bitch to get out because the paint had bonded to the seals (another good reason to take them out) and it took two of us over an hour just to pull 35 windows. He wasn’t home when we were finished, but when he sent the check he wrote, “I can’t believe how good the windows look, that was the best $550 I have ever spent,” and that is coming from an attorney!

With the fogging issue, you’ve got to allow the panels and the interiors plenty of time (30-60 min) to dry before putting them back together. If the paint/laquer is old and or the glazing is bad it’s going to absorb water.

Sometimes because of the seals and clogged vent holes, the windows will never dry out. And yes, tilting them is good to let all the water run out. but really, the product when of a certain age (late 70’s, early 80’s?) can be quite flawed. I also carry around a mini pair of pliers so that when they are painted shut or the gasket is stuck I can slowly pull it out one clip at a time. Usually with pliers a top corner will be the first to loosen, and then carefully pull the clips one at a time until it releases. (this info is less for all of you who seem really knowledgeable about Pella’s, and more for those who are just trying to figure them out). I actually consider Pella’s to be some of the easiest storms to clean because there isnt really any dirt between the glass and so at least 2 surfaces clean quick. Its just the taking apart, unclogging the vents, dealing with gaskets that are the problem.

What do you do to unclog the vents?

You know sometimes when you buy something and it comes with those tiny desicant packs. I wonder if it would work if you tossed one in there. I’m sure the customer wouldn’t mind if you told them what’s going on

I tried that a couple years ago as an experiment but it didn’t work. It just got gooey (from the moisture) i used a couple silica packs from the shoe box and i also tried the damp rid stuff…

To unclog the vents: When the storm panel is out, look at the inside of the window frame. There are little holes (usually round). If you open the window all the way you will see this hole goes straight to the outside of the frame. Sometimes there is a screen in the vent, but often the screens get pushed out and bugs nest in these vents, or they get filled with dirt (sometimes dirt nests. Use a very small screwdriver to push out the dirt.

p.s. My knowledge is self learned and intuitive…anyone who knows more about it or has more technical knowledge on the Pellas please chime in.