I'm not clear on exactly where the water is showing up... maybe if you upload a few pics it will become more clear. My first thought is that it's likely that your windows needed some maintenance long ago, especially if you noticed the darker wood (from water infiltration) for several years now. The thing I have found that most Pella windows need is a fresh wet glazing of silicone on the exterior side of the glass. The best silicone to use is DOW Silicone 795, which is readily available online, and at a few of the better suppliers. All it needs is a very tiny bead, the smaller the better as far as appearance is concerned. Clear silicone usually ends up looking the best. The corners of the exterior cladding were often suspect... and the silicone around the glass perimeter should take care of that. The above advice is primarily for the sash- the part that cranks open, and holds the glass. Your fixed windows are actually fixed casements that are screwed shut- (without the hardware). If you are noticing dark spots on the extension jambs... which is the part of the window frame that your interior trim (casing) is nailed to... then that's a different matter. That might indicate that water is entering the rough opening, which would likely have nothing to do with the window itself, but would have more to do with the way the window was installed, or how the window is flashed behind the siding. Some pictures of the exterior would help in that case. The filler strip you are referring to sounds like it is an aluminum mull cap, and no, they are not caulked. They are usually factory installed, and they hammer them on to join two window units and they snap tightly into an aluminum groove on each window- I've never seen one leak. So I guess when you say everything is wet again, I'd like some clarification or pictures of what exactly is getting wet.
Thanks for your response! Thats what I was thinking too.
Old windows don't have nailing fins... but yes, you are on the right track. You can replace both windows with new construction windows (w/nail fin). If you are putting the windows in before the cabinetry and countertop you need to be very sure that you get them both set at the correct height so that your casing will land in the right spot in relation to your countertop, backsplash, etc. You will also want to ensure that both windows are perfectly level with one another because your cabinetry and counter WILL be level and any difference would be noticeable.
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