Do your windows look foggy? It may be a sign of failure in the window’s seal. How do you know when your seal has failed? It’s important to determine this, because you could save yourself money on energy bills with a new one. If your windows appear foggy, or condensation appears between panes of glass, or your home has been chillier than normal, a broken seal could be to blame.
Double and triple pane glass windows are comprised of two to three panes of glass within an airtight frame that is sealed against the elements. The seal creates a vacuum between the panes, which is most cases is filled with an inert gas like argon or krypton. If the seal fails, the window becomes less effective as a weather barrier. Reasons for seal failure may be structural (incorrectly manufactured window), accidental (a punctured seal during transit or installation), or environmental if the window you purchase is not appropriate for the region in which you live (like wood or aluminum windows in New England).
It makes sense to check your windows at least once per year to detect possible seal failure.
- Clean Your Windows: First, clean the windows. This is necessary because your detection will rely on a visual inspection. Clean the inside and the outside of the window so you know you’re not dealing with external moisture.
- Moisture: You may notice fogging, hazing or moisture collection between the two panes of glass. That’s a sign of failure.
- Excess Grime: As moisture continues to seep into the space between glass panes, you may notice a buildup of dirt that cannot be washed away from the outside.
- Loose Panes: Glass panes that are loose or can be shifted within the frame may indicate that the seal has been broken.
What to Do
If you believe you have a failed seal, you have a few options. You could find a company to “defog” the window, which will temporarily clear up the appearance. But this does not effectively repair the seal and your window’s energy efficiency will still be compromised.
Your best choice is to replace the failed window. There are multiple options for window replacement, including duplicating the window style, installing a newer, more energy efficient window, or choosing a new style to better suit your current needs.
The worst thing you can do is to ignore a window whose seal has failed. In a harsh climate like New England this could result in even more issues. Plus, you should be able to enjoy your windows. There’s no use in keeping a window that you can’t even see through.
Check Your Warranty
Premature window seal failure may be considered a product failure rather than a function of poor installation. Broken seals are typically covered under warranties, but you have to make sure you haven’t reached the end of the warranty period.
For help in replacing failing windows call Rescom Exteriors. We address this issue all the time and have the skills and training to get it done right. Contact us today to make an appointment for an in-home inspection and evaluation.