Window Seal Failure

Do your windows look foggy or fogged?  Is there a collection of moisture or condensation between the panes?

There is an alternative to whole window replacement if you are dealing with window seal failure.  First off, here are some ways you can test your sealed windows whether they are double or triple paned insulated glass units (IGU’s).

window seal failureThe first thing to do is wash the window to be tested both inside and out.  Be sure to dry them, you want to be sure you have a true test.  This test is also a good habit to get into and perform each time you clean your windows as a part of spring cleaning or regular maintenance.

After washing and drying each window thoroughly, you can perform a simple visual inspection of each IGU.  Do you see moisture or condensation between the panes of the sealed unit?  It can manifest as a foggy patch or areas of water droplets.

This is a sign of the mixture of outer and inner air within the sealed window producing condensation that clings to the glass panes – the window seal has failed. The resulting temperature variation within the sealed chamber can lead to moisture condensation.  Although this test doesn’t provide information such as the extent of the failure, it is a reliable indicator that the basic function of insulation has been compromised to at least some degree.

If you have Low-E window coatings, an infrared light reflective substance coated directly on the glass as a protective barrier to harmful penetrating radiant energy, you have a little different manifestation of significant reduction of Low-e coating effectiveness.  The window takes on a rusting, moldy, mildewed, rainbow spotting, or hazy look.  These are sure signs the protective film has been compromised.

You can readily detect a window seal failure on large windows if the window glass appears distorted or bowed.  If you have windows with a larger area such as a large picture window, a failed seal can be indicated by the distortion of the glass when viewed through.  This happens when the seal failure acts as a sort of one-way valve, releasing the protective gasses installed by the manufacturer for insulation effectiveness.  The escape of the gasses, such as Krypton or Argon, leaves a vacuum within the interior of the two (or three) glass panes, but because of the exact nature of the seal perforation does not allow the voided chamber to be replaced with outside air. The result is reduced pressure between the glass panes which then pulls the glass inward resulting in the tell-tale peculiar visual deformation.

Fortunately, there is a cost effective alternative to full window replacement.  The Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) itself can be replaced saving the window frame intact, thereby avoiding the hassles inherent in replacing the whole window, such as paint matching, and the inconvenience of construction, etc.

With professional installation of new glass, the window seal failure problem is solved at far less cost and time.  Your windows will be returned to their energy and cost saving condition with new Insulated Glass Unit replacements.

Let the professionals at Goldfinch Brothers help!  Fill out the convenient online form here on this page or call us at 425-258-4662!


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