While most windows are installed without incident, there is still a good chance that at some point, you’ll be faced with a window whose seal no longer works or needs to be repaired.When a window seal is broken, the effectiveness of that window drops.
In fact, studies by the Sealed Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association show that high-quality units manufactured by their members, and properly installed, have a 1 percent failure rate after 10 years and a 3 percent rate after 15 years.
Here are some ways to tell when your window seal is broken.
How can you tell if your window seal has failed?
#1 – Your windows fog up/ are cloudy.
The most common ways to detect broken or damaged window seals is when you notice fog or condensation building between the glass panes.
Why this happens:
Windows are built to withstand a lot. They have to be able to expand and contract according to the weather and temperatures (both inside and outside of your home). They also have to be able to withstand other things, such as UV rays from the sun, rain, hail, objects flying into the glass, etc.
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors,
Although double-paned windows appear to be stable, they actually experience a daily cycle of expansion and contraction caused by thermal pumping. Sunlight heats the airspace between the panes and causes the gas there to heat up and expand, pressurizing the space between the panes. At night, the window cools and the space between the panes contracts. This motion acts like the bellows of a forge and is called thermal pumping.
Over time, the constant pressure fluctuations caused by thermal pumping will stress the seal. Eventually, the seal will develop small fractures that will slowly grow in size, allowing increasing amounts of infiltration and exfiltration of air from the space between the panes.
#2 – You notice a draft.
If you notice a draft coming from your window, this is more than likely due to a broken seal. While it may not always be the case, a window with a noticeable draft may need to be replaced with one that is simply more energy efficient. If you do wind up replacing your window, look for one that is rated with a U-value. Unlike the R-value of insulation, the lower the U number, the better the insulation of the window.
Advantages of Quality Windows
A high-quality window, installed by a professional (like Glass Solutions) will offer your home or business more protection against noise and the weather, making it more affordable and enjoyable to live in your space.