Everything You Need to Know About Insulated Glass Window Seal Failure
A huge step in the development of window seals, insulated glass windows make ordinary windows look new-fashioned. The design is engineered in a way that maximizes the benefits which insulated glass seal windows have to offer. The structure of this window includes 2 or more panes of glass, separated by a space in the middle. The main purpose of this kind of window is to limit the exchange of heat between the outside of the window and the inside.
However, the problem with having insulated glass windows is that maintaining them is a bit complicated. Since they are expensive, you need to be aware of the costs that come with its repairs and maintenance. So, taking proper care of insulated glass windows is important.
Nevertheless, these glass windows feature seals, which are always at the risk of failure or damage. Insulated glass window seal failure may make it hard for you to operate the window properly. And it can even risk the glass of the window to fall off and get damaged.
The question is what to do if the seal of an insulated glass window fails? The answer is in this article.
Read on to know everything about insulated glass window seal failure and how to repair it.
But, before moving further, let us learn why should you opt for insulated glass windows?
The benefits of an insulated glass window
For colder regions, insulated glass windows are great options. They keep you warm and toasty in the comfort of your home. The insulation of these windows provides a barrier for the cold air from outside to change the atmosphere inside your home.
An indirect benefit that insulated glass windows have to offer is the reduction in the cost of your electricity bill. By using these windows, you eliminate or at least reduce the need to use heaters for warm temperatures. Although the installation for this type of window costs a lot more than your typical windows, their long-term cost-effectiveness is a factor that attracts many people.
Apart from that, an insulated glass window also gives you the added benefit of noise reduction. Because there are 2-3 layers of glass for the insulation, the noise from the outside that makes it way inside is significantly reduced. The panes contain a vacuum between the layers rather than air. And the vacuum is a medium which does not support the travel of sound waves. Thus, the sound coming from outside is greatly reduced.
The insulated glass window, therefore, is an amazing innovation that helps in keeping your home comfortable. The only drawback that we can find for this wonderful product is that it comes costly. However, the advantages of insulated glass windows outweigh the disadvantages.
Now that you know why insulated glass windows are a good choice for your ensemble, let’s learn how to maintain these windows and reduce the risk of seal failure. Or otherwise, how to repair the seal.
Causes for insulated glass window seal failure
To understand the problem that you may face with your insulated glass window, you need to first learn about some of the causes that usually affect insulated glass window seals.
The various reasons for insulated glass seal failure include:
1. Installation faults
One of the most important aspects of having insulated glass window seals is the installation process. It is quite costly and time-consuming. Hence, if not done efficiently, it will probably cost you a lot later.
The material that you use for the sealant needs to be high-quality and should not taint easily. The sealant also requires a significant amount of time to cure, otherwise, you are bound to have issues with the window.
2. Manufacturer of shipping flaws
The insulated glass window is a fragile item that needs to be handled with care. If the shipper or the manufacturer punctures the seal of the window at any point of transportation, your windows have gone to waste.
3. Choosing the right material for the right place
The atmosphere and the climate play a huge role when it comes to insulated glass windows. The climate in some regions may harm wood, aluminum or other materials, which may be the reason for window seal failure. The moisture and the extreme weather condition needs to be considered when choosing the material for your window.
Now that we know some of the causes behind window seal failure, let’s learn how you can spot a window seal failure. It is important to spot the problem with your window at the right time to avoid the issue and solve the problem right away.
Tips to Spot window seal defects
- Once your window seals start to fail, there are a few things that you may notice. For starters, you may not be able to notice anything as the insulation works to prevent it. That, however, only happens if the break is minor. Slowly and gradually, you may start seeing fog getting accumulated between the panes. It happens when the weather goes to extremes such as in summer and winter. The panes may start accumulating moisture in between.
- The moisture may come and go with fluctuating temperatures. However, if you ignore the break on the window seal, you will permanently see fog between the window panes, which would take the charm of the glass window away. As the fog gets acquired between the windows, it will make way for dust, dirt and other minerals to settle in between the window, turning your beautiful window into a wreck.
- Another way through which you can recognize a window seal failure is by looking through the center and focusing on the glass. If there is a breakage in the seal, the inert gas that is present between the panes, in the vacuum, starts to release. When this happens, the windowpane may start bending and collapsing due to which the center of the frame looks distorted. The distortion, therefore, can tell you if your window is damaged.
Now comes the part where we teach you how to solve the problem of the window seal failure.
Fixing the insulated glass window seal failure problem
Once you see the signs of your window deteriorating, it is time to take some measures into effect. Even if you fail to recognize whether your window seal has been shattered, you can still identify that something is wrong.
With the broken window, elements of nature can easily make their way into your home. That includes dirt, dust, and grime. However, the one thing that you will feel different is the need to use the air conditioner. If damaged, the automatic heat control system that the insulated glass window provide may not work properly and the outside temperature would be influencing the atmosphere of your home.
Here are various ways to fix the insulated glass window seal failure.
Replace the Window
One way to fix the broken seal is by hiring a cleaning service. Through service, you can get the middle of the window cleaned out. Fog and dirt will be cleaned up in no time. But the seal would still be broken and you would see moisture creeping into the double window panes very soon.
The only efficient option, therefore, is to get the window replaced. Getting the seal fixed is a process that does not necessarily result in a long life of the window. It may go back to being invaded with fog, which means that all your cash for repair is going to waste. Therefore, find yourself a trustworthy vendor and get the windows changed completely.
Replace the IGU within the Frame
Another remedy for a broken seal window is to replace the IGU within the frame. The IGU stands for an insulated glazing unit and it is possible to avoid changing the entire window frame.
Rather, you can only get the IGU replaced with a new one. Glass replacement companies make IGUs that can be put up without having to do the whole process of removing the window frame and then putting it back up entirely.
The process is usually done by professionals but if you are looking to save up on some cash, look up tutorials online and perform the replacement yourself. The project may seem a bit complicated but if you enjoy using your tools, it can be a good exercise, which saves a lot of money as well.
Tips to prevent window seal failure
You should invest your money in windows that are sold with long warranties. Although getting the claim on the warranty can be a bit of a hassle, it can save extra cash that you may have to spend on getting the window fixed. It will also keep you assured of the average lifespan of the window so you do not have to constantly keep checking if there is a seal failure in the window.
2. Professional installation
We advise getting the installation of the windows done by the manufacturer itself. Most of the time, people purchase the insulated windows and get the seal damaged through shipping or careless handling.
If you get the manufacturer to install the window, the responsibility of taking care of the sensitive window seal would be on the manufacturer. If the seal breaks, you can call in the warranty and avoid spending a ton of money.
3. Clean with care
Avoid using pressure washers or any sort of cleaning procedure that puts undue pressure on the window. The frame and the seal are prone to damage and using pressure washers may end up loosening the screws between the panes. If the panes are not tightly shut together, moisture and dirt will creep into the space between the panes and turn the windows useless.
4. Avoid heat guns
One of the most common reasons why insulated windows get damage is because of the use of certain instruments that dismantle the window. For example, a heat gun that you use to scrape off paint from the window may end damaging the seal of the insulated glass window. It is advised to use scraping and sanding when removing paint from the windows.
5. Keep a regular check on the window
You should periodically keep checking the IGU for any signs of breakage. Prevention is always better than cure. And the sooner you find a separation within the window panes, the easier it will be to get it fixed.
Like we discussed above, Insulated glass windows are a thing of the future. We believe that soon, the typical window will be completely overtaken by the insulated window because of the great benefits it provides. Apart from being an artificial way to mediate the temperature, the noise reduction traits it offers are also very beneficial for people who live in noisy neighborhoods with children. For people who want to look for an alternative to air conditioners, the insulated glass window is the perfect option because it completely minimizes the need for heaters and chillers.
The one catch to these glass windows is, as we mentioned, the huge costs attached to it. The installation costs and the cost of the window itself are very high compared to normal windows. Hence, people think twice about getting these installed in their homes.
However, once you do a cost-benefit analysis, you will conclude that in the long run, the insulated glass window helps you save cash on electricity while at the same time allowing you e carefree. If you end up buying a glass window that has a warranty, you are even better off because you do not need to worry about the window seal breaking untimely. If the seal does break, you can claim the warranty and get a new windowpane fixed in place of the damaged one.
The tips we shared are simply to make it easier for you to understand the problems that you may face while using an insulated window. They are also helpful because sometimes you may have a problem in the window that you can fix yourself rather than calling a pricey professional who would probably charge a lot.