What to Do About Failed Window Seals

What to Do About Failed Window Seals

December 12, 2019

Almost all modern windows feature sealed glazing to provide the window with better insulation compared to old, outdated single-pane windows. Over time, however, these seals can fail, which can result in heat being transferred into or out of the home and also cut down on the clarity of the window.

These seals feature an inert gas (often argon) located in between the panes of glass. That gas can leak out over time, and when a leak develops, moisture from outside can get inside the space between the panes. These leaks develop as a result of pressure differentials between the gas inside the seal and the air outside. Even if the window has been perfectly built and designed, you can still expect the gas to decline at a rate of about one percent per year.

There are a couple common ways of determining you have a failed window seal. If you clean the inside and outside of the glass but still are dealing with some fog, that means the issue is likely in between the panes and caused by a leak. If there’s distortion in the glass at all, this could also be indicative of a seal failure. Finally, fogging, hazing or moisture between the panes is often a sign of a failed window seal. This fogginess will likely be sporadic based on the weather conditions.

With this in mind, what steps can you take for reliable window seal repair in Alaska? Here are some strategies:

  • Accept it: Your first option is to simply do nothing. There are some circumstances in which a failed seal is more of an inconvenience than anything else. If the climate in your area is relatively moderate, it’s not as important for you to have a perfect seal as it is if you live in an area that sees extreme temperatures, especially in the wintertime. The cost of new windows might not be worth the higher-quality seal in such a case.
  • File a warranty claim: If your windows are still under warranty, you can file a warranty claim. Many window manufacturers offer coverage against failure for insulated windows in a prorated manner, so while they probably won’t fully compensate you for the window, you may at least get some reimbursement to help with the cost of replacement.
  • Work with a defogging service: You could call up a defogging company to have them come in and investigate the issue. They’ll usually drill a small hole in the glass, clear the condensation, then install a valve and reseal it. This may or may not actually resolve the issue, though, so it’s not usually a go-to option.
  • Replace the seal: This could be done as part of a warranty claim or simply on your own. The failed IGU seal unit inside the frame can be replaced, which can help you to repair the seal. The downside is that the cost for this may be close to what it would cost to replace the window.
  • Replace the window: If the windows are already old, then this is probably the best option, especially if the frames and hardware are also starting to wear out.

For more information about window seal repair in Alaska, contact the team at Replacement Glass today.

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