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double pane window seals

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[#1] Posted: 08/10/2007 - 6:49:32 PM
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When the seal goes bad in the double pane windows you can get condensation between the panes. Is there a suitable repair method for an otherwise good window or is the recommendation to replace it?

John Dirks Jr - Arundel Home Inspection LLC - MD license: 29827
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double pane window seals
[#2] Posted: 08/10/2007 - 6:52:17 PM
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Needs new glass. Sometimes it's cheap & easy, sometimes not.

Kurt in Chicago

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double pane window seals
[#3] Posted: 08/10/2007 - 11:03:26 PM
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Does anyone else use the ice cube trick to check for a broken seal in a window that is questionable? (push cube against the window and hold for 15 seconds or so- dry the exterior of the glass and if there is a ice cube/ moisture mark between the glass it has a broken seal).
Does anyone else have other methods?

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double pane window seals
[#4] Posted: 08/10/2007 - 11:21:08 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

Does anyone else use the ice cube trick to check for a broken seal in a window that is questionable? (push cube against the window and hold for 15 seconds or so- dry the exterior of the glass and if there is a ice cube/ moisture mark between the glass it has a broken seal).
Does anyone else have other methods?


I used to tell customers and realtors to grab an ice cube out of the fridge and go test windows. That way, I didn't get the silly question, "Which windows are fogged?"

The answer to that was always, "They're the ones that look fogged." Kinda like the answer to, "Which windows are stuck shut?" was, "The ones that when you push on 'em, they stay where they are."

Lucky for me, I can be a likeable smartass. Sometimes...

WJ

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double pane window seals
[#5] Posted: 08/11/2007 - 07:12:31 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by AHI

When the seal goes bad in the double pane windows you can get condensation between the panes. Is there a suitable repair method for an otherwise good window or is the recommendation to replace it?


I have seen windows that have been repaired. The process involves drilling a hole in the frame and installing a value or something that controls the air entering the window. I don't really know how it works, but the windows I have seen that have had this process no longer have the moisture in them. It does not work or do anything for windows that are already etched or have a milky apperance. It is about a third of the replacement cost.

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double pane window seals
[#6] Posted: 08/11/2007 - 11:33:22 AM
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I’ve seen the adds for the valves, but have thought that this would reduce the energy efficiency of the windows since they are no longer argon filled and the leaking seal, to some extent, makes the double pane into a single pane. Adding the valve may help remove trapped moisture, but does not restore the original efficiency. Just my thoughts.

By the way I read the post this AM before going to my inspection, and used the ice cube trick on a questionable window, it worked,

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double pane window seals
[#7] Posted: 08/11/2007 - 12:05:35 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by AHIS

I’ve seen the adds for the valves, but have thought that this would reduce the energy efficiency of the windows since they are no longer argon filled and the leaking seal, to some extent, makes the double pane and single pane. Adding the valve may help remove trapped moisture, but does not restore the original efficiency. Just my thoughts.

By the way I read the post this AM before going to my inspection, and used the ice cube trick on a questionable window, it worked,



I've debated just how much of a difference an inert gas like Argon or Nitrogen has on an insulated window. I'm sure it makes a little difference, but my logic says that 1/4" or 1/2" airspace is the big factor regardless of what it has in it. I really think it has more to do with the coatings or tints on the glass.

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[#8] Posted: 08/11/2007 - 12:09:50 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by AHIS

I’ve seen the adds for the valves, but have thought that this would reduce the energy efficiency of the windows since they are no longer argon filled and the leaking seal, to some extent, makes the double pane and single pane. Adding the valve may help remove trapped moisture, but does not restore the original efficiency. Just my thoughts.

By the way I read the post this AM before going to my inspection, and used the ice cube trick on a questionable window, it worked,

The actual percentage of gas-filled cells, is - at least from my observations here in the northwest - minute, compared to the number of cells that have nothing but ordinary air between them. If you aren't seeing a fill button in the corners of windows, they aren't gas filled and you should be careful that you don't lead people into thinking that they are.

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[#9] Posted: 08/11/2007 - 12:57:22 PM
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Fill button - I'll start looking, Thanks.
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double pane window seals
[#10] Posted: 08/11/2007 - 8:50:59 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by AHI

When the seal goes bad in the double pane windows you can get condensation between the panes. Is there a suitable repair method for an otherwise good window or is the recommendation to replace it?


These people claim to be able to fix fogged insulated glass panels:
http://www.ccwwi.com/Default.html

The local dealer came to one of our chapter meetings a while back and showed a video describing the process. It looked plausible. But since I've never actually seen it done, I don't have enough confidence in it to recommend it to my customers.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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double pane window seals
[#11] Posted: 08/11/2007 - 9:17:56 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Brandon Whitmore

Does anyone else use the ice cube trick to check for a broken seal in a window that is questionable? (push cube against the window and hold for 15 seconds or so- dry the exterior of the glass and if there is a ice cube/ moisture mark between the glass it has a broken seal).

Been doing it for years.

Quote: Does anyone else have other methods?

Take a can of compressed air, turn it upside down and spray the liquid onto the glass. It'll bring the glass surface temperature down to about minus 50 degrees. Let the frost evaporate and wipe it clean.

The problem with both of these methods is that you'll find dozens of failed seals that haven't manifested actual fogging yet. This inevitably leads to arguments and takes up time.

In general, I look for fogging and signs of fogging first. If I see something I'm not sure of, I test.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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double pane window seals
[#12] Posted: 08/11/2007 - 11:26:08 PM
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Signs of lost seals in the thermal pane windows may appear and disappear as temperature and humidity changes. Some windows with lost seals may not have been evident at the time of this inspection. Windows only checked for obvious fogging. If some lost seals were noted or of a particular concern, I recommend all windows be inspected by a window glass replacement company for further lost seals.
Just what I do and say in the report. I have seen too many that show up the day after I checked!

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[#13] Posted: 08/12/2007 - 08:26:14 AM
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Hi Jim,

Now, try an exercise. How about writing that all in active conversational voice as if you were talking to someone in front of you.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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double pane window seals
[#14] Posted: 08/19/2007 - 07:51:27 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by kurt


Needs new glass. Sometimes it's cheap & easy, sometimes not.
I saw something on TV this morning on one of the home fix it shows. If you go to the website getthefogout.com you will find there is a method to fix foggy windows. They drill two holes in the pane and spray a chemical to clean the lime build up (through a small hole at the top of the window) then it is rinsed out through a suction tube (thorough a hole in the bottom of the window). I can't find one in my area, but there are several authorized dealers throughout the U.S. Good luck.

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double pane window seals
[#15] Posted: 09/10/2007 - 10:53:13 AM
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I've been told, by some clients, that getting windows replaced ... due to broken seals ... have cost only about $40.00.

Obviously depends upon size of panel, but is common in the DFW area.

The window folks just replace the 'sealed panel' section that is set within the frame.

Now ... if you have a bunch of windows that have seal failures ... that $40 can add up.


Cheers,

Nolan E. Kienitz
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double pane window seals
[#16] Posted: 09/10/2007 - 10:57:33 AM
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Wow! That's about 20% of what it will cost around here. At least, that's what a window dealer client once told me.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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double pane window seals
[#17] Posted: 09/10/2007 - 11:24:17 AM
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Quote: Wow! That's about 20% of what it will cost around here. At least, that's what a window dealer client once told me.


It depends on whether the sash needs to be replaced. Any glass shop can make replacement lite assemblies.

I've been making my own. It's not rocket science. Desiccant strip, urethane and glass. Cut to fit and assemble. Make sure you don't leave finger prints on the inside of the glass.

An arched window that Hurd wanted 600 bucks for was made for 45 dollars counting an extra piece of glass donated to the learning curve.

Chad Fabry
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[#18] Posted: 09/10/2007 - 11:43:57 AM
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The cost of repair depends on alot of things - size of glazing, type, thickness, what kind of sash, etc.

Around here a 2' x 3' glaze, 7/8" thick, clear, no gas, vinyl sash costs about $100 if you bring it in and $170 if they come out to fix it.

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double pane window seals
[#19] Posted: 09/18/2007 - 1:03:21 PM
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There is a company called Fog Busters that is supposed to be able to fix double pane windows that have lost their vapor seal, yet I don't know if it really works. I've received their literature in the mail. Anyone had any experience with them?
Matthew Steger
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