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Suncoating / LowE coating failure

Wayne Gardner

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Just curious how much anyone is seeing this condition out there. I have the problem in one south facing window in my home and I found three south facing windows in yesterday's inspection with the same problem. All windows are Milgard.

Similar to a failed seal in that it occurs between the panes, but looks quite a bit different. A 'blotchy / shiny' patch becomes visible between the panes. I've noticed that when the light hits it at night, it is very noticeable. You'll also see in the photo that if present, fingerprints and anything else on the inside of the glass becomes visible.

Anyone else finding this out there? I've found it as a single complaint regarding Milgard when googling the subject.

Does anyone know if Milgard will replace the windows (probably for original owner only)? Any other manufacturers suffering the same problem?

Thanks for any information on the subject.

Wayne G

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That is in fact a seal failure. The blotchy patch you see is the result of moisture reacting with the metals in the soft coat low e coating. Early hard coat low e glass is made by evenly distributing a liquid solution of zinc tin oxide onto a semi molten piece of glass making a hard durable coating that is partly imbedded in the glass surface, and as such is unaffected by moisture. Soft coat low e is made by applying single molecule thick layers of silver oxide, titanium oxide, or indium oxide metalic solids in specific overlapping grid patterns to fully cured glass under vacuum. The resulting coating is fragile and dust, hair, and fingerprints will spoil large areas of it, and moisture corrodes the metals quite quickly.

Contact Milgard directly for their warranty, but most vinyl windows are covered for as long as the original purchaser owns the home they were installed in and many are transferable.


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