How to Spot Signs of Seal Failure

Old windows used to have just one pane of glass protecting the inside from the outside. And that isn’t ancient history. Some homes still have single pane windows. But for the most part modern windows and replacement windows in San Marcos, CA have double or triple panes of glass. These provide better insulation and protection from the elements. Find out more about insulated glazing units (IGUs) and how to identify seal failure.

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What is the Construction of IGUs?

Glass is a horrible insulator by itself. Which is why there is more to IGUs than just the extra panes of glass. What actually makes these units so efficient is the space between the glass. Insulated glass has two or three panes set apart with spacers and sealed as a single unit. The space between the glass may be a partial vacuum, or manufacturers fill it with a noble gas. The most common options include argon, krypton, and xenon. Though you can’t see them, these gasses have more density than air and help reduce heat transfer.

How to Spot Seal Failure

If you have screens or really dirty windows it will be difficult to spot seal failure. So the first step is to clean your windows really well, both inside and out. This will give you a chance to inspect your windows up close and assure you that what you are seeing isn’t external moisture and dirt.

Then the easiest way to spot seal failure is if there is moisture or a white powdery substance caught between the panes. The only way those things got there is through a broken seal. Condensation might come and go with temperature fluctuations, but that doesn’t mean it is a problem you can ignore. That said, seal failure doesn’t always produce moisture between the panes.

If you don’t see any dirt or fogging, you should examine your windows from outside at a distance. With seal failure the glass tends to bow towards the center and will create a distorted reflection compared to windows without seal failure. This is because of the pressure differential between the inert gas and the outside air. The distortion can be nearly impossible to spot in the early stages. But if the leak progresses, the distortion will be more apparent or the pressure of the leak can sometimes break the glass.

What to Do About Seal Failure

Seal failure means your window no longer insulates as it should. A lot of homeowners simply ignore a failed seal and put up with the fogging and loss in efficiency. A window professional may be able to drill a hole in the assembly and place a valve. This will get rid of fogginess and doesn’t restore the insulating value. If you want a full repair you will need to get a replacement sash or replacement windows in San Marcos, CA. For more information contact Pelican Replacement Windows. Our experts offer the highest level of customer service. You can call (760) 598-6422 to schedule your appointment or visit us at 2210 La Mirada Dr., Vista, CA 92081.

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