Seal failure on old windows usually means it is time for replacement windows in Woodinville, WA. But while homeowners may have heard of seal failure, they may not understand what it means or what to look for. At Signature Window & Door Replacement we want to remedy that. Here is a brief explanation about insulated glazing units, how to spot seal failure, and what homeowners may need to do about it:
What are IGUs?
Windows contribute to the energy efficiency of the home. But glass is not a great insulator. So how does it work? Modern windows actually have insulated glazing units (IGUs). These are the assembly of two or more panes of glass arranged with a spacer. Manufacturers pump an inert gas between the panes and seal it as a single unit. When these elements combine they help block heat transfer so the inside of the home remains comfortable and efficient. But glazing technology is not perfect. In older windows, seal failure is a common problem, and if not corrected homeowners could literally be sending money right out the window.
What Causes Seal Failure?
If seals fail in the first couple of years, faulty manufacturing or installation is the likely cause. It could also be because products were transported over changes in elevation. Another reason seals may fail early is because they are not well suited to the climate, especially in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations. That said, the most common reason why IGUs fail is because of the presser differential between the normal air outside and the inert gas inside the unit. This causes the noble gas to slowly leak out, about 1% per year. And no matter how well the seals are mead, eventually enough of the noble gas leaks out to make windows inefficient.
How to Check Windows for Seal Failure
Start by cleaning the window and performing a thorough examination. Inspect for cracks in the glass or along the seams on the window. If nothing looks broken try looking for condensation or a white powdery substance caught between the panes. Fogging could come and go with changes in temperature. But if there is moisture on the inside a broken seal is the only way it got there. If there are no clear signs of condensation stuck inside the IGU step back and examine the reflection. It could be that there is still a leaky seal, but the pressure inside has not yet equalized with the normal air. In these cases, it can be difficult to spot but the glass will start to concave towards the center and it will distort the reflection a little bit.
If you think your old windows have seal failure, it could be time for replacement windows in Woodinville, WA. It doesn’t hurt to talk with the experts at Signature Window & Door Replacement. You will get the best service possible without high-pressure sales tactics. Consider contacting us at (253) 887-7792 to set up a consultation. Or stop by our showroom located at 22613 68th Ave. S. Kent, WA 98032.