How to repair double pane windows

by Greg on March 14, 2019

double pane window

Double pane windows that are insulated are energy efficient but over some time the seal that is separating the two panes can break and this allows the outside air to get into the home. The moisture accumulated can fog up the glass which will make your windows appear cloudy. There are many ways of repairing this problem, by repairing or replacing the window altogether.

How can you repair moisture and condensation between double pane windows?

You may choose to find a window repair near you, or you may want to do this project on your own. In many conditions, it may be better to replace a single pane and restoring the seal that broke instead of replacing the window entirely. If it is humid wooden window frames are often susceptible to condensation as wood that gets too wet tends to rot. This eventually leads to the glass seal breaking. You may:

1. Replace the window – dry air between panes has been compromised in this situation and replacement may be the only solution. Get a professional to evaluate whether a single window or the whole unite must be replaced.

2. Professional cleaning – you can hire a professional to clean the window. They will then drill small holes at the top and bottom corners and spray a cleaning solution through the top. This solution is then sucked out through the bottom holes.
If the condensation problem is present in a sliding glass door or window with tempered glass, you have to replace because it is not possible to drill holes in the tempered glass without breaking the glass.

Tips to repair condensation between double pane windows

If there is condensation between the two panes of glass, then it is very likely that you are spending lots of money on energy costs. Below are a few tips on how you can eliminate moisture from between your window panes:

  • Try to clean the fog that has been built up between the windows
  • Check if you can replace a single glass pane instead of replacing an entire window unit
  • Install an air vent by drilling holes into the outer glass pane
  • Of the glass is broken or cracked, this is the reason for the condensation. You should repair it to prevent further damage
  • If your windows are old and you think replacing is your only option, get a professional opinion

Why do window seals break?

Insulated glass usually works very well, and it is able to withstand all types of increment weather as well as continuous opening and closing. With double seal, when one seal breaks, the other can hold the fort for a period on its own. But, as the window ages, the components break down. The average lifespan of double pane windows is a decade or two.
Old age may not be the only cause for the seal to break, it could also be due to:

  • Water retention in the frame of the window
  • Too much exposure to sunlight

Thermal windows

A thermal window comprises of two or three panes of glass which has a space between the panes. This is called an IGU which stands for insulated glass/glazing unit. The space between the glass panes is vacuumed and filled with a noble gas which slows the passage of heat entering the window unit. IGU windows are implanted in a sealing material and this may appear to be one seal, but it is two that are working together. The window seals are intended to last a long time however there are occasions when they fail. They can be damaged by painters who use incorrect heat guns to strip the paint or owners of the home who use pressure washers. If the IGU window is incorrectly installed, this can also lead to the seal failing.

Ensure that you call in the warranty if it is still valid. If there is no warranty on the protection of your windows, then you should fix the fog without actually restoring the sealed window spaces. You could also replace the IGU within the frame. You could choose to leave the window as it is especially if you live in a big house with many windows. One or two windows malfunctioning will not really make much difference.

What are some of the reasons to replace your windows?

1. When windows are energy efficient, they save you up to 22% on heating and cooling costs
2. Led paint is present in homes older than 1978
3. Window does not close or lock correctly
4. The style of your windows is outdated
5. Your windows don’t suit the structure of your home
6. Windows are leaking
7. Windows have cracks or chips
8. Condensation between window panes
9. Your windows are more than 15 years old

How can you prevent condensation in double pane windows?

You can prevent condensation by increasing the indoor air circulation. Every time you cook or take a shower you should turn on the kitchen or bathroom fan for at least 20 minutes. Ensure that they rotate in a clockwise direction to push the warm air downward. You must also be mindful of the humidity inside your home and if you notice that it is too high, invest in a dehumidifier.

Should you do it yourself or hire a professional?

DIY: you can do the replacement yourself if you want to save money however you should be advised that unless you have fitted the window unit correctly, the savings are in vain.

Hire a professional: Condensation must be replaced with dry gas which a professional will be able to do for you. If the window must be replaced, you are advised by many window companies to hire a professional to ensure installation is done properly.

Helpful tips

Always ensure that you buy windows with longer warranties, some companies may even offer lifetime warranties. Shop around.
It is important to have windows installed by the manufacturer as the full warranty may sometimes be offered only if the manufacturer installs them.
Regularly investigate windows to ensure they all work well and do not require replacing or repair.

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