Ever try to clean fog off one of your windows, only to discover that the moisture wasn’t on the surface of the glass, but rather in between the panes? Fogged windows are a common problem, and thankfully, they’re not something to necessarily panic about. It’s not a structural problem, and it typically won’t impact your energy bill. It can, however, be an annoyance that can affect the enjoyment of your home. If you’re currently dealing with this issue, you’ve got options. Let’s take a look.
What causes foggy windows?
The windows installed in most homes today were feature double or triple panes. Each of these panes offers an added layer of insulation from the outdoor elements. Sealed in between each of these layers is a clear, odorless and non-toxic gas. Double and triple pane windows are awesome for keeping the A/C inside during the summer and keeping cold air out in the winter. As beneficial as this may be, however, the seal on these windows isn’t always perfect and it doesn’t always last.
There are many factors that can cause a window’s seal to fail. Drastic fluctuations in temperature, heavy winds and torrential rains, for instance, can all have an impact on the life of a window’s seal. It’s obviously impossible to protect your window from exposure to these elements. After all, it’s the window’s job to keep these things away from the interior of your home. As such, it’s inevitable that over time, window seals may eventually break down.
When one or more of the seals on an insulated window gives out, moist air can find its way in between the panes where it will ultimately condense, causing the glass to fog up or appear hazy. As time goes by, you may even begin to notice the presence of mineral deposits forming on the glass, giving it a dirty appearance. This can be frustrating, because since the deposits are in between the panes, they can’t easily be cleaned.
How to Address Fogged Window Glass
As mentioned, there are several options for dealing with fogged glass. The first is to replace the entire window. This is the most effective fix because it eliminates the problem entirely. It is, of course, also the most expensive option. The cost of replacement windows will vary, depending on the brand, material and style of window you choose.
The second option you have is to replace the sash. If your windows feature removable sashes, it may be possible for you to leave the existing framework in place and only replace a section of the window itself. For instance, if your windows are double-hung, both the frame and the sash can be moved up or down and the sash itself can be taken out and replaced. This option is generally more cost-effective than total window replacement. (If you’re unsure of whether you have removable sashes, get an expert opinion.)
The third option is to replace just the glass units of the window(s). This process involves careful removal of the existing panes, thorough cleaning of the frame and the placement of new glass into the opening. This option is typically the most budget-friendly solution to glass seal failures, particularly because it does not require any additional painting or staining.
Keep in mind that if you are having just one or two windows repaired, some glass companies may charge a higher per-window fee than if you were replacing all the windows in your home. If you have several windows that need repair, it may actually be more cost-effective to invest in a total replacement window project. Not only will this prevent you from having to call in an expert each time another window seal breaks down, but it could also potentially boost the value of your home.
The last option is to do nothing at all. The obvious drawback to this, of course, is the impaired views and dingy look of fogged glass. If the problem isn’t widespread and you’re comfortable living with one or two foggy windows, leaving them as-is won’t cause much fallout. If the problem is too frustrating to ignore, however, then it’s probably time to enlist the help of an expert. Give us a call today at (972) 420-4444 or click here to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.