Double Paned Window Problem

Old 03-06-07, 07:32 AM
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Double Paned Window Problem

Does anyone have a recommendation for the buildup between the window panes? Should I replace them? Any help is appreciated.
Old 03-06-07, 07:43 AM
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when you say "the buildup", are you referring to moisture or condensation between the panes of glass? If so, yes, you should have them replaced. Any glass shop can do that for you. Double pane glass must be custom made, so they will need to measure your glass size and thickness, make the IGU (insulating glass unit) then come back to install it.
Old 03-07-07, 04:24 AM
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There are some double glass windows that do not have replaceable glass, the sash must be replaced.
Old 03-13-07, 10:09 PM
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Failed Unit

The two pieces of glass are sealed together. There is no magic formula or pixie dust in there that keeps things under control. Once the seal fails, water vapor from the outside air finds a nice warm place to hang out and take on water form. You may ask, 'Why can it not be a permament seal?' I can't answer that. Based on the amount of replacements that are performed and the millions spent, I don't think anyone is in a hurry to solve that problem. It just has to perfectly bond glass to glass over the distance of up to 1" (sometimes more); once a person discovers the nature of glass they realize that's a pretty tall order.

You cannot clean it, you cannot separate the two pieces and reuse them, nothing. In order to get rid if it, you have to replace it. Period. The majority should not attempt to measure and/or change the window themselves. There are many factors, such as thickness (most common mistake), distance set in frame, and installation tricks, to name a few. I spent three years in the Pacific Northwest fixing windows, move to the Midwest and they're different. There really are no common denominators in window design. There are wood, aluminum, steel, and vinyl, built and designed over very long, dark decades. Basically, unless you're a super-crafty handyman, call a glass company to do it for you. Remember, broken glass can lacerate you.

If you'd like, ask the installer what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Some guys know and some guys BS you and some guys don't know. FYI, there are weep holes in nearly all insulated window frames. Wood framed, inoperable windows (picture windows, for example) are simply built into the framing of the house and don't have drainage and rely on a sloped sill to hopefully evacuate the water away from the seal. Aluminum and vinyl windows are actually designed to take on some water and let it drain out the bottom. Depending on your climate and nearby foliage, your weep holes, as they are called, may become clogged. Some brands don't even have weep holes. A knowledgeable installer can drill them in the appropriate places so they will function properly, if applicable. Some brands are just extraordinarily poor designs. Some people spend thousands on glass replacement in crappy windows that are just going to fail again in a few years.

I had fogged windows in my house for years before I was in the glass business and really took no notice. Now I can't get enough of a spotless window.

I have been in the glass business for seven years. As I mentioned, I spent three years in window repair and replacement. I hated it. Most windows are so poorly designed that they are destined for failure the moment someone at a window factory gives a stamp of approval. I can't tell you how many times I yelled to the heavens in some retired woman's back yard, strung out on my back over overgrown juniper bushes beside a toppled ladder, "WHO DESIGNS THESE THINGS?!?!" Parts become brittle, screws rust and break off, screws are stripped out from a previous repair, juniper and rose bushes, adhesives that really adhere, glass is thin and cheap and breaks easy, some parts require a hammer to install (see 'breaks easy'), obsolete parts that are vital to the function of the window. I replaced a window at a Wendy's and the particular metal they had used for the frame was a well-known window company. The part that held the frame together was a crappy piece of plastic that was designed to break when you removed the metal. They discontinued the part. So how the heck am I supposed to fix it properly? That's where the glazier's credo comes in. Can you drive a square peg into a round hole and run a nice bead of caulk around it? Now I install all-glass shower doors and custom mirrors and I haven't touched a window in three years.

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