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White residue build up between double pane glass

White residue build up between double pane glass


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Old 11-05-09, 03:05 PM
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Question White residue build up between double pane glass

I have a steel exterior door with double pane glass. The glass was never sealed properly at the factory. This has caused condensation between the 2 panes during cold, damp weather. Over the course of about 3 years a white residue has formed, mainly on the inside pane. It looks like some sort of calcium or lime deposit and it's gotten so bad now you can barely see through it. I took the glass out and tried to clean it, but nothing I've used so far has done much good. I've tried Windex, Lime Away, Vinegar, and even Comet. It would probably be easier to just go buy a new piece of glass, but I'm curious now. Does anyone has an idea what this white stuff is and what might take it off? Of course, the door manufacturer is out of business.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 03:10 PM
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Its a mineral deposit..not much you can do if it on the inside of the panes. Did you actually split the panes?

Most glass was produced by only 2 companies. You should be able to just buy a replacement for less than $75 for a 1/2 glass. Pics always help...

http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...your-post.html
 
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Old 11-06-09, 01:47 PM
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This photo was taken with my phone, which is not very hi res, but I think you can see the white blotches on the glass.

Maybe I used the wrong terminology. This is not the low E glass with gas in the middle. This is 2 separate panes, with a spacer frame in between, that are sealed with what appears to be butyl rubber gaskets. I was able to remove the inside pane by heating it and gently prying on it with a screwdriver. Somehow I got it out without breaking it. It probably helped that it didn't seal properly at the bottom.

Its a mineral deposit..
This makes me wonder if mineral spirits might work? I think I also have some acetone in the basement, but I hate working with that stuff. I also have a headlight lens restoration kit which is basically a sanding/polishing system that works with an electric drill. Do you think any of these will work? If not, do you have any other suggestions?

Like I said, it might be easier to just buy another piece of glass. It's just a single rectangular pane of regular glass, so I'm pretty sure it would cost a lot less than $75. The outer pane also has a little bit of reside on it, but I can probably live with that. I would prefer to restore and re-use the existing glass if possible.
 
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Old 11-06-09, 02:17 PM
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The perspective makes it a little hard to get an idea of size, how big is it? And I did understand how it was constructed.

Mineral spirits don't disolve minerals..not really sure how it got that name...lol.

If you really want to continue..I'd probably try mechanical removal. Did you try a razor scraper yet? Any polishing system (unless its very complete and expensive) will just blur the glass. Can you actually feel the residue with your fingers?

The problem is..unless you get a sealed unit (which is normally injected with dry air or some gas if specified in the order) it will just cause condensation and evaporation within the IGU (insulated glass unit). Then you will just be in the same situation in a year or two. A custom order would probably run $150 or more...the standard sizes from the maker are much less due to quantity sales.

I'm amazed you were able to get it apart..those things can be real tough! Check the corners..see if there are any makings as to tempered or laminated glass...maybe you can make a nice custom coffee table out of them?

BTW what did you use to clean off the caulk?
 
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Old 11-06-09, 04:28 PM
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It's 36x22.

Yes, you can feel that it's not smooth where the white stuff is. I haven't tried a scraper yet. I did scrape on it a little bit with my pocket knife and it didn't seem to do much good. I do have a scraper so I'll give it a try tonight. Although I don't see much point in putting a whole lot of effort into it if I'll have do do it again in a couple years.

There's a glass repair place just down the road so I guess I'll stop in and talk to them about it. I didn't want to go there unless I was sure I couldn't fix it myself.

The glass has no markings on it so I don't think it's anything special. The caulk wasn't really that hard to get off. I just scraped it off with said pocket knife. It probably wasn't very good quality since it started leaking right away. No wonder they're out of business.

Thanks for your help Gunny. I can keep you posted on the outcome if you're interested.
 
 

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