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Mold between glass in double pane window


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01-22-13, 08:30 PM   #1  
Mold between glass in double pane window

I just moved into an appartment in the tri-state area. I was cleaning the windows and frames when I noticed what looks like rust and white mold on the aluminum frame between the two panes of glass. This is inside the double pane sealed glass. I mentioned/showed this to the landlord and he replied that it is just a calcium build up and not a problem. There is currently no moisture between the panes but on some of the panes there are calcium stains but not on all the windows that have this growth on the aluminum frame.

What could this be and how to solve/clean it?

If the seal is broken could this cause/allow mold to grow between the panes?

 
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01-22-13, 08:58 PM   #2  
The seal has failed to some extent and there is no "fix"... they would need to be replaced. I think the landlord's point is that at this point the problem is purely cosmetic. If there are calcium stains on the glass, there has been more condensation in them in the past (usually summer) than there is at present. Air during the wintertime is comparatively dry. There isn't much you can do as a tenant to make him replace them so if you don't like it the best you can do is put up blinds or pull the shades.

 
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01-23-13, 03:35 AM   #3  
Thanks for the very fast reply!
They will replace a few of them and is there a way to see if it is mould or just calcium between the window on the frame? Once I know then I would feel better because I have children in the place.

 
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01-23-13, 04:22 AM   #4  
I doubt it is mold, as mold needs dark to really grow. It could be calcium deposits or even "white" rust from the frames themselves. Regardless, the growth would have been contained to within the panes and should not present a problem in the general atmosphere.

 
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01-23-13, 04:40 AM   #5  
I agree with Larry. If there "is" any mold present, there is probably no way it could get out of the IGU since it's sealed between the two panes of glass. "Seal failure" usually means that the nitrogen based dessicant inside the aluminum spacer material can no longer absorb and hold enough moisture to prevent the glass from fogging up 100% of the time. Only rarely does it mean the two panes of glass are no longer "sealed" together.

 
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01-23-13, 05:10 AM   #6  
This site is great!

Now that the sun is up I was able to take pictures. What do you think, White Rust?

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I need almost 100% belief since one of my sons has many illness beyond this and we will have the meeting with the landlord tomorrow.

What is a estimated cost of just the parts to replace a window glass of a double pane window?

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01-23-13, 05:53 AM   #7  
just an FYI. thats not mold.


but, that could be mold on the casing.

 
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01-23-13, 06:20 AM   #8  
Ok,casing has tone cleaned then should be ok?

What could the deposit be?

 
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01-23-13, 02:33 PM   #9  
Nope, not white rust. White rust is powdery, and, well....white. XSleeper will be along after supper, so hang in there. He works with windows more than I do.

 
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01-23-13, 04:35 PM   #10  
The only thing I can imagine is that maybe in the summer, that worst window on top with more of the discoloration than the other had enough liquid water in between the panes that it soaked the dessicant that is within the aluminum spacer and it produced some weird sort of "soup" that left the strange colored globs when it eventually evaporated.

I don't know what's outside the glass on the left side (top picture) but it looks like it's on the rubber marine glazing boot, which is kind of like a glove that goes around the edges of the IGU before the individual pieces that make up the sash frame are assembled around it. If this rusty stuff is also on the marine glazing boot then I'd say it's likely that the interior side IGU is no longer sealed to the aluminum spacer (butyl is supposed to seal it) and some of that water is probably leaking in/out.

Hard to say what prices are in your area. If there are several to do the price should go down some (on a per window basis). I would guess that including markup, the glass might be around $100 each. Labor maybe $75 each, depending on how many there are to do they might give you a price break.

Call a local "city glass" or commerical glass store and see if they can give you a ballpark figure. You will want to give them an estimate of the sizes you need (such as 28 x 28 x 3/4?) as well as what type of window it is (vinyl/aluminum/wood). That way they will have a better idea of what you need over the phone. If the window sashes are removable (like in a slider or a double hung) you might even be able to remove them, take them in and have them replaced.

Around here it takes maybe a week to get an IGU when we phone in the order, so don't expect this to be the sort of thing they will do "while you wait". You would need to temporarily board up the windows or cover them with a tarp or plastic or something if you go that route. Otherwise I'm sure it will cost more to have a service repairman come to the home, measure your needs, then a couple weeks later come back a 2nd time to install. Taking sashes to them is always best, provided you don't bust something taking them out.

 
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