We get questions from homeowners all the time about insulated glass in windows, especially when it comes to passing or failing home inspections.
Whether you’re looking to sell your home, buy a new house, or simply want to learn more about insulated glass before making the investment in your replacement windows, you’ve come to the right place. Read our quick reference to learn about the basics of insulated glass, how to deal with a failed seal, and what to do if you fail a home inspection.
1. The Importance of Insulated Glass in Your Home
Insulated glass windows go a long way to making your home warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer. The space in between two (or sometimes more) panes of glass is filled with a noble or inert (meaning non-toxic) gas. The gas between these panes is denser than air, so heat moves less easily though this space.
The efficiency of a window is measured in its u-value, which is a measurement of acceptable heat loss or transmission through any specific building part. If an insulated window seal fails, the heat loss increases, and the overall efficiency of the window decreases.
2. What to Do if an Insulated Glass Seal Fails
An insulated glass seal will fail over time, as windows are subjected to extreme temperatures, humidity and other weather and environmental factors. You may not be able to tell that a seal has failed at first, as the glass panes will probably look the same in the beginning. Over time, moisture and other particles can form in between the panes of the window, and appear foggy or hazy.
Why does a window seal fail?
As barriers between the elements and the inside of your home, windows can fail due to any of the following factors:
Sealant material expanding and contracting over several seasons
Panes contracting or shrinking during the winter
Heat pumping, which means pressure is building between panes of glass on hot days
A fogged or hazy appearance that doesn’t disappear after cleaning both accessible panes of window is your first indicator that the seal has failed. In order to meet efficiency standards and ensure your home is comfortable in the warmer and colder months, you will need to determine whether you will need to repair or replace a window with a broken seal.
It can be frustrating to fail a property inspection. Save yourself the headache and take the time to thoroughly inspect your windows beforehand, and assess whether any of the seals have failed.
The easiest way to identify a failed seal is by the foggy appearance of the glass, despite trying to clean the interior and exterior pane faces. Once you identify an issue, you need to next determine whether the seal has completed failed, or if its leaking. The “seal” can refer to any part of the window installation that keeps the environment out.
How do I best prepare my windows for a home inspection?
Asses your windows for possible failed seals. If your windows are on the older side, consider a full replacement. Making the investment now will not only ensure that your windows pass inspection, but will keep your home better insulated in the winter or summer to come. If you’re in the process of selling your house,replacement windows are often well-worth the cost, due to the resale value they add to your home.
If you have other insulated glass questions, or need help assessing to repair or replace windows in your home, get in touch with a friendly and knowledgeable member of the Acme Glass team today.