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September 28, 2018

How to Deal with Seal Failures

A failed seal around your double glazing can cancel out all the benefits it offers over single glazing. Seals can fail around any variety of window, but double-glazed windows require particular fixes. As they are much more energy efficient and better at insulating your home, they’re much more important to fix properly than the standard fare.
In this blog, we’ll go over how to identify a failed seal on your windows, and what your options are to fix it.

How to Identify a Failed Seal

When the seals on your double glazed windows start to fail – cracking, crumbling or splitting at the edges - the pressure keeping the panes of glass together deteriorates. This causes a number of problems with the insulation, as the gas between the panes can escape, and ambient air can enter. If this is happening, there are a few tell-tale signs:

  • Condensation or fog builds up that you cannot wipe off, from the inside or outside of the window.
  • Condensation or fog builds up faster or more frequently than your other double-glazed windows.
  • Minerals build up between the panes of glass, making them seem unclean, even after washing and drying them.

It’s possible none of these will occur with a failed seal, but condensation between the panes is usually the most common signifier. This is more likely to occur when there is a drastic shift in the weather, or the temperature suddenly drops, either inside or outside your home.

Can You Avoid Failed Seals in the First Place?

You can help to stave off failing seals by following a few straightforward tips:

  • Have your windows set up by a professional glazier. The most common causes of failing seals stem back to poor installation. Make sure your windows are installed correctly to begin with, and you’ll be able to avoid most issues!
  • Caulking holes or cracks you find in the exterior seals. This can be a great way to mitigate weather damage to your seals, but it’s best to consult a professional before doing this too.
  • Avoid using water blasters or heat guns on your windows. When you clean them, make sure you just use your hands and a cloth, as cleaning equipment that is too aggressive is liable to damage the seals.

How to Deal with Failed Double-Glazing Seals

If you have the windows under warranty, getting them repaired that way is your best option. Barring that, you can try to deal with it yourself, such as defogging. This is a practice that typically involves drilling as small a hole as possible into the gap between the panes of glass, to allow the fog or condensation to escape. You can also use packets of desiccant to absorb the moisture. As you may note, this isn’t a true repair – it will only make the glass look better. You glass will be clean and clear, but it’s likely the insulating gas will escape, making this a temporary fix at best.
There are some services or guides that recommend doing this, and then sealing the hole afterwards, but this will not permanently solve the condensation issue, and will certainly reduce the effectiveness of the double-glazing.
Your next option is getting the glass replaced. This may not involve completely new panes of glass, but may require rebuilding the frame to accommodate the repairs, depending on the specifics of the job.
If you’re concerned about your window seals, the very best thing you can do is contact the experts. Talk to Atlas Glass today, and our friendly team can point you in the right direction. With more than 40 years of experience, and cutting-edge knowledge on modern glass techniques, Atlas Glass can solve your double-glazing problems today!

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