Your Windows Are Talking, But Are You Listening?

Construction & Contractors Blog

People are often surprised when they start having problems with their windows. The reality is, though, that their windows had been hinting that something was wrong long before they finally broke down. Here are a few common symptoms windows display when they're going bad and what they may be trying to tell you.

Moisture Trapped Inside Double-Paned Glass

Double-paned glass increases your home's energy efficiency because the space between the two pieces of glass is typically filled with an insulating layer of argon or krypton gas. Nothing else should be between the two panels of glass, so a layer of condensation forming inside the area where the gas is should be an immediate red flag that something is wrong.

Interior condensation typically indicates the seals inside the panes have been damaged or have deteriorated, letting moist air inside. In some cases, a desiccant was placed inside the window panes to absorb moisture, and the desiccant has become saturated and is unable to continue doing its job. When the temperature inside and outside the home differ, the moist air trapped between the panes turns into condensation, creating the droplets of water you see inside the window.

Luckily, this issue is easily fixed by replacing the window pane and/or installing a new desiccant. Alternatively, you can have a technician install a one-way vent into the window that will prevent condensation from forming. It's best to price both options and select the one that best fits both your budget and your long-term goals.

The Glass Appears to Bowing Inward

Another sign of a serious problem with double-paned windows is if one or both panes appear to be bowing inward or even touching each other. This typically means there is a gas leak. As mentioned earlier, the space between double-paned windows is filled with gas, which provides insulation. The gas is heavier than normal air, so if some of it leaks out, the rest will settle at the bottom of the window, causing the upper portion to bow inward.

Besides the bowing, you can tell you have a gas leak if the window panes feel cold to the touch during winter, which means there isn't enough gas between the panes to provide adequate insulation. You may also notice scratches where the window panes touch and/or it may appear that there's a rainbow where the panes are bowing inward.

Unfortunately, the only way to fix this problem is to completely replace the window. Depending on how long ago you purchased it and whether the leak was caused by a manufacturer's defect, the replacement may be covered by a warranty. Contact the installation company or the manufacturer to determine if this option is available to you.

The Window is Difficult to Open and Close

If you struggle to open and/or close your windows, this probably isn't an indicator you need to go to the gym more often. Typically, difficult-to-open windows can be a sign of a couple of problems, depending on the type of windows you have. A hard-to-open slider window may indicate there is a problem with the track. On the other hand, the mechanisms inside a casement window may be either rusted or damaged and need to be oiled or replaced.

Regardless of the type of windows you have, there is always the possibility that the frame around the window has become warped due to the house settling or environmental damage, and it essentially physically blocking the window from opening efficiently.

It's a good idea to have a professional inspect your windows to determine the exact problem in this particular situation and make the necessary repairs if you're not comfortable doing so yourself.

For more information about what the symptoms your windows are displaying means, contact a window repair company to learn more about your residential window replacement options.


2 November 2017

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