The Fix for Foggy Windows
By Luke Ferinkoff of East Side Glass
You don’t need new windows…just new glass!
Do you have window’s in your home that are fogged up? Not only is this an eye sore, but it also reduces the insulating value of your windows. As we all know we need all the insulating value we can get in our great state of Minnesota! If your windows are 40 years old or newer, more than likely they are double pane insulated glass windows. If your windows are fogged up between the panes and you cannot wipe this fog away from either the interior or exterior surfaces of the glass, then your windows are suffering from seal failure. Seal Failure occurs when the seal between the two panes of glass goes bad and begins to let in moisture. Once this starts, it will only progress and will become worse over time. It will eventually get to the point where you will not be able to see out the window at all. In the winter months this moisture between the glass will freeze or frost up, causing heat loss from your home.
When seal failure happens to a window, it is a common misconception to think you need to buy a whole new window. The vast majority of windows are made to allow you to switch out the glass and it is usually much less expensive than replacing the whole window. Seal failed or fogged up double pane glass is a very common issue and can happen with any brand or style window. Here at East Side Glass Company, replacing broken or seal failed double pane glass units is one of the main services we provide residentially. We can do this onsite at your home, or in our shop if it is a window sash you can remove and bring to us. Keep in mind that insulated glass does have to be manufactured and so it can take some time. We do have a unique same day service however that no other glass shop in the area can offer. This is done by appointment only for windows that customers are able to bring into our shop only. Give us a call or visit our website for more information about our onsite and in-shop window repair services we offer.
Seal Failure VS Condensation
There is a major distinction to be made between seal failure on double paned insulated glass windows and condensation. Seal failure is when the moisture is between the panes of glass and can not be wiped away. Condensation is when there is moisture on your glass that can be wiped away. The most common spot you will see condensation on your windows is on the interior of your house and on the lower portion of glass. It is natural to blame your windows, but you shouldn’t. Condensation that forms on the interior surface of your windows is a sign of excess humidity in your home. It forms on the glass because the glass’s surface has the lowest temperature of all interior surfaces in your house. It is common for homeowners who replace their windows or even just the glass in their windows to suddenly start having condensation. This is because they now have windows or new glass that are airtight and will not allow excess humidity to escape, so instead it shows up as condensation on the glass surface because again that is the coolest surface on the interior of your home. When condensation occurs on your windows and doors it is a sign that you should reduce the humidity in your home before it causes problems like mildew and mold, damaged painted surface, rotting wood or moisture spots. See the chart on this page showing what the recommended winter humidity level should be in your home to avoid excess condensation depending what the temperature is outside. You can buy an inexpensive and simple humidistat at your local hardware store to measure the humidity level in your home.
How can I reduce the humidity in my home and what can be done to reduce the condensation on my windows?
Install an air exchanger and/or bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans
Limit the use of humidifiers
Keep blinds or shades open so air can circulate near the window glass
Run a fan pointing at your problem area to circulate the air
Control the source of moisture and increase ventilation
Dehumidifiers can be used if necessary