You know the seals around your windows have failed if you see condensation forming between the double-glass panels. It is something you should never overlook as it can compromise the thermal comfort and energy efficiency of your home. While window seal deterioration occurs as a result of old age and exposure to extreme temperatures, you should also take other factors into account, including strong winds.
As one of the trusted window replacement contractors in the area, we have a firsthand understanding of wind as a contributing factor to window seal damage.
The Role of Window Seals
Windows with at least two glass panes have inert gas between them to enhance insulation and energy efficiency. Argon or krypton gas acts as an insulating barrier that prevents the sun’s heat from conducting between your window exterior and interior. The space between the panes are vacuum-sealed during manufacturing to keep the gas fill from escaping and ensure the windows remain effective at keeping the indoors comfortable. It is done in a controlled environment to avoid moisture or other contaminants from getting trapped inside the space between the panes.
How Do Window Seals Fail?
Regardless of the type of windows installed in your home, they’re subject to different weather conditions every day. It means that while the seals that keep the insulating gas in place remain intact, you can expect them to fail eventually. Changes in temperatures, for instance, can affect the elasticity of the seals that, at some point, they will become brittle and eventually break. That’s one of the reasons why custom-made double-hung or casement windows stand out over those that are made in assembly lines. They’re crafted by hand using high-quality seals and tend to last longer.
Once window seal failure occurs, the inert gas between the glass panes escapes, reducing your windows’ efficiency. At this point, the only course of action to take is to have them replaced immediately. With newer, more energy-efficient units, you won’t have to worry about failed window seals for several years. Make sure the replacement windows you choose are made of the best quality materials and components and backed by extensive warranties for your peace of mind.
Can Strong Winds Damage Window Seals?
The short answer: not necessarily. That alone won’t cause damage to the seals. Newly installed windows have seals that have the elasticity to keep their shape despite the amount of shock and vibration brought about by strong winds. However, old and worn-out seals won’t last very long when exposed to the same conditions. Since they’re no longer as elastic as before, they’re more likely to crack and break. This is especially true if the following variables are present:
- Wind-driven debris: High winds during a severe storm can pick up debris, which can crash against your home’s exterior components, including your windows. If you have old, worn-out windows, wind-blown debris may leave their seals susceptible to failure. After the storm, make sure to inspect them thoroughly for signs of damage, particularly around the framing material and glass. A crack could be located in a spot concealed by the frames.
- Moisture accumulation: Strong winds during a rainstorm carry moisture, which can seep through the glass panes, causing fogginess. It is usually an indication of seal failure in old and worn-out windows, and while you have the option to have them resealed and repaired, you’re better off investing in new windows instead.
How to Check for Failed Window Seals
Foggy windows aren’t the only signs that indicate their seals have failed. They’re not always easy to spot unless you take a closer look, and even then you might overlook some of the telltale signs. This is why it helps to work with replacement window experts as they can identify and determine whether your windows’ seals have failed. Meanwhile, here are a few tricks to check for failed window seals:
- Clean your windows. Detecting seal failure is relatively easy, but you have to first clean your windows thoroughly inside and out. This is to eliminate the possibility that you’re just looking at grime and moisture that made your windows look foggy.
- Look for sporadic condensation. Sometimes, failed window seals won’t show moisture between the glass panes, but that can also mean the fogginess can come and go almost quickly depending on the weather and humidity levels. You’ll only know if your window seals have failed if condensation suddenly appears in-between the panes when there’s a big difference in indoor and outdoor temperatures.
- Check for distorted glass panes. As the inert gas leaks out of a window’s insulated glass, you may notice the panes are slightly bent in the center, causing them to look distorted. In some cases, the glass may break or fracture. To determine if this is the case, stand at a distance outside and check your reflection. Do you see the glass looking out of place? The glass of the other windows beside it may not look as such, which is a sign that the seals of that particular window have already failed.
Invest in New Windows
When the time comes your existing windows have failed seals, have them replaced by the experts at Renewal by Andersen® of Nashville. Our replacement windows are made of the exclusive Fibrex® frame and sash material. Apart from its strength and durability, it combines the insulating value of wood with the low-maintenance qualities of vinyl.
We also offer energy-efficient glass options to equip your new windows with. Our High-Performance™ Low-E4® glass is 56% more energy-efficient in summer and 47% more energy-efficient in winter compared to standard dual-pane glass. With this, your new windows can help enhance thermal comfort in your home while reducing energy bills.
Expect our team of certified installers to augment the combined qualities of the Fibrex frames and glass on your replacement windows during the installation process. Any small gaps between your new windows and the house frame will be filled with a special insulation foam to eliminate drafts. This way, you can rest easy knowing your new purchase will be airtight, weatherproof and energy-efficient.
Count on us to install replacement doors as well. To learn more about our product offerings, give us a call at (615) 238-9463, or fill out our convenient online form. We serve homeowners in and around Clarksville, TN.