Older homes and apartments all have a single-pane glass window, but modern buildings and homes have double- or triple-paned windows that have sealed glazing or insulated glass units called thermopanes.
Over time, owing to heat, cold, or temperature variations, the seals on triple or double glass windows will wear out and fail. As this happens, the clarity of your window decreases.
Hot days can cause the inert gases in your windowpane to expand and escape, which is then replaced by air sucked back inside the pane once the weather has cooled down. This expansion and contraction over time can lead to your window seals failing, which causes foggy or misty windows.
At this point, most homeowners consider changing their windows rather than opting for window seal replacement. Window seal damage can be caused by various conditions, from the way it is transported to how it is installed and even the manufacturing process. Even the most expensive and best-quality window seals can break in harsh conditions.
How to tell if your window seal is broken
Visual Inspection: Check the window glass first for indications of a damaged seal. Verify the glass panes for any condensation, fogging, or moisture accumulation. This suggests a damaged seal.
Exterior Inspection: Step outdoor and look through the window. Check the window frame and the surrounding components for any cracks, openings, or damage. A broken seal may occasionally be brought on by outside forces.
Check for leakage: Close the window and look for any air leaks or visible drafts around the window. This could be yet another indicator of a broken seal.
So, what do you do now?
Remove the Window Trim or Stop
In some cases, you might need to remove the window trim or stop to gain access to the window seal. Use a putty knife to carefully pry off the trim or stop, being cautious not to damage it. Set it aside safely for reinstallation later.
Remove the Damaged Seal
Locate the edge of the window seal where it meets the glass. Using a razor blade or utility knife, gently cut through the old sealant while being careful not to scratch the glass. Slowly peel away the damaged seal, ensuring not to leave any residue on the glass or frame.
Clean the Area
Thoroughly clean the window surface and the frame using isopropyl alcohol or a glass cleaner. This will remove any remaining sealant, dirt, or debris, ensuring a clean and smooth surface for the new seal.
Apply New Sealant
Load a tube of silicone caulk into a caulk gun and cut the tip at a 45-degree angle. Start at one corner of the window and apply a consistent bead of caulk along the edge where the glass meets the frame. Take care to create a continuous, even line without gaps or excess caulk.
Smooth the Sealant
Using a putty knife or a finger dipped in soapy water, carefully smooth out the caulk to create a clean and uniform seal. Wipe away any excess caulk using a damp cloth or sponge.
Let the Sealant Cure
Allow the newly applied sealant to cure as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically takes 24 to 48 hours. Avoid touching or disturbing the seal during this time to ensure proper adhesion and durability.
If your window seal has failed, you may not always need a window seal replacement. Companies like Window Medics have started a special patented process that can repair your glass-pane windows and renew them to their original condition, as well as extend their lifespan for another 20 years. This can save you a lot of time, hassle, and money.
If you have a foggy window, you can call a professional to help you repair the window glass, or even if the company you purchased it from has a warranty, Remember, a lifetime warranty doesn’t mean service for a lifetime; it means the expected lifetime of the window, which could be from a couple of months to 15 years or more. Window glass repair is your best bet, as you won’t need to shell out a lot of money to get your window replaced, and by repairing it, it will still look as good as new.