Repair Foggy Windows



Did You Know?

2 million tons of glass and window components are thrown into landfills every year.

2 million metric tons of greenhouse gases are produced making windows every year.

The average life expectancy of an insulated glass unit is only 12 years, yet the components will last much longer.

By 2008 foggy window repair companies had saved over 250,000 windows keeping approximately 3000 tons of glass out of landfills. Manufacturing and installing new windows and glass for these 250,000 windows would have produced 5000 metric tons of greenhouse gases

How we cure a Window

Our process re-engineers the window to reverse the accumulation of moisture. We drill small vents into the window, either directly through the glass or into the spacer bar of the window. Now as the window heats up and the air expands it starts to release the moisture out of the window. Imagine a partially full water bottle with it’s lid tight in the sun. The water will never dry out because the water has no where to go. However remove the lid, and put an attachment over the lid to make sure no rain, snow etc can get inside. It will dry out and stay dry. We are basically doing the same thing with a window. The key is (1) make sure the moisture has a place to go and (2) make sure water cannot get back into the window, either through the vent we drill or though the seal.

Another positive aspect of this process is that the vents or membranes act to pressure regulate the window. No longer will the heat put external pressure on the seals or will the extreme cold cause the window to be at a negative pressure and pull moisture into it.

The benefits of this process: No mess from tearing apart the window sash or frames to replace the window or thermal glass unit. Reduce green house gas emissions by reducing the manufacturing and transportation of glass and other window components, and waste glass to fill landfills. The cost is significantly less that replacing the glass or the window.

Why Windows Fail:

Thermal windows are manufactured to be a sealed unit. But it is difficult to maintain a perfect seal. Manufacturing, transportation and installation can destroy the seal. The atmospheric pressure changes exposure to weather and the radiation from the sun all act on that seal.

The majority of failed thermal glass units are found on the sunny side of the property because of the extreme heat exerted on the windows. In fact in recent testing the temperature reached 160 degrees.

When it is very cold the pressure inside a window drops. The window can even suck water into it. This especially happens in high humidity areas like bathrooms. On one bathroom window I worked on the window had filled up 2 inches of water. When I drilled into the spacer bar the window continued to pull air into the window until the pressure had equalized to the outside air pressure.

Eventually because of this all windows will fail. The average lifetime of a window is 12 years.

[The Readers Digest magazine The Family Handyman talks about this cycle that causes windows to fail]

FAQ'S

Q. Can you clean the inside surface of windows with water spots inside?

A.
If the window has a light haze, or small deposits that look like salt crystals I can often clean them out.  If the spotting gets much worse with river bedding streaks or  white water spots, I usually will not be able to clean them out.


Q: How long does it take (after the service is completed) for the windows to be clear? i.e. the healing process ?

A: There is no exact answer to how long it takes for a window to clear. There are a three major variables; how large is the window, what is the window orientation to the sun and how much water/moisture is in the window system.   Honestly most windows look worse when we finish than before we started because the cleaning and rinsing process adds water to the system.  However now the window can begin to heal or dry out.   In the summer many windows dry out in two weeks.  In the winter they may take 6 weeks to dry out.   Our warranty guarantees that all moisture will be evaporated after 12 weeks. 

Q: What is the R-Value of a normal Thermal pane and what would the R-Value be after the process has been completed?


A: Generally speaking, in a standard thermal pane, the R value is in a range of 2.5 to 4.3. The R value of the thermal pane will be restored very close to the original R value of a new unit when the unit is dried out.
  
Q. Can you service glass doors or other tempered windows?

A.
Sometimes.  I can't drill into tempered glass without breaking it.  However sometimes I can drill into the spacer bar area and vent a window.  Normally if I vent a window thought the spacer bar I won't do any cleaning or rinsing of the window, but the window will dry out much faster.

Q.  Can you serevice low-e windows?

A.
Sometimes. There are two major types of low-e coated windows:   soft coat and hard coat.    Soft coat low-e windows are very delicate metallic coatings that easily oxidize.  I cannot repair low-e windows that have started to oxidize.  However some windows have a more durable coating.  With hard coat low-e windows the coating is baked on and is much more resistant to moisture and I often can heal those.


Q: Will window cleaning and cleaning chemicals used on the window (both inside and out) have a harmful effect on your process and the membranes you install?

A:
No, normal window cleaning will not affect our process.   You should try to avoid putting harsh chemicals directly on the membranes. 


Q: With the hole drilling and vent installation is there any visible change to the window viewing area?


 A: The access holes are discreetly positioned in the corners of the insulated glass unit and generally out of the way of the main window viewing area. In fact the upper hole and vent are generally covered by blinds or drapes and not seen.  Most clients are very happy with the dramatic increase in the main view area once we have removed the condensation and the small access holes and vents almost disappear.

Q: What about windows that had argon gas when new?

A:
  With regard to the argon issue, while we concede that argon has many very good qualities (i.e. it deadens sound and has better insulation value that regular air), in our opinion, the argon has been out of a failed window unit for a considerable period of time before condensation formed in the window. So the best that we are able to do is return the R value to what an original air fill window would have been, slightly less than an argon filled window but considerably better that a window filled with wet air.