What are seal failures, and how do they happen?
When the first double pane windows were introduced the thought was the air trapped between the glass would be insulated and create an air barrier that would help customers keep their homes more comfortable. Today LowE, a coating sprayed on the interior of the exterior panel, adds nearly twice the insulating properties to the glass package. The two pieces of glass are sealed together with a spacer that holds the glass unit together. Then air is vacuumed out to create an airtight seal. With the first modern spacers being put in these glass packages we saw defects in the glass such as seal failures, condensation, and sometimes mold growth. At Chesapeake Thermal we learned that the spacer system needs to be flexible to allow the window to expand and contract as much as we see here in the mid-Atlantic. Less flexible spacer systems can be prone to seal failures- which lead to the aforementioned unsightly glass issues.
What can you do to prevent seal failures in your windows?
There isn’t much you can do to prevent seal failures once you have your windows. Before you purchase windows ensure you know what you’re getting. Today all of the products offer utilize a flexible spacer system such as the SuperSpacer shown. This foam spacer allows the window to expand and contract, and since there are no metal components- doesn’t conduct energy from the outside in. Additionally double-strength glass has helped in this area. Every product in our lineup offers a warranty against seal failures and other glass defects- often for life.
I have seal failures, what now?
If you’ve had windows done by Chesapeake Thermal- give us a call. If not there is good and bad news. The bad news is the glass needs to be replaced. The good news is- it’s possible the glass is covered by a manufacturer warranty. Try to find any identifying information you can on glass and inside the jambs or header of the window. Reach out to the manufacturer to determine if the glass is covered. You’ll need to find someone to remove the glass unit from the vinyl frame of the window sash, and put in the new insulated glass. A glass repair company would be able to complete the service, or offer you replacement glass should it not be covered under a warranty.