When it’s up to you to choose the right windows, it’s important to consider what function your windows actually serve. Your windows shouldn’t just exist as fixtures in your home. They should be actively working all the time to protect your home’s interior from moisture buildup, mold, and other harmful byproducts of water damage. That’s why when your window seals fail, it presents a major problem. Even though it might not seem like an immediate danger to your home’s stability, letting a window’s airtight seal fail means that you’re letting tons of dirt, water, and debris into your home that could easily have been kept out. If you’re noticing more condensation on your windows than usual, or if you’re struggling to figure out what’s letting that draft in, here are a few things to check when you’re dealing with a broken window seal.
Watch Your Windows for Extra Buildup
Before you’ve identified the problem, you might be looking at a window that’s a bit draftier than usual. It won’t seem like anything dramatic at first. However, avoiding the problem will only work for so long. A window seal is put in place to make sure your window is getting airtight protection from the outside world. When a window’s seal is broken, a layer of condensation and grime will start to build up quickly, letting you know that you have a problem. You might also see a thick buildup of fog that you won’t be able to remove manually or warped, distorted glass. Any of these can signal trouble. Whether your seal came pre-punctured due to a problem during delivery, or your windows simply gave out after a while, your broken seal will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
If Your Windows are New, Call Your Manufacturer
Sometimes, in the case of new windows, a factory seal can get punctured during delivery or through faulty installation. If your windows are brand new and are still acting up, you’ll want to call your manufacturer and request a replacement as soon as possible, with or without a warranty. Once you’ve received your replacement, practice prevention tactics to avoid dealing with seal failure in the future. For instance, try to be consistent about wiping away condensation from your windows during moist weather (yes, it does build up) and make sure to thoroughly clean your windows at least once a week.
Use Your Warranty
In the case of a window that’s a bit older, chances are you’ll be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Most window warranties will cover seal failures for up 20 years after the initial purchase of your window. That means that if you’ve owned your home for less than twenty years and installed the windows when you first moved in, you should be covered. If the previous owner handed you the necessary paperwork after the transfer of ownership, you should have some information about how old your windows are. If you’re stumped, try to track down the date of manufacture on the company’s website.
Defog Your Windows
Buying a simple defogging kit will fix your window’s visibility problem. However, it won’t change the fact that your windows are compromised. While it’s not strictly necessary to replace a window whose glass seal has broken, it will end up affecting your home (and your wallet) in the long run. While a defogging kit will get rid of the condensation buildup on your damaged window, it won’t be able to help you create an airtight seal to prevent this from happening again. However, if you live in a climate where you feel you can afford to keep your damaged window, doing a simple defogging job should at least get your window looking normal again. If you’re trying to keep your home safe from water damage and relatively temperature controlled, however, you’ll want to replace your window as soon as you can. Without an airtight seal, your window has little to no R-value and is rendered practically useless when it comes to lowering your heating and cooling bills.
When your window seals fail, the smartest thing to do is to opt for a replacement window. Even if it’s just a case of one or two faulty seals, over time those broken seals can cause enough damage to make it worth it to spend the money upfront on replacements. Whether you choose a service like renewal by andersen or another local replacement company, make sure you choose a window with a warranty and keep your eye out for any potential evidence of seal failure down the line.