Have you ever polished your windows to a squeaky clean both inside and out and wondered why they still look dirty? Unfortunately, this can be a problem with older double-paned windows you may find in older New Jersey and New York Metro homes. The good news? You have options to get crystal-clear, sparkling panes again.
What Causes Cloudy Double-Paned Windows?
Double-paned windows are now the industry standard for residential installations in New York and New Jersey because they offer fantastic energy efficiency thanks to the space between the two panes of glass that make up an insulated glass window. Depending on the age of your double-paned windows, they may be filled with regular air or specially constructed with argon or another gas between the panes for an even better energy efficiency.
Older, first generation windows didn’t have the same long-lasting sealant technologies that exist today, so when this breaks down, the air or gas leaks out and even the tiniest crack can allow condensation or dust between your window panes. This is what causes that, dirty, or cloudy or foggy look that you just can’t get clean no matter how hard you scrub. This leak also reduces the energy efficiency of your windows because without a tight seal, the gas escapes, allowing heat to transfer from the inside out or the outside in more easily.
What Can You Do
Option 1: Replace the Panes
Unfortunately, there’s no way to “fix” the seal and regain the energy efficiency the window once had. Depending upon the manufacturer, the age and the design of the window, a qualified technician may be able to take apart the sash, replace the Insulated Glass Unit with a new one and put the window back together.
Some window sashes (specifically vinyl and older metal and aluminum windows) are “welded” together rather than installed with a bead of silicone or caulk. If this is the case, you cannot take the sash apart without irreparably damaging the glass or the sash itself, so you’d need to replace either the sash or the entire window.
Option 2: Replace the Panes and Sash
Other manufacturers will measure the sash containing the failed glass and have a new one created to the exact specifications of the existing one. Then a technician will come out and swap the sash containing the failed glass with a brand new window sash.
This option is easier, more straightforward, and offers a higher success rate. But it can be tricky, because you’ll likely have to obtain a new sash from the original manufacturer of your windows. You may or may not know who manufactured your windows, so it might require some digging to find out.
Window sashes made by different manufacturers are unlikely to match up perfectly to the other end of your sash, even if they are technically the right size. Panes from different companies may also offer a slightly different color or clarity level, so you might notice slight differences from other windows in your home. And, again, you may have problems getting any future issues covered under a warranty if you do the job yourself.
Renewal by Andersen windows are built with a molding, or stop, around the stiles and rails of the sash to hold the glazing in place. This reduces sealant failures by allowing the glass to move independently of the sash frame as the temperature changes. In the rare instance that a Renewal by Andersen insulated glass pane fails, we will replace it with a brand new, factory manufactured sash to reduce the time we have to disturb your schedule on site.
Option 3: Replace the Entire Window
This option guarantees a leak-free seal and a perfect fit. By replacing your cloudy window altogether, you ensure you have the highest quality sealant around each pane, a manufacturer’s warranty against future leaks, and the confidence of knowing that your window was professionally installed and will live up to specifications.
If the window is old, most professionals will recommend replacing a cloudy window, and not just because they want to sell a brand-new unit. If the sealant has been compromised enough to cause a sealant leak, there are potentially other issues as well. The same environmental conditions that damaged the sealant can damage the window frame and sash as well, leading to compromised efficiency.
Need Help? Request a Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey & New York Metro Window Inspection
A window specialist from Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey and Metro New York can let you know if this type of repair is a possibility with your windows. Only an experienced professional can truly determine if your sealant is compromised. It is also possible that the old glass is simply “etched” from years of exposure to the harsh environment. Of course that doesn’t change the fact that you can’t see clearly through your windows and you’ll likely want to replace them for a crystal clear view.
If you are having issues will dirty, cloudy windows, give us a call so we can determine if you have a minor issue that can be repaired or you may be better served by installing replacement windows to correct sealant failure. Reach us by calling 1-888-826-2451 or by filling in the short form on the page to request a call back.
Download our Free Guide to New Jersey & New York Metro Replacement Windows
- The Difference Between Replacement and New Construction Windows!
- The Different Kinds of Frame Materials and What That Means to Your Windows’ Performance and Longevity!
- How the Right Glass Can Save You Money on Your Heating & Cooling Bills!
- The Critical Role Proper Installation Plays in the Performance, Durability and Warranty of Your New Replacement Windows!
- What Features and Options are Important to You and What Role They Play in Your Ultimate Satisfaction Today, and for as Long As You Live in Your Home!