My house was built at the same time by the same builders as 2 of my
neighbors, both of them have the same type double pane windows as I do and
they both have major problems with the windows leaking, fogging and etching
the glass. I, fortunately only have one such bad window, and would like to
try to prevent or prolong the inevitable fogging/etching by maybe somehow
treating the rubber seals or something like to this affect.
My thinking is: The seals are rubber. As rubber dries or hardens in the sun,
it loses its flexibility and thus its sealing ability. Perhaps I can
re-nourish the rubber so that it can maintain its flexibility. Perhaps there
is some substance out there that I don't know of that I can drissle or apply
to the rubber seals that would recondition them.
Nice idea, or optimisitc fantasy?
Optimistic I think. The seal is actually on the edges of the two panes of
glass not the caulking on the frame by the moulding. UV, time, moisture and
foundation shifting can eventually wear out the seal and open it allowing
moist air to condense on the glass. To reseal it you'd have to take out the
window. That can be a big job depending on the size of the window. I'm in
the same predicament with some windows. I'm going to bite the bullet and
upgrade to coated tri-panes with vinyl frames.
You didn't say how old your house is, but I'll assume that it is less than
10 years old.
Any decent double pane window will last at least 10 years before the seal
leaks. Most manufacturers warrant the seals for between 10 and 20 years.
Try to determine the manufacturer of the windows and contact them to see if
the windows are under warranty. Even if they aren't under warranty, ask
them them to replace them. Usually you can replace just the sash. The
frame can be left in place.
If they have no explicit warranty against failure of the seals, and if the
windows aren't real old (say, under 10 years), contact the manufacturer
anyway and ask them to replace the windows. You have nothing to lose by
trying. Write to the CEO of the company if the ordinary customer service
people won't help.
Unfortunately, there are some poor quality double pane windows available
that builders use, but that doesn't mean that you have to pay for their
shoddy quality. If your vinyl siding or your plumbing fixtures started
falling apart after just a few years, wouldn't you contact the manufacturer
to demand replacement? It should be no different with windows.
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