How Downriver residence Remove Haze From Double Pane Windows

A double pane window is made up of two separate pieces or panes of glass. These two pieces are then sealed together with a small space between each pane of glass. Because of the design of double pane windows, they are prone to fogging up inside. When double pane windows fog up, they look very dirty and it can greatly reduce the visibility through the windows. This is an unfortunate flaw of many double pane windows, an because so many homes have double pane windows, some will eventually get foggy.

How Insulated Glass Works

With double pane windows, the insulating airspace that is in between the glass panels maintains consistent temperature and reduces heat loss. Many modern windows have two seals: an inner seal that protects against moisture and corrosion, and an outer seal that protects the strength of the window. The seals hold a spacer in place; this is usually a tube that contains water-absorbing chemicals, otherwise known as a desiccant.

Why Do Seals Break?

Generally, insulated glass windows work extremely well. They can withstand and handle all types of weather, including very cold temperatures, heat, and humidity, as well as being repeatedly opened and closed. There is a benefit to the double seal, that when one seal begins to breakdown, the other can hold the line for a while. However, as the window ages all of its parts begin to break down, and the standard lifespan of double pane windows range from 10 to 20 years.

Other than old age, there are a couple additional factors that impact seal breakage:

  • Water retention in the frame or inadequate drainage around the window.
  • Direct exposure to sunlight—the more sun your window gets, the more heat builds up, which causes the panes to expand, contract and ultimately weaken.

Once the seal is broken, moisture begins to form between the panes, which gives your windows a milky, foggy look. In addition to condensation, there are other reasons to get your windows fixed:

  • Energy efficiency -energy efficient windows save on annually heating and cooling costs
  • Safety – improper locking or closing, or the presence of lead pain in pre-1978 homes
  • Style – your windows are date or do not fit your homes architecture
  • Defects – drafty or leaking; cracks, chips or discoloration; condensation between panes
  • Age – your windows are over fifteen years old

Challenges of Cleaning Double Pane Windows

Cleaning double pane windows presents a number of challenges which can make it almost impossible to keep them clean for long periods of time. Frankly put, fogging happens when the seal between the two panes of glass wears down or fails totally. Once the seal fails, moisture is allowed to seep into the space between the two pieces of glass. In order to clean the fog, you will first have to remove the seal and then clean each piece of glass. Afterward they have been cleaned, you then have to put the two panes back together and reseal them. The biggest challenge is resealing the window or glass door without moisture being present during the time you seal the window. Yet another challenge is removing the seal without breaking the pane of glass; this is a difficult, but not impossible task. In most cases if you are breaking the seal and cleaning the panes yourself, it is recommended that you replace the door or windows with a single pane window. This removes the issue of foggy windows in the future.

How to Unseal Double Pane Windows

If you do not have the option to replace your home’s windows and want to give it a try and clean the glass, below are some tips. However, once the seal has been removed, you will most likely have to keep repeating the process every time you clean your windows until you replace them. Additionally, each factory or manufacturer designs and builds their window or door products differently. First, you will have to determine who made your windows or doors and the process of assembly. Many times, you can find a guide that can help you remove or disassemble the door or window. After you have determined how to disassemble the window or door you can clean the glass and reassemble the windows. There are some additional methods to help remove the fog either after you have taken apart and cleaned the window, or perhaps something you want to try before disassembling the window first.

How to Clean Streaks and Haze from Double Pane Windows

You can start by placing a dehumidifier next to the foggy door or window and see if the machine is able to remove the moisture trapped inside. You can also drill a very small hole at the top the door or window (if possible, without cracking the frame) then use drain snake wrapped with pantyhose. That can be used to clean the inside of the window. A hanger wrapped with a thin cloth or pantyhose can also work to clean the surface of the glass. You can also try using a turkey baster to drip in a few drops of rubbing alcohol; the alcohol will help clean the glass and can also help remove the moisture in between the glass panes.

Tips to Fix Condensation Between Double Pane Windows

When condensation between double pane windows forms, the seal on the glass is broken. It wet or humid climates, wooden window frames are most often the culprit. When the wood gets too wet, it starts to rot and eventually the glass seal breaks down. In these situations, it might be as simple as replacing the insulated glass unit.

If there’s condensation between the panes of glass, you are probably losing money on energy costs. Here are a few tips on how to remove moisture from between your window panes:

  • Try cleaning the fogged windows to remove any buildup or fog that is not condensation on the glass.
  • If cracked or broken glass is the cause of your foggy window, this can be repaired to prevent more condensation from entering the space between the panes.
  • If a window is old or rotting, you should have AllPoint evaluate whether the whole window needs to be replaced.

Choosing windows can involve many decisions, and whether you need a few replacements or require all-new windows for new construction, our design experts can help you choose the best options for your home.

We offer affordable styles and a wide variety of options including bay windows, built-in blinds, energy efficient and sound control glass – and so much more! From window framing in wood, fiberglass or vinyl – to window styles in double-hung, sliding, casement and completely custom, you can have peace-of-mind knowing that we only use quality materials and top brands built to last like Pella and ProVia.

At AllPoint, we have earned our reputation for excellence by providing premium quality that lasts a lifetime, and our design experts look forward to helping you discuss your best options.