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replacement windows in Los Alamitos, CA

Signs of Seal Failure on Insulated Glazing Units

In the past windows often had just one thick layer of glass protecting the inside of the home from the outside elements. But this didn’t provide superb insulation. Window manufacturers discovered that using two panes of glass provided better performance. And thus the invention of insulated glazing units (IGUs). Today modern windows feature at least two panes of glass as a standard. And though these products have come a long way, they are still not perfect. Eventually, the seals on IGUs will fail and you will need to invest in replacement windows in Los Alamitos, CA. Don’t know what to look for? Here are some tips:

Construction of IGUs

These are more than just two panes of glass slapped together and installed inside a frame. What makes the performance on these windows so efficient is actually the space between the glass. The two or three panes are separated by spacers sealed along the edges. And the space between the glass is filled with an inert gas.

Inert Gasses on IGUs

The three common options include argon, krypton, and xenon. They are considered inert because these gasses are not as reactive. They do not expand and contract as much as normal air. They also have more density. This makes them perfect for insulation. But at some point, the gas will start to leak out because of seal failure.

How to Know if Your Window Has Seal Failure

It isn’t easy to spot unless you know what to look for. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Clean and Examine Your Windows

It can be hard to see anything if your windows are covered in grime and dirt. So the first thing to do is thoroughly clean your windows both inside and out. And once the glass is clean you can look for cracks or other anomalies. If you don’t spot anything obvious you can move on to the next step.

2. Look for Fogging Between the Panes

The next easiest way to spot seal failure is checking for moisture between the panes of glass. If you see fogging, or traces of a white powdery substance, then you know the only way it got there was through a broken seal. Condensation may come and go with temperature changes, but the problem still remains.

3. Check for Distortions

Just because you don’t see cracks or notice fogging between the panes doesn’t mean you don’t have a failed IGU. The last thing to check isn’t as obvious but it is a clear indicator you might need to get replacement windows sooner rather than later. It is distorted glass. Professionals agree that most IGUs leak an average of 1% of their noble gas per year. This is because of the pressure differential between the normal air outside and the noble gas inside. And as the noble gas leaks out the window will start to concave towards the center. So take a look at the reflections on your windows and see if you can notice any bowing.

If you do notice something odd about your windows, call Seaport Windows and Doors. We can help determine the status of your old windows and help you find the right replacement windows in Los Alamitos, CA if needed. Contact us at (714) 220-3939 to set up an appointment. Or stop by 4201 Katella Ave., Los Alamitos, CA 90720.