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How to Tell if a Window Seal Has Failed

The seals around your double-hung, casement or sliding windows play an integral role in improving your home’s energy efficiency, comfort, moisture resistance and visibility. However, you have a problem when these important components begin to deteriorate.

Window Seal

Seal failure is one of the major reasons homeowners replace their windows. Renewal by Andersen® of Montana explains why this is a concern and what to do about it.

What Is a Window Seal?

Seals are a common component in windows consisting of at least two glass panes. These are found at the edges of the panes and spacers, creating a barrier that prevents the inert gas in between the panes from escaping. Over time, the seals start breaking down, thus affecting the thermal performance and energy efficiency of the windows.

Ways to Identify Window Seal Failure

There are several ways you can determine window seal failure:

  • Cold, Drafty Home

If you notice that your home is unusually chilly whenever you stand near the windows, there may be an issue with air filtration caused by a broken seal. The leakage of cold air around or through your windows as a result of faulty window seals may also contribute to draftiness.

  • Excess Condensation

Fog, haze or liquid between glass layers is an indication of a failing window seal. Fogginess is particularly noticeable when your home’s temperature differs from the outside. A tiny amount of condensation on windows is normal, especially if it is found on either the window exterior or interior. However, the presence of moisture between panes should be a concern.

  • Glass Distortion

When gas begins to seep from your insulated glass unit, you will notice that your window panes begin to flex and, in extreme cases, break. Compare the window in question to your other windows from a distance. If the glass panes are pulled toward each at the center, it is apparent that the seals have already failed, requiring immediate window replacement.

  • Using the Ice Technique

Even if there is no visible condensation, your seals may still be compromised. The ice trick is an alternative way for detecting damaged seals. Simply rub a tiny portion of the window with a piece of ice for a few seconds. Remove the ice and wipe down the surface. If after wiping the window there is still moisture on the pane, the seal is broken. If the unit is old, that could mean it needs to be replaced.

What to Do if the Window Seals Have Failed?

The seals are installed around the window assembly during the manufacturing process, which means they may be covered by the product’s warranties. However, signs of seal failure such as distortion and discoloration can’t be remedied with simple repairs. In this situation, the only thing left to do is to have the affected windows replaced with more durable and energy-efficient units.

Renewal by Andersen of Montana is the place to go whether you want sliding or picture windows. Our team is proud to offer and install Fibrex® windows to make your home more beautiful and energy efficient. Call us today at (406) 259-3944, or fill out our online contact form to get started with your window replacement. 


"I highly recommend Renewal by Andersen. We were treated well and everything went smoothly from start to finish. The company kept in contact with me before, during, and after the installation and let me know what to expect. I'm in love with my new windows! I will be using this company again when we refinish our basement. "

July, 21

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