If you find condensation forming between your double-pane glass panels, the seals may have been broken. Many people point to strong winds as one of the leading causes of broken window seals, and in this blog, replacement window company Renewal by Andersen® of Montana examines whether or not this is the cause.
How Window Seals Work
Most of today’s insulated windows feature double-pane glass. The space between glass panels act as an insulating barrier that prevents heat conduction between the indoors and outdoors. This space has to be vacuum-sealed for conduction to be effective, and to contain optional insulating gas. The glass assemblies are sealed in controlled environments to avoid trapping moisture within.
How Can Window Seals Break?
The most common cause of broken window seals is wear and tear. Window seals last a long time, but not forever. Expansion and contraction from temperature changes will affect window seal elasticity, to the point where it will become brittle and eventually break. This is one of the advantages of custom windows over assembly-line ones: custom windows are crafted by hand using high-quality seals, and typically last longer.
So, can strong winds damage window seals? The short answer is no, at least not by itself. Relatively new window seals have enough elasticity to retain its shape, despite the amount of shock and vibration delivered by high winds. Under the same conditions, old and worn-out seals would crack and eventually break. Wind can likewise cause damage through wind-blown debris.
What Would Happen If the Seals Break?
Broken window seals result in reduced energy efficiency. They will still have marginally better performance than traditional single-pane window glass, but they won’t perform as well as when the seals were intact. If the airspace was filled with insulating gas like argon or krypton, the panes will draw closer together as the gases leak. Condensation will form between the glass panels, as moisture can easily infiltrate this space. If you see these signs, consult your replacement window contractor to discuss repair or replacement options.
Renewal by Andersen of Montana is your leading provider of replacement windows, in popular styles including casement windows. Give us a call at (406) 206-2377 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.