Whether made of vinyl, aluminum, composite or beautiful bespoke wood, the benefits of double glazed windows are well known. Offering superior heat retention, energy saving and soundproofing when compared to their single glazed counterparts, double glazed home windows are now pretty much the industry standard.
That’s not to say, however, that they are guaranteed to last forever.
In time, all home windows will begin to develop their own issues. For well-made and expertly fitted examples, this may take decades. When moving into a home with older windows fitted though, there may be some problems that need addressing straight away.
The good news is that not every issue with double glazed windows means they need replacing. In truth, more often than not, a repair to the existing window will be possible. If your own windows should begin to fail, it’s always handy to know whether or not a replacement is likely to be needed.
The first draft
One of the first signs of an issue with your double glazed home windows may come in the form of a draft. Of course, with double glazed windows designed for their superior insulating performance, the last thing you’d expect from them would be cold air coming through from outside.
The most common reason for home windows to let drafts in are worn or broken seals. However, there are a couple of places where this may have happened.
Check where exactly the draft seems to be originating. It may be from a gap between the window frame and the surrounding brickwork. If this is the case, the sealant used may have failed. In all but the most extreme cases, this will not require replacement windows. However, effectively filling the gap to ensure the problem is solved may need the expertise of a professional tradesman.
Drafts coming from between the window frame and glass may also be due to a worn seal. Replacing this can often remedy the problem; again, the best advice is to bring in a professional to evaluate and fix the problem.
Taking a leak
Another common issue emanating from worn or distorted window seals is the ingress of water. As with drafts, the first step is to determine where exactly the problem is.
Water may be entering through the frame, which often means one of two things. Either the weather seal has failed, or the drainage section is blocked. If the former is found to be the issue, it may be possible to replace the weather seals. For most people, determining this will require the know-how of a professional.
If the problem is in the drainage system, cleaning it out can solve the problem.
In other cases, the sealant between the window and the frame may have failed, resulting in water ingress between the two. If the windows are a relatively modern installation, it should be possible to have this seal reinstalled. However, should the issue have arisen due to the home windows being past their best, it could be a sign that a full replacement is due.
Condensing the problem
Although condensation on double glazed home windows may suggest a problem with their integrity, it is in most cases caused by other factors. Indeed, in one case, condensation actually means the windows are doing their job well.
As far as your windows are concerned, condensation on the inside pane is usually nothing to worry about. Caused instead by factors such as ventilation, inside and outside temperatures and the number of people in the home, it can be lessened by improving the ventilation or by using a dehumidifier.
However, while no repair or replacement should be necessary, it can suggest your home windows aren’t as energy efficient as they could be, as the condensation may not form so much with a warmer internal window pane.
Condensation forming on the outside pane of your home windows is the complete opposite of a problem. It actually means your windows are doing their job of keeping heat in your home.
Should condensation form between the panes, the news isn’t so good. This means the seal around the panes has failed, allowing the inert gas inside to escape. Simply replacing the seal won’t help; unfortunately, a replacement window will be necessary to keep your home as energy efficient as it can be.
Double glazed home windows are fantastic at what they do, and look stunning when made in bespoke wood designs. However, they’re not fail-safe. At some point, no matter how distant, problems may arise.