During our home inspections, when we inspect homes with insulated windows, we normally see at least one with a failed gas seal. What does this mean? Typically, insulated windows have two panes of window glass that sandwich a “dead air” space that is filled with argon or an other related gas. This is what provides you with the insulation properties, R-value (what is R value?) of the windows. A single glass pane will have an insulation property of R-1 up to a higher end insulated window that can have as much as R-4 insulation rating.
When the gas seal fails, the window will become cloudy, with drops of moisture between the panes of glass. This is an indication that the gas has leaked out and most of the insulation properties of the window has been compromised.
How can this be fixed?
The only true way to remedy this situation is to replace the glass panes. There are “repairs” out there that will drill a small hole in the window pane, this allows the window to dry out, and the hole is sealed. The problem with this type of repair, is you do not restore the insulation properties to its original state. Some will argue that the window still functions and should not be the responsibilty of the seller to fix, however the window does not now “function” as a insulated window as intended.
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