What is double glazing?
Double-glazed doors and windows are made up of two sealed sheets of glass with an insulating void between them. This gap is either in the form of a vacuum, or more commonly filled with a heavy inert gas such as argon. Together, the panes of glass and the void between them are very effective at preventing heat loss. In fact the U-value for a new double glazed window can be as low as 1.7, while a single glazed window in comparison has a u-value closer to 5.
However, over time the effectiveness of the double-glazing can wane, especially if the seal goes around one of the panes of glass, allowing air to replace either the vacuum or the inert gas between the panes.
The most common side effect of a seal going is that the window will fog up, as water vapour condenses on the inside surface of the window. If you notice your windows have become foggy, misty or steamy when you try to look through them, it means that the seals have started to fail.
Why have my double glazing seals become damaged?
This can happen due to a number of reasons, however the most common tends to be general wear and tear as the double-glazing unit ages. Continuous changes in temperature cause fluctuations in the size of the glazed unit, since they expand in warmth and contract in the cold, and over time this can loosen and damage the seals.
Particularly strong cleaning products can also sometimes eat away at the seal, so even though we all like being able to see through really clean windows, it is wise to make sure the cleaning product you are using is not chemically abrasive.
Other reasons for your double-glazing unit failing include faulty installations or faulty production methods. However on the whole these should be covered by your window installer. It is therefore key to make sure you keep your FENSA certificate and a receipt of any work carried out.
As the perimeter seal goes, moisture will start to enter the double-glazing unit. Normally there is a silica strip within the void that absorbs small amounts of moisture and separates the glazing units; however as soon as this becomes saturated the condensation rapidly increases, leading to it misting up the entire unit.
What is the best way to fix broken double-glazing seals?
Please click onto Page 2 to find out.
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