Double glazing comprises two glass window panes which have a vacuum or an inert gas-filled area in between the window panes. Double glazing is put in place to contain the transmission of heat in the particular area of a building. Double glazing can be achieved in both doors and windows of a building to prevent heat loss. Generally, double glazing is a heat insulating element.
The sealed sheets of glass used in double glazing usually have a range of thickness from 3 mm to 10 mm. In other cases like acoustic attenuation and security, the thickness can exceed 10 mm depending on the specifications. Meanwhile, tempered and laminated glasses are also useful during the process of double glazing. Both glass window panes are required to have the same measurements of thickness.
There are a lot of factors to consider for the full potential of double glazing to be achieved. The factors that will determine the life expectancy of double glazing include:
- The quality of the materials used
- The distance between both panes (inner and outer)
- The change in temperature
- The direction of the double glazing
- Geographic location
- The area of installation
- The insulating glass units
If each of those factors is accurately measured and implemented, then the double glazing can last up to 10 or 20 years. Nonetheless, it is possible for the double glazing to be damaged for one reason or the other. Fortunately, it is usually resealable. Some of the challenges that may affect double glazing are:
- Thermal stress cracking
- Excessive condensation/ saturation
- A wide range of temperature differences between the outer and inner panes
- Adjustable sealing surfaces
- Rough changes in atmospheric condition
- Impaired installation
- Decomposition caused by chemically abrasive cleaning agents
Despite these challenges, double glazing remains resealable and replaceable.
Can You Reseal Double Glazing?
When your double glazed window panes are faulty, you can either reseal or replace the sealed sheets of glass. Sometimes, the decision on whether to reseal or replace is based on the type of glass and the extent of the damage. However, double glazing seal repair requires extremely cautious procedures. There are two different installations of double glazed windows which are detachable and permanent double glazing.
First and foremost, you should know the tools you need for resealing double glazing:
- Caulk gun
- Putty knife
- Scrap wood
- Silicone caulking
- Utility knife
Detachable Double Glazed Windows
In this case, you are to remove the window sash from its frame. You can also adapt to the method of removing the sash from the grain by subduing the top corners of the double glazed windows sash. Turn the sash as you pull it out of the window casing to release it from the springs that hold the band up when the window is open. Get someone to hold the windows up while you try to unscrew the sash. Removable window panes usually require nails or pins to install them; therefore the pins or nails can be removed whenever. In the case of pins, use pliers, and when you come across nails, use a hammer.
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Avoid damaging the whole sash in the process of getting it out. Remove the screws holding each window’s framework together on each of the corners. Detach the screws from the edge askew to the first and continue till the last is removed. Keep the screws in a protected area.
Force the window sash far from the glass in the window. To avoid damages, put a bit of scrap wood against the band casing and gently tap it with a sledge to release it from the glass. Afterwards, take the previous covering to a glass shop to buy another one. Slide the new gasket around the edge of the window glass. Join the two areas of window sash with screws to put them back in their previous location around the window gaskets. Use a globule of silicone caulking at the edges of the sash to reseal the gasket to the sash.
Permanent Double Glazed Windows
Clear all gasket residuals in the window with a utility knife or putty knife. Get someone to hold the glass while you are in the process of removing it; the extra hand will prevent hazards. Drop a globule of silicone caulking close to the glass frame for resealing double glazed windows.
Remove the gasket from the exterior side of the glass. Then add a globule of silicone caulking to reseal the exterior too. Use the paint to make the repaired double glazing seals look newly installed.
You should keep it in mind that you are dealing with glass and you should be completely careful because it can break. Furthermore, there is a possibility that there will be moisture between the two window panes which is a natural result of the heat. Therefore, if both window panes are damp, it is recommended that you change the glass and gasket.
It is possible for damaged double glazing to undergo resealing. However, it is advisable that the reseal of the window panes be done by the initial installers which is why receipts and crucial information must be kept. While it is possible to repair double glazing seals, it is preferable to replace it.
Merits of Double Glazing
Double glazing seals have gone a long way in proving its usefulness. There are various benefits of double glazed windows, and some are:
- They provide security as they are not easy to break into, unlike the single pane windows.
- They protect indoor properties like furniture, paintings, etc, because of the minor penetration of sun and heat due to the double glazed windows.
- The installation of double glazed windows results in an impenetrable construction which causes thermal insulation.
- Due to the thermal insulation, the area requires lower energy to heat up or cool down which saves energy costs.
- It represents a source for sound insulation because it creates a boundary to sounds between the building and its surroundings.
Demerits of Double Glazing
As many benefits as double glazing offers, there are also a few downsides to it. Some of the faults are:
- The double glazed windows capture heat between both sealed sheets of glass. The captured heat can make the room feel stifling.
- If you want your home to have an ancient appearance, then double glazing isn’t a suitable look for it. Double glazed windows are modern designs and fit with contemporary buildings.
What is the Warranty?
All windows should have a unique warranty period. Window replacement companies should provide an avenue where questions bordering on warranty can be discussed – for example, a toll-free number which can be displayed on the window. Warranties are very important, and as such customers should ensure they check for warranties on the windows. However, customers should bear in mind that warranties are limited, and most won’t cover issues relating to normal wear and tear, misuse or mishandling, wrong installation, repair or modification carried out by the customer or any other person other than staff of the window replacement company. Warranties would only apply when company defaults are detected on the window, and the window installation company would make a replacement free of charge.
It is advised that careful research is made before choosing a window company. Of course, you want the best quality product, and you would only get such through proper research. A company that offers a good warranty would have its warranty information on its website, and provision for both expert and customer reviews. With the reviews, you would know just the right window installation company to approach.
What are the Variations?
Double glazing serves many purposes and has its benefits. It helps in reducing energy bills by insulating the building thereby leaving the house warmer. However, double glazing might not be the best option in some households for some reasons which include the property being sited in a conservation area, or the property backing on to the main road. If your property falls in any of these categories, a perfect alternative to double glazing is secondary glazing. Secondary glazing involves placing a single layer of glazing over the existing window pane, thus enhancing the thermal and sound insulation of the building. Secondary glazing serves as a great reinforcement against the heat and cold.
Other benefits of secondary glazing include low-cost installation process, it causes no damage to the building, highly effective heat insulation, and it requires no form of planning permission. The sound insulation also means that it helps keep noise out, a very suitable option for offices located in busy cities and are surrounded by a lot of traffic. During the installation of the secondary glazing, the panel helps prevent contact between warm moist air in the room and the glass, a precaution against condensation.
To get the best of secondary glazing, you should ensure your floor and ceiling insulation are of the required standard. Also, your windows and frames have to be in good condition.
In conclusion, although resealing double glazed windows is possible, it is better to repair double glazing seals by replacing them.