Windows are exposed to the elements every day of the year, and temperature shifts and other weather conditions can take a toll on the glass and sealant materials. Although modern windows are designed with longevity in mind, the quality of the window itself, the expertise of the installer and the elements the window is exposed to can all influence its lifespan. In general, if the glazing compound was properly installed around the glass of the window, window glazing can last for as long as 30 years if it has been maintained properly.
What Are The Signs A Window Need Glazing Redone?
It is not uncommon for older windows to require reglazing. If you want to determine the current condition of the glazing compound on your windows, you need to look on the exterior side of the window sash. If you find many loose pieces of glazing compound, the rest is likely to come loose soon, so you should act immediately.
Rattling panes, cracks in putty glazing, and separation of the putty from the glass are other signs that it may be time for reglazing.
All of the old compounds must be removed and replaced in most cases. However, if these issues are occurring in only a few small areas, it may be possible to simply remove those sections and reglaze up to the old compound.
The Window Reglazing Process
Window reglazing is a relatively straightforward procedure, although it is best left to professionals who have access to the right tools. The old or broken glass and old glazing are removed, and a putty knife or similar tool is used to scrape off any old glazing and paint that remains. This process must be carried out carefully, as old glass may crack easily.
The glass is then tapped out with a hammer or removed carefully by hand, using thick gloves for protection. Next, an oil primer is applied to the sash where the glazing will be applied to help it adhere. The glass is then installed in the sash and held in place using small pieces of triangular metal known as glazier points. After the primer has dried, the new glazing is applied with a putty knife at an angle.
What Issues Can Compromise Windows and Window Glazing?
Here is a look at some of the more common issues that can shorten the lifespan of window glazing.
Dual-Pane Window Seal Failure
Insulated glass is typically used for windows, and the dual-pane variety is the most common type. Making this type of window entails taking two panes of glass and bonding them together using a sealant around the perimeter. A space measuring roughly half to 3/4 of an inch is left between the two panes, and this gap is often filled with gas to provide greater insulation.
Most dual-pane windows will have two seals around their perimeter, with one on the interior and one on the exterior. This provides an additional layer of protection if one of the seals fails over time, typically the outer one.
There will also be a rigid tube or spacer that keeps the two panes of glass forming the window spaced properly. These tubes often contain desiccants or beads to absorb moisture and prevent windows from fogging up. However, a small amount of moisture may be able to get in from time to time. If this happens repeatedly, the desiccants may become saturated and stop functioning, which can lead to noticeable fogging and cloudiness.
Damage From Heat And Sunlight
Windows that have direct exposure to sunlight tend to fail more often than those that do not. Heat causes the windows to expand and contract, weakening and softening the seals until they develop cracks that enable moisture to enter.
Damage From High Humidity or Moisture
Although rain is the most common culprit when it comes to window-damaging moisture, it can also come from showers, washers, cooking appliances, aquariums and even plants. Any window that is regularly covered in condensation that can drip down into its assembly could face major problems over time.
Homeowners should regularly examine their windows’ glass, frame and seals for damage. It may be possible to use caulking to repair early signs of damage and prolong the life of your windows.
It is also important to look out for any drainage holes in the window frames that are clogged by dirt or debris and ensure water is able to drain away from the window itself.
Reach Out To The Window Glazing Professionals
If you are concerned about the condition of your windows, get in touch with the window glazing professionals at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration. Their highly vetted team of contractors are experienced in carrying out top-quality work at a reasonable price to ensure your home is safe, comfortable and energy efficient.