Be it winter or summer, you may have noticed that the insulated glass fogs most of the time.
The reason is that the glass, in itself, is a good conductor of heat. It readily absorbs the heat around, thus, making it colder than the room temperature. When the temperature gets incredibly high, indoors or outdoors, the colder glass absorbs the heat, causing condensation and as a result, a foggy glass.
For example, an insulated window that has a very humid temperature indoors might fog if the temperature outdoors is freezing. Fogging or condensation, as we call it, is a thing with glass materials. Fogs occur in the exterior and interior of the glass. But sometimes fog appears in between two glass panes.
What is insulated glass?
Insulated glass is the sealing of two to three panes of glass together with a sealer in order to offer better protection and comfort for homes.
How insulated glass works?
Before merging two glass panes with argon and krypton gas in the middle, each glass is put in a spacer or insulator. The amount of gas holding it together is sealed internally and externally using top graded materials. If that doesn’t work out, pub-tapes or polysulfide or silicone is used to keep it air-tight.
A space of 1/2 to 3/4 is required in between the glass to make room for the gas. A coating exercise is carried out to seal the inner and outer part of the glass to prevent leakage.
Usually, insulated glass gets graded in terms of their ability to allow heat to pass through them. A single pane glass has an R-value of 1, that is poor by any standard. By insulating two or three glasses together with gas, it can rise to 6.
Why do we use insulated glass amidst the risk of fog?
Insulated glass provides comfort to its users. On a cold winter day, you would wish your room had more heat to last you all through the season. With insulated glass, you can trap the amount of heat in the room for more extended periods. It also helps during summer as well. Its retention value makes it difficult for heat to pass through the double pane windows and warm the room unnecessarily. It minimizes the damages that could have happened to your furniture by not allowing heat through the insulated glass window.
Heat is known to carry more moisture than cold. The amount of human activities that happen in a room is enough to deposit a considerable amount of heat. Furniture suffers under these extreme situations. Also, actions like social activities are what cause fog in a window.
Insulated glass also helps lower your energy cost in the case of rising bills. Without an extra layer heat in the room, our AC and HVAC system will be working overtime mounting to high energy costs.
Insulated glass also helps reduce the risk of fog. By maintaining the room temperature, insulated glass makes it difficult for the temperature outdoor and indoor to have a huge difference. If there is a high amount of cold outside, only an insulated glass can prevent fogging for long periods.
What type of fog forms within insulated glass panes?
The fog that is usually associated with insulated glass aside from the usual ones we mentioned earlier is the inner pane fog.
This fog is a result of wear and tear caused by frequent slamming and banging of the window, which results in an open seal. Immediately you break the seal, there is little the insulators can do before they allow fog inside the panes.
Insulated glass windows
Rising temperatures cause a fog that obstructs the view on your window, making it cloudy. The ones with thicker layers might indicate your insulated window just broke its seal. Wind, water, rain, heat, cold, atmospheric pressure can make an insulated glass window break its seal.
Usually, 1% of insulated windows suffer breakage of seal in 10 years. 3% is associated with those who have used there for 15 years.
When does insulating glass windows start to fail?
When it has past the due time for replacing an insulated glass window, the seal can fail and cause condensation. That is why most old houses have fogged windows.
A lot of factors contribute to the failure of insulated glass. Why most people blame it on water, heat, old age is because these are the common ones.
Leaving a backlog of water at the lower part of your window can cause your window glass seal to break-in time. With the constant movement within that area, it might crack one day before its time. When an insulated glass window is aging, it can suffer from corrosion. With the amount of water near the seal, it contributes to the corrosion.
Excessive heat is another factor that can cause your seal and insulated glass to fail. Heat contracts the panes and makes them sleeker to be able to insulate against hot and cold conditions. It expands the panes so much that it wouldn’t last as much as the user and manufacturers want it to.
Excessive heat also weakens the seals that are used to cover both panes. The constant use, coupled with the heat coming from the indoor and outdoor of the room, contributes to damaging the seal.
Old age is another reason why the seal could break, and there is cloudiness between the two panes. When insulated glass windows get old, they tend to lose the shape and pattern they got built for at first. The constant use is now getting to them, and they can no longer allow the seal to work correctly. It results in leaked seals that admit water and air into it.
The seal can also break if it is installed by a non-professional which can result from the improper coating, use of materials and lapping.
Best way against window failure
Some of the best ways to prevent fogging and window failure is to have it installed by a professional. There are lots of articles or videos on how to do this stuff yourself, but if you’re no skilled or experienced in it, you need a pro.
Elevate the downward part of the glass up to avoid its standing on a slug of water in the window thereby breaking the seal. If there is a slug of water on the window and it is not taken care of, it might get to the seal.
Channel the water from the frames so that they don’t get clogged there. It will enable the free movement of glass as well as protect your seal from breaking.
Face windows adjacent to the sun elsewhere if you can do that. Since excessive heat is another way you can break your seal, it might be the time to change the direction to somewhere less prone to heat.
Buy windows with an extended warranty plan. A quality insulated window material can last up 10-20 years, depending on the use.
Paint the edges of the panels after sealing them to offer more protection. Oil paints are known to be very good on the glass, especially leaving a lasting impression. They can paint them on the silicone or tape that is used to seal both glasses together.
Why even care for your glass to avoid fog?
Fog usually appears when an insulated glass is old. While at the same time, fog from human activities like a warm bathroom shower, cooking in the kitchen, doing your laundry at home shouldn’t be overlooked either. These activities can leave water stains that prove very difficult to remove after long periods of time. So it’s best we always wipe them off, if not daily, then at least twice a week!