Condensation in Double—Pane Windows: How to Repair Foggy Windows

Fatima Buzdar

August 15, 2023

A close-up of a window pane with visible condensation, creating a misty effect that distorts the view outside. The window frame is white, and part of the green outdoors is faintly visible through the glass, almost as if a locksmith meticulously crafted an intricate blur across the scenery.

It’s a pleasant day outside, and you look out the window to enjoy the view… only to be obstructed by a super foggy window! Even worse, this fog doesn’t seem to be the kind that goes away with a wipe of a damp cloth. What’s going on?

This indicates that there’s fog between window panes. It doesn’t just block your view and prevent the sunshine from entering your home. It also indicates heat loss and consequential energy inefficiency in your home. If you don’t want higher energy bills and disruption in the house temperature, this issue should be resolved as soon as possible.

But how can you repair foggy double—pane windows? Should you expect to replace the window? How does it even happen anyway? Let’s find out!

What Are Double—Pane Windows?

Double—pane windows are also known as IGU (insulated glass unit), insulated windows, and double—glazed windows. They’re composed of two pieces of glass. 

The space between the panes is filled with gases like argon or krypton. This structure improves thermal insulation by creating a barrier that reduces heat transfer between the indoors and outdoors.

This makes the window more energy—efficient and effective at keeping the interior warmer in cold weather and cooler in hot weather compared to singlepane windows. 

What Causes the Condensation Inside the Windows?

The edges of the window glass panes have seals, usually rubber gaskets, designed to create an airtight and watertight barrier between the two panes of glass. They prevent air, moisture, and other debris from entering the space between panes.

Over time, these seals can deteriorate or break down due to factors like pressure changes, sunlight, humidity, general wear and tear, etc. Their life expectancy is generally around 15 years.

When these seals degrade or fail over time, they no longer protect the window space from the air and moisture coming in from both outside and inside. Humid conditions exacerbate the issue, and the consequential condensation leads to the fog. It’ll also result in the interior losing the warm or cold air to the outside.

How to Repair Foggy Double—Pane Windows?

So now that we understand the structure of double—pane windows and that sealant failure leads to the fog between window panes, how do you go about repairing foggy double—pane windows?

There’re three ways: replace the whole window, replace the sash, or drill the glass to defog it. Let’s explore each.

A person working on a window with a screwdriver

Replace Entire Window

Replacing the entire window allows you to enjoy the benefits of windows with full and fresh airtight and aesthetic performance. New windows last as long as 10—20 years with optimal performance. In addition, they help with enhancing the appearance of your house.

However, the downside is the cost, which tends to be quite expensive. This procedure involves cutting the whole window out, removing the interior and exterior trim, and sometimes even some siding. On top of that, the whole new window needs to be secured and sealed properly.

However, if your window is very old and facing frame issues like a rotten wood frame, this investment in upgrading your windows may be well worth it and necessary if anything. In addition, this can be utilized as an opportunity to improve the aesthetics of your house with a stylish new window.

A window expert can help you decide whether replacing the window is the best course of action.

Replace Sash

If the frame of your window is in excellent condition, you may consider just replacing the affected sash to fix the foggy window.

Window sashes are small panes of the window that hold the glass and IGU, and move within the window frame. It’s possible to replace a specific sash with the condensation issue. A new sash gets simply fit into the existing frame. As such, it doesn’t affect the interior and exterior trim either.

As this procedure is much simpler and requires fewer materials, complications, and labor involved, it’s much more cost—effective and worth looking into for restoring the aesthetic and thermal value of your window.

A technician holding a large window sash next to windows

Drill Glass

Drilling a window for defogging is a cost—effective procedure. It’s conducted by drilling a hole to allow air in and eliminate the accumulated condensation. However, it’s a complicated procedure and might not always work, depending on the window structures and other factors. Also, remember that this procedure is only for aesthetics. It doesn’t restore the window to its original performance, including insulation.

How it generally works is that two tiny holes are drilled into the glass pane corners, one at the top and another at the bottom corners. A drainage tube is caulked to the bottom, which needs to be dried and can take a day.

Then a cleaning solution is sprayed inside from the top hole. It’s then drained out from the bottom hole tube. In addition, a thin, long instrument like a pipe cleaner may be inserted into the hole to wipe off the moisture.

Once done, the window is ensured to be completely dried off. A dehumidifier may be utilized for this. After applying an anti—fog coating, the holes are then sealed with vents to prevent further moisture from entering the window panes.

Many insulated glasss panes stacked

Got Fog in Your Window Panes? Count on Us to Repair or Replace the Window!

Double—pane windows provide insulation, make your home energy—efficient and stabilize the home’s temperatures. However, over time, the seals that act as barriers can deteriorate, leading to condensation being trapped between the two panes of the window. This leads to the entrapment of fog between window panes and loss of insulation protection.

Replacing the window can remedy the fog and serve as a long—term solution for aesthetics and insulation. However, window replacement is an expensive procedure. Alternatively, a sash replacement may be explored, where the small panes holding the glass and moving within the window frame are replaced. This procedure is cost—effective and simple.

Alternatively, there’s another cost—effective method that involves drilling the glass to remove the moisture trapped within. However, this invasive procedure might not always work, and it doesn’t restore the thermal performance either, serving only for the aesthetics of a clear window.

Our experts are here to assist you with this! We have extensive experience with window repairs and replacements, including repairing foggy double—pane windows. We can consult you with finding the best solution and restore the windows of your house to the best condition!

Get in touch with us now and say goodbye to the fog in your windows!

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