I have a building where some of the window pane units have separated in places from the sashes after a wind and hail event. Light pressure on the edges of good seals has no movement whereas other windows separate. A PE from a loss mitigation firm said that he could tell from the outside if all window seals were good. My question is “what is the best way to determine seal integrity in a window?”
Are they single pane or double pane thermo units?
Double pane units.
Since they are pressed into the sash and against a silicone bead it seems logical that to detect seal failure you would need to see if the pane detached from the sash when interior pressure is applied but always good to confirm
As inspectors, we look for fogging, discoloration, or dust between the panes as an indicator of a failed seal. If the pane has separated from the sash, that is enough for us to report on it. At that point, we aren’t really concerned about the condition of the seal.
In this case the insurer paid a loss mitigation firm to inspect the windows. Their report said that inspection from the outside determined that the pane had not separated from the sash. Again the inspector never once came inside
You know, If you had pictures, You may get more replies.
Did you think about contacting a window specialist?
I had a window company come out that was recommended by my insurance agent. They determined that 14 of my 39 pane sections needed to be replaced, 7 of them were sash to pane section failures, the remainder were pane seal failures. All of them became evident after the 4/28 hail and wind event in Dallas. They tested each pane by applying light pressure to the edges. Deflection of up to 1/4 inch was observed. Their opinion was that insurance would not pay for pane seal failures but that having so many pane to sash failures was very uncommon, especially considering that all of the screens on them were damaged and totaled by the initial adjuster.
I am simply trying to get a feel for how sash to pane seal failure is supposed to be tested for!
So, consider wind forces against a window. Panes push in against the inside sash. Likely stretching, bending or deforming the sash. So now the window sits in a “widened” seat.
There is likely no scientific approach. But it appears the window specialist determined what I described has occurred on at least some windows.
Truly thank you for taking the time to show me!
They must be low quality vinyl windows.
How does hail not break the glass but cause the seals to fail?
I bet the hail prompted closer look at previously failed seals, if any. Need to see pictures of the windows and the failed seals.
They are aluminum frame windows by GA circa 1995.
The hail was golf ball size and greater, 2 miles southwest and 3 miles northeast it was baseball sized and greater. Winds were 50-60 gusting to 70 mph, supercell moving southwest to northeast with whole complex moving west to east.
Windows are primarily 36x84. Screens are only on bottom 36 inches. Over my 25 years here I have replaced 10 upper pane sections due to fogging, the most in 2010. The PE was unaware that date and manufacturer information is stamped on each pane section.
Hail impacted the screens. Wind impacted the whole window. Would brand new windows have experienced damage? Likely not but my insurance does not exclude building parts as they age, does not mandate window replacement every “x” years to maintain coverage, nor establish any “seal maintenance program” which of course Is impossible. The gist of their argument against paying $3100.00 to repair however is that “they are old so what do you expect”? FYI, 7 of the windows id’ed with seal failure by the window firm have 2010 manufacture dates, all on southwest storm facing side!
The original videos of seal exam by Mr. Glass I will get or make one of my own. They surmised that the tall fixed window sections, the ones with seal failure, flexed with wind and hail impact.
The insurance company will probably pay the claim, exactly $100 over your deductible, lol. Rates will go up and they will recover their $100 in a blink of an eye. This is why filing a claim never works unless there is catastrophic damage.
They have so far replaced my roof, my screens, and my gutters. This part of the claim is less than 6% of the total but it is where they have staked their flag
As I stated before.
The loss mitigation firm hired by the insurance company to do the inspection of the windows did the entire inspection from outside the home. To test seal to sash integrity an inspector would need to inspect from the inside. He merely inspected for fogged panes which most insurance companies will not pay for unless that repair was part of a bigger problem, like pane to sash seal failure that necessitates removal of the pane to fix.
He did not know how to find the manufacturing date or manufacturer name imprinted on every pane section.
Though so far the insurance company has not shown me the report they based their coverage decline on, the adjuster in Columbus, OH stated, “the engineer was able to determine that the window issues were due to age”. The windows impacted by the pane to sash failure were a mix of 1995 and 2010 vintage panes but he noted them all of similar age.
Bottom line, had he done both an interior and exterior exam as required and still come to the same conclusion, I might still be bitching about age exclusions but accept the methodology
Here is the video of the seal failure
Video.mov (2.36 MB)
Video.mov (1010 KB)