Replacing a double-paned window

I did an inspection the other day and found moisture between the panes of a double-paned window. As I was going over the inspection with the buyer, they asked what it would take to repair the window. I told them I didn’t know if the entire window would have to be replaced or if just the bottom sash (with the failed seal) could be replaced.

I’d like to have an answer the next time this comes up. Can anyone help me?




in most cases the window or sash can be stripped down and the sealed unit itself can be replaced.



Thanks Gerry!!

This is a tough call you need to be carefull with this. Many of your double pane windows are sealed with Argon gas in them. If a glass company comes out and replaces one galss pane and seals it the Argon Gas is no longer in there and that defeats the value of having dual pane windows. The only way to save the integrety of the value of the window is to replace it (you can’t put the gas back in.) I was just involved with a client that was sueing a home inspector because the house they bought had several windows that were replaced and they didn’t have the gas in them. the home inspector did not list that the hermatic seals had been damaged.:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Mike, how could the HI know if there was gas between the layers of glass? Especially if there was no moisture present between the glayers.


See how Gerry wrote it up, IMO best course of action. Or consult the services of a glazier.

Gerry is right as usual, the sashes of most windows are removable and can be sent to a glazier for replacement of the failed thermo-pane.


Yes, I’ve needed to do a few over the years including gas filled, it just took longer.

most thermals i’ve seen, don’t indicate if there is argon or not. isn’t it an R value difference between argon filled and not? that and the price. i’ve suppervised the ordering, and replacement of about 300 windows that were all non-argon filled ('cuz the big boss is cheap) and so far no problems.

Jay…I installed the same windows in a home I flipped…no gas…but no Air either…same difference, no air, no condensation.

I don’t care who the window manufacturer is, the gas will escape in a short time. It is a waste of money…your boss is right…:smiley:

I also replaced numerous dual pane windows (just the glass) without the frame…just like Gerry described. They make them for every window made (just dual pane sealed glass).

Now i’m curios. if it’s not argon, and not air, what’s between the pains? surely it’s not a vaccum, the panes would implode. i’ve only seen argon or "dried air’’ processed threw a dehumidifier in the assembly chamber. the condensation (in any case) only happens when the seal is broken and the “air” can’t exchange at the same rate as the weather. just curios, i’m not an expert.:cool:

If you see moisture in the widow some places will fix it like and . Even have a guarantee!!:stuck_out_tongue: </IMG>


There are companies that can repair the broken seal as indicated previously. Don,t know if they are in Tx though.

I put this in all reports CTA

Thermopane windows observed in the home. The inspector is unable to determine if all double glazed insulated windows in this property are completely intact and without compromised seals. Conditions indicating a broken seal are not always visable or present and may not be apparent or visable at the time of the inspection. Changing conditions such as temperature, humidity, and lighting limit the ability of the inspector to visually review these windows for broken seals. For more complete information on the condition of all double glazed windows, consult with the seller prior to closing.



Doug you hit it on the head you need to put something in the report that disclaimes the dual pain windows not everyone does this and if you get a picky client you will be in court or at least buying them new windows. there are clients out there that want there moneys worth if they buy a house that is reported to have gas filled windows it better have them or you need to disclaime them. If you go to court the lawyers will eat you alive if you can’t tell the difference in gas or no gas windows and they will bring several HI’s that know the difference to show that it is common knowlage. Just be carefull the Hi’ in the case I was involved in lost and had to pay for 4 windows and the court cost this was on a high end teritoriel home and I felt bad for the HI he didn’t know about the windows or disclaim them in his report.

Jay…the only time a window will fog is when there is a large breach in the seal…regardless of what is in it.

I have had numerous panes (one of the dual) of glass replaced by a friend of mine in the business. He just removes the window from the frame, disassembles the seal between both panes, installs the one pane, reinstalls a new seal between both panes…does nothing else…no vacuum. no gas…nothing more… reinstalls the glass back into the frame and that window will not fog ever.

Every time he does work for me he explains the myth about Argon…it is a joke…as long as the window is sealed, nothing is needed in between the two pieces of glass.

The Argon insulating value is another myth…:D… Every window will loose the gas between the panes…but it takes a large breach for condensation to occur.

Interesting chart. True Low E windows have better insulating properties than older dual pane windows. Air is a good insulator, Ar, being more dense is better, any votes for Krypton or Xenon?:slight_smile:’s-Glass-Transparent-Insulation-You-Can-See-Through/

Thank you Brian K. if a cliant pays for a top end home that is supposed to have low E windows as a home inspector you need to notice and comment on them.

Michael…how do you note the difference?..when the shipping labels are still on the window.

Installing hundreds of windows through the years I have never seen an e-rating etched into the glass.

Oh great! Another gadget to buy…an infrared ocsilloscopic spectographic thingamajig for analyzing windows and the gas within them…

It never ends…my wallet is getting light. :wink:

OOOPSSSS…sorry Monday Morning QB’ing again…shhh…