What is this?

(James S. Saunders, NC License # 3728) #1

I saw this cracking on the inside of 2 windows in the home today. Can someone tell me what this is on the inside edge of the window that is cracking and how should I report it if it is reportable? Thanks

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(Michael Bitterman, CMI HI7792) #2

Those appear to be double pane windows. Can’t tell if 2 panes of glass are there but I would say either there is only one and someone has filled the void with a putty that is cracking or the seal between the panes of glass is cracking. Either way it should be noted.

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(Brian E. Kelly, AZ Cert. # 60234) #3

Deteriorated Swiggle Seal. Call it out. They do not use that material anymore because it fails prematurely.

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(James S. Saunders, NC License # 3728) #4

Thank you so much for your response. I thought that it might be a seal but wasnt sure. Thanks so much.

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(Joe Funderburk, CMI) #5

What should he say? Seal MAY fail therefore the glass should be replaced? What if the window is 10 years old and hasn’t failed yet?

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(Brian E. Kelly, AZ Cert. # 60234) #6

That window is over ten yrs old.

That is one of these things Joe if you do not call it out you have a good chance of getting a call back.

That swiggle is done, probably a window facing south. That material is no longer used because that is what happens to it. Cheap contractor windows not worth worrying about if it was my house.

But if you do not mention it, the client may complain at a latter date.

I just say “…deteriorated window seals…bla bla bla window contractor”…

But I would hang blinds on that window.

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(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #7

Are you referring to these cracks?
Are they on the interior of the window?
It looks like trim of some sort outside of the window…

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(Michael Bitterman, CMI HI7792) #8

That is why I questioned whether there was 2 panes of glass

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(Junior S. Fudge, 342226, 342230) #9

Look at photo #2 again. You can see light reflecting of the wall & inside glass pane as well. :slight_smile:

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(Chuck Evans, CMI TREC 7657) #10

I see them frequently with some brands of double pane windows. I’ve never noticed any correlation between cracks in the spacer and loss of the thermal seal or fogging of the glass. I don’t get excited over them.

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(Michael Bitterman, CMI HI7792) #11

Yes you are right. Good catch. Strange that the seal looks like that and the window looks clear of fogging and condensation.

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(Junior S. Fudge, 342226, 342230) #12

The plastic spacer can’t handle the thermal expansion/contraction, and develops stress cracks. The window seal itself can fail eventually. If there’s no condensation so far, the seal is still doing its job. :slight_smile:

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(Marcel Gratton, CMI) #13

I was told that thermo panes are not sealed units; if they were they would explode when the sun comes out. They use desiccant to absorb moisture and when it is no longer effective the glass panes fogs.

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(Joe Funderburk, CMI) #14

I don’t call it out unless the seal has totally failed and the glass is fogged or there is bulging that is also an aesthetic issue (black seals that expand into the glazing area which indicates imminent failure). We are taught in our State to allow for normal wear and tear. If the window is “functioning as intended” (not fogged and opens and closes) it’s good enough for me. Nothing lasts forever but a window that has simply cracked seals that still function is not a good reason to write it up for me.

BTW, I disclaim being able to find all failed seals anyway as climate conditions can affect their discovery.

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