Window UV Breakdown

I inspected a home with windows that appeared to have factory UV protection and it’s breaking down. Looks similar to broken seals, but no moisture. Any thoughts on how to word this and is it considered a maintenance/minor or a major item?

I have seen similar before. Do you know old the house or window is?

Here is a post from another forum discussing this. It’s a manufacturing problem and potentially blown seal. I’ve seen multiple houses in a subdivision have this rainbow coloring.

Blown seals are energy efficiency problems as the windows are less energy efficient.

However, with these rainbow colored windows, a lot of times you can only see it from the outside and can not see it or barely see it from the inside. So the discoloration doesn’t obstruct the view of occupants from the inside to the exterior, but is a cosmetic issue when viewed from the outside.


It was built in 1983. I don’t know how old the windows are but they appear to be newer than 29 years.

Report what you see and refer it out to a window specialist, for repair/replace.


Change it however you need to.
“Fogged glass of the double-pane windows which indicates a loss of thermal integrity. The Inspector recommends that before the expiration of your Inspection Objection Deadline you consult with a qualified contractor to discuss options and costs for repair or replacement. Replacement is more common.”


Lower end replacement windows may only have a 3-5 yr manufacturers warranty. I do include it in the report, but I use my judgement on classifying it.


Did you compose that, or did you steal it from facebook??

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I call it out as a defect and recommend replacement, though some people may consider it cosmetic. IMO, nobody wants thermal seal failure in their home and they are expensive to replace.


It’s a defect, but I would be too hasty to say it’s a seal failure, as it could be a coating. Describe what you see.


I agree…play on words usually gets the point across.

Window had coating failure, hazing or moisture staining between the panes of glass which is consistent with thermal seal failure.


On my home I have the exact same visual effect I know was from a chemical smeared on the window, then wiped.

Interesting. But from what I understand, the low-e coating is on the inner pane(s) and would likely be impervious to chemicals. If your glass was etched by chemicals and duplicated that rainbow effect that would be even more interesting.


Consider: the low-e coating is on different layers, for windows sold in different climates. It’s hard to determine which layer is bad. Anyway to the OP’s question, describe what you see, if you like list possible causes, try not to pin yourself down too far.


Why are you telling me this?

I gave several options
Coating failure (covers your chemical story)
Moisture staining between panes of glass consistent with thermal seal failure.

All of which fall into the window defect category in my opinion. They do not need further evaluation or repair, I recommend replacement. It’s up to the client to follow thru.

Feel free to provide your narrative and do the word dance as not to pin yourself in. Let’s hear it. And be sure to include your signature cure.

The coating has failed! It is what it is, kind of hard to get yourself in a corner if you report it this way!

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+1 on that. And here’s the climate map where the window vendors send different product:

Thank you for that information. Though 1st layer coatings exist, passive and solar low-e are typically 2nd surface on. Bryce must have a 1st surface coating if the coating was damaged by an exterior chemical wipe.


Just did a 2013 house with same thing, E Failure, consult with a window specialist for further review.