Windows: Reporting Loss of Thermal Seals

Originally Posted By: hspinnler
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In my reporting, I recommend replacement of double-pane windows that have lost their thermal seals and are observed to have fogging and condensation between the panes. Windows filled with air only more than likely don’t have great insulating value anyway, but how much of a decrease is to be expected in efficiency? The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) uses several criteria including “U-Factor” which I reckon is similar to R-factor with insulation. In reality, how much loss of energy efficiency can be expected and are we talking about a true requirement for replacement of windows? Of course, some realtors like to call fogging a cosmetic issue. How do you report such findings?


Hank Spinnler
www.harmonyinspection.com


Originally Posted By: gbeaumont
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Hi Hank,


I report all visible seal problems, as I know 2 home inspectors who have been forced to buy replacement sealed units that they failed to report.

As to the insullation value, most double-glazed units are only around an R3 value, the U rating (which can cover the whole window or door assembly) also takes into account the reflective coating on glass that reduces solar gain inside the home.

http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/windows_doors_skylights/index.cfm/mytopic=13320

Regards

Gerry


Originally Posted By: rcooke
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Jerry is correct do not miss fogged windows .


Another thing to look for and these can be hard to see is where a small hole has been drilled in the window to let the moisture out.


Very easy to miss .


I was told that fogged windows or those with the hole have an r Value of 2.5 not that big a loss .


I feel the biggest concern with the window that has lost its seal is you can not see out of them well and if it has been a long time they build up a stain .


Roy sr


A Happy NACHI member


Originally Posted By: hspinnler
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Hi Gerry & Roy,


Thanks for the replies fellas. Micro holes, huh? More getting down on hands and knees. LOL!

Interestingly, a municipal inspector once helped me locate the "Bug" or the "Tempered" listing on a frosted glass window over a garden tub. Very difficult to find sometimes.

Gerry, I am remiss that I did not vote for you for Nachi member of the year. See you in Atlanta sometime next year I hope.

Hank


Originally Posted By: hspinnler
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Gerry, just to clarify - I did the vote did not go elsewhere. I was unable to vote in time anyway. icon_cry.gif


Originally Posted By: hspinnler
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I should have said “The vote did not go elsewhere.” Clumsy me.


Originally Posted By: rcooke
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I did a home that had 12 windows done one year ago and he was happy .


http://www.ccwwi.com/

Roy Cooke sr R.H.I. C.H. I. CAHPI.ON
A HAPPY NACHI Member


Originally Posted By: dspencer
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Report it…more than a cosmetic issue to me icon_biggrin.gif


Originally Posted By: phinsperger
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Report it? - absolutley!


Is it a significant energy loss? - Not really.


Even if it was an argon filled at one time and now that is lost the actutal reduction in energy efficiency is not that big of a factor as most people think.

I do energy audits that models current state of a home and with various enrergy upgrades. Upgrading windows from single glazed, wood frame to double glazed vinyl argon windows has some benifit toward energy but not nearly as much as you would think. A double glazed window with a comprimized seal would be sightly better than a single glazed with a storm window.


--
.


Paul Hinsperger
Hinsperger Inspection Services
Chairman - NACHI Awards Committee
Place your Award Nominations
here !

Originally Posted By: hspinnler
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Paul: what you said makes sense. My gas bill was almost $200 this month and that was with it at around 65 degrees for the majority of the month. I have a few fogged windows that may not be allowing the solar heat gain I would otherwise receive in the afternoon. Makes an impact on the inside warmth. I read that removing screens can help allow more sunlight to penetrate this time of year.


Originally Posted By: phinsperger
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Yes, and the solar gains in accounted for in the modling I spoke of. In addition to the size and type and materials of the window, the direction and tint of the window is factored in as well as the measurement of the amount of shade overhang (such as sofits, awnings, etc) and the height from the top of the window to those overhangs. This with the geograpfic location is all needed to calculate the solar gains for that window.


If you have a fogged window it would be similar to a tinted window. All else being equal.


Originally Posted By: jhagarty
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A failed weather seal is a failed window in need of repair and/or replacement.



Joseph Hagarty


HouseMaster / Main Line, PA
joseph.hagarty@housemaster.com
www.householdinspector.com

Phone: 610-399-9864
Fax : 610-399-9865

HouseMaster. Home inspections. Done right.

Originally Posted By: phinsperger
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jhagarty wrote:
A failed weather seal is a failed window in need of repair and/or replacement.


Why? What functional aspect justifies the cost?


Originally Posted By: jfunderburk
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Quote:
What functional aspect justifies the cost?


You have a window in a $400,000 house and you can't see clearly through it. That would justify the cost I think.

If you can't see clearly through a window, it "does not function as intended" and hence meets the definition of a Significant Issue in my view.


Originally Posted By: phinsperger
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That’s astetics. And its pretty far down on my list of priorities. I can find much better ways for my clients to spend the $500+ than replacing a window with a broken seal.


Originally Posted By: ekartal5
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Not functioning as intended is key here. They either funtion as intended or they don’t. There is no other option. I have to disagree with a Joe H. post for the first time icon_cool.gif . They cannot be fixed - only replaced


Erol Kartal
ProInspect


Originally Posted By: dduffy
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jhagarty wrote:
A failed weather seal is a failed window in need of repair and/or replacement.


Either that or someone might be buying a window....like the inspector.


Originally Posted By: jhagarty
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Erol:


Maybe I need to clarify.

Windows can be repaired if the frames afford replacement of the glazing. There are glass companies in this area that frequently replace the glass only and retain the window sash and frame.

If the glazing can not be repaired, then the window unit would need to be replaced.


--
Joseph Hagarty

HouseMaster / Main Line, PA
joseph.hagarty@housemaster.com
www.householdinspector.com

Phone: 610-399-9864
Fax : 610-399-9865

HouseMaster. Home inspections. Done right.

Originally Posted By: ekartal5
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Damn it Joe! icon_cool.gif


Originally Posted By: dduffy
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jhagarty wrote:
Erol:

Maybe I need to clarify.

Windows can be repaired if the frames afford replacement of the glazing. There are glass companies in this area that frequently replace the glass only and retain the window sash and frame.

If the glazing can not be repaired, then the window unit would need to be replaced.


For a quarter of the price for complete replacement.......exactly.