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Expert Double Glazing Advice

5 Causes & Signs of Double Glazing Failure

How to Know your Double Glazing has Failed in Your Leicester Home

Cracked window and double glazing failure

Whether you’re settling into a new property in Leicester or becoming increasingly aware of potential problems with your existing home’s double glazed windows or doors, it’s crucial to look for signs of double glazing failure.

Double glazed windows typically have a lifespan of 20-35 years, and sometimes even longer. However, the key to ensuring their durability lies in correct initial installation and diligent maintenance.

If you’re noticing signs that your double glazing might be experiencing issues, there’s no need to panic. 

In this guide, we’ll discuss possible reasons why your double glazing might be facing problems, offer potential solutions and when it may be time to consider replacing your double glazed units.

Signs of double glazing failure may be:

  • Condensation
  • Draughts
  • Increased energy bills
  • Leaks
  • Cracks or Chips

So, let’s jump in.

What is Double Glazing?

Double glazing, also known as insulated glazing, involves the use of two glass panes separated by a spacer bar and filled with either air or gas. This ingenious design significantly reduces heat transfer and noise transmission, making homes more comfortable and energy-efficient.

For more information, read our guide: What is Double Glazing? How Does it Work?

At Phair Windows & Glass, we’re a leading Leicester window company serving customers across Leicestershire and the East Midlands. Find out more information about our double glazing services, or contact us for a free quote.

Common Signs of Double Glazing Failure

1. Fogging, Misting and Condensation

One of the most noticeable signs of a failing double glazing unit is the appearance of fogging or condensation between the panes. This occurs due to a breach in the seal, allowing moisture to infiltrate the space between the glass. The compromised seal reduces the insulation properties and clarity of the windows.

Condensation on windows

Condensation on the Inside

If you’re dealing with interior condensation, enhancing overall ventilation in your property is a good initial step. If this proves ineffective or your home is prone to condensation, introducing a dehumidifier can effectively reduce indoor humidity levels.

Condensation on the Outside

When you observe condensation on the exterior of your windows, it indicates that your double glazing is functioning optimally. This occurrence arises from the temperature disparity between the external environment and the window. It signifies the window’s role in retaining interior warmth.

Condensation Between Double Glazing Panes

If condensation appears between the double glazing panes, it’s a sign that replacement double glazing might be necessary. This occurrence typically indicates a compromised seal or leak within the double glazed unit, warranting attention and potential replacement.

Related: How to clear misted double glazed windows

2. Draughts and Temperature Fluctuations

When double glazing fails, drafts and temperature inconsistencies become apparent. Faulty seals or gaps in the frame permit air leakage, leading to uncomfortable drafts and uneven indoor temperatures. This not only affects your comfort but also strains your heating and cooling systems.

Related: How to stop draughts on uPVC windows

3. Increased Energy Bills

A sudden spike in energy bills without a corresponding change in usage could be attributed to failing double glazing. The compromised insulation forces your HVAC systems to work harder to maintain the desired temperature, resulting in increased energy consumption.

Related: Will new double glazed windows save energy?

4. Leaks

If you’ve noticed water making its way indoors through your windows, it’s important to identify the source of the leak promptly. If the water seems to be originating from the window frame itself, two potential culprits could be responsible for the issue.

Weather seals are essential components of windows designed to keep water out. In cases where water appears to be entering through the window frame, there’s a possibility that the weather seals have deteriorated or broken. This can happen over time due to exposure to the elements.

Another cause of water leaks can be a blocked drainage section. Debris such as leaves, dirt, or other materials might accumulate in the drainage area, preventing water from properly draining away from the window. This can result in water seeping into your property.

5. Cracked Glass, Scratches and Chips

No matter how cautious you are, glass can sometimes end up damaged, leading to a range of issues. From minor scratches to noticeable chips and even troublesome cracks, glass damage can be a concern. 

If you spot a scratch on your window glass, there’s hope for a solution. For shallow scratches, buffing might be effective in restoring the glass’s appearance. However, deeper scratches may require more attention and could be harder to repair.

Handling Chips and Cracks

Chips in the glass surface might not be cause for immediate concern, especially if they are not too deep. In such cases, they might not lead to adverse effects.

Cracks, on the other hand, demand more attention. If cracks extend through the glass or reach the frame, they could bring about several issues:

  • Increased Condensation: Cracks allow moisture to penetrate, leading to higher condensation levels.
  • Enhanced Draughts: Cracks can introduce unwanted airflows and draughts from the outside.
  • Reduced Energy Efficiency: Cracks compromise the window’s insulation, potentially leading to higher energy bills.

For shallow chips that don’t penetrate deeply, solutions like filling the chip with clear resin might help restore the window’s integrity.

In more severe cases involving deep chips or extensive cracks, a replacement window could be the best course of action. When damage reaches a point where it affects the window’s performance, contacting a local window installer is recommended. They can assess the damage and provide guidance on whether a replacement window is necessary.

Root Causes of Double Glazing Failure

Seal Deterioration

Over time, the seals that hold the glass panes together can deteriorate due to exposure to weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. This deterioration leads to the loss of an airtight seal, allowing moisture and air to infiltrate the space between the glass.

Double glazing failure on window

Poor Installation

Inadequate installation is a common culprit behind double glazing failure. If the units are not installed with precision, gaps can form between the frame and the glass, enabling drafts, moisture, and even pests to enter your living space.

Ensure that you always choose an accredited and highly recommended double glazing installer such as Phair Windows & Glass. If you’re not sure what to look out for, take a look at our guide on how to choose the best double glazing company.

Thermal Stress

Extreme temperature variations can subject double glazing units to thermal stress, causing the glass to expand and contract. Over time, this stress weakens the seals and increases the likelihood of failure.

Prevention and Maintenance

Regular Inspection

To prevent double glazing failure, routine inspections are crucial. Examine the seals, frames, and glass for signs of damage or deterioration. Early detection allows for timely repairs, avoiding costly replacements.

Proper Ventilation

Maintaining proper ventilation in your home helps regulate indoor humidity levels, reducing the risk of condensation forming within the double glazing units.

Addressing Double Glazing Failures

Seal Replacement

If the seals are damaged, a professional can replace them to restore the integrity of the double glazing unit. This process involves removing the old seals, thoroughly cleaning the area, and applying new seals with precision.

Glass Replacement

In cases of irreparable glass damage or extensive condensation, glass replacement is necessary. Professional installers can replace the glass while ensuring an airtight seal and optimal thermal performance.

When Should You Replace Your Windows?

Glass damage, misted windows, draughts and leaks can lead to a host of problems affecting your window’s performance and energy efficiency. While some issues can be addressed through minor repairs, deeper damage may require window replacement. 

If you’re still unsure whether your windows need replacing, or you would like a free quote on replacement windows, get in touch with us. As a leading double glazing installer in Leicester, we have the experience and expertise to assist with your double glazing failure.

Phair Windows & Glass is a leading window and door supplier, and double glazing installer in Leicestershire. Get in touch with the double glazing installer experts in Leicester at Phair Windows & Glass today. Contact us for a free quote on your new windows.

FAQs about Double Glazing Failure

What happens if double glazing fails?

When double glazing fails, issues like condensation, drafts, and reduced energy efficiency arise, impacting comfort and increasing energy bills. Timely repair or replacement is necessary.

Can failed double glazing be repaired?

Yes, failed double glazing can often be repaired, depending on the extent of the damage. Repairs might involve fixing seals, replacing glass, or addressing other issues to restore functionality.

How do you know if double glazing has blown?

You can tell if double glazing has blown by noticing condensation or fogging between the panes, reduced insulation, and possible drafts. A professional assessment is recommended for accurate diagnosis and solutions.

Does home insurance cover failed double glazing?

Home insurance coverage for failed double glazing varies. Some policies might cover accidental damage or certain perils, while others may require specific add-ons or endorsements. Check your policy terms for clarity.

Related Articles:

Recognising Signs of Double Glazing Issues: A Guide for Leicester Residents

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