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  • 'fogged' double pane windows

    Newbie here, thought you guys might know something I could not find on the web.

    35 Year old insulated glass windows have become 'fogged' (actually etched)

    tried to clean them by heating, slitting open the seal, then cleaning the insides, with the intent to reseal with butyl or polysulfide.

    On attempting to clean, discovered that the class was actually etched ! Close inspection with magnification showed a surface with a pebbled appearance like a 1/10 scale basketball.

    Question: what mechanism causes the etching?

    Best found on the web so far was it could be an enzyme. The brand of the windows was Fentron (must be out of business, cannot find window maker by that name on net)

    Since they are etched, found some free glass on craigslist and got that and used existing spacers and butyl to repair windows.

  • #2
    Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

    I would say it is time for some new windows and suggest you talk to your local glass shop on what might meet yor needs. Oh by the way this forum is for those that are in the trades and not homeowners. Good luck.
    Randy
    ________________________________________________

    The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

      Randy
      On the building science portion of the forums we have been a little more accommodating of this type of conversation.
      We have been able to address and advise on some problems that have educated the masses that choose to participate.
      Mark Parlee
      BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
      EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
      EDI Seminar Instructor
      Level one thermographer (Snell)
      www.thebuildingconsultant.com
      www.parleebuilders.com
      You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

        Sheder

        Pictures help a lot; remember a picture is worth a thousand words or it will at least get the request for more pictures.
        Most of the insulated glass from that long ago is next to worthless from the seals no longer able to seal and contamination of pollutants and any gas that was in the space is gone.
        It could be better to consider replacement than repair but you have to make that decision.

        Give us a first name and location so we know what climate we are dealing with.
        Mark Parlee
        BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
        EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
        EDI Seminar Instructor
        Level one thermographer (Snell)
        www.thebuildingconsultant.com
        www.parleebuilders.com
        You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

          Originally posted by sheder View Post
          Question: what mechanism causes the etching?
          This is the only question he asked.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

            Dan
            You are correct.
            Defensive mode sure can come up quick sometimes.

            35 year old glass and not knowing what contaminates the glass was exposed could be a lot of guesswork.
            Mark Parlee
            BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
            EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
            EDI Seminar Instructor
            Level one thermographer (Snell)
            www.thebuildingconsultant.com
            www.parleebuilders.com
            You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

              Don't forget to evacuate the unit and to add new desiccant. Glass could have a mineral build up and/or be physically etched. Mechanism would be blown seal adds moisture, temp causes condensation which causes surface deposits which build and can, given time, chemically 'etch'. Read up on static and dynamic aqueous corrosion [of glass].
              “I find the curiosity of our men with respect to this animal is pretty much satisfied.”
              ~ Meriwether Lewis

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

                Suckers only last about 25 years before the dessicant is all used up. And pulling them apart and putting them back together will accomplish nothing. You will have sealed moisture inside which will fog all over again. The etching may be a coating that was put on the glass originally. Time for new IGUs (insuated glass units)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

                  What is 'evacuate' have to do with insulated glass.

                  To ans. one query for details, am in Seattle area, all shade, mostly the windows on the south side went first, even though very little direct sun.

                  Dessicant: have taken apart maybe 10 different brand old insulated glass back before alum scrap prices when high and you could pick them up free off craigslist, etc. NEVER saw any dessicant in ahy type of insulated glass.

                  I have taken apart patio doors and cleaned them successfully (maybe were chemically treated like some car windows vs. thermal tempering?) as they were a simple condensate and not etched. Those have lasted over 25 years with polysulfide sealant and purged with dry nitrogen during sealing, even did a couple with my argon bottle for welding.

                  FWIW - the chances of me contacting somebody to replace windows is probably 4 orders of magnitude lower than getting a correct answer, or 10,000 times greater than the intelligence of the person who suggested that <G>

                  So, back to a corrolary of the original question:
                  anybody know anything about chemistry of glass??

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

                    Originally posted by sheder View Post
                    What is 'evacuate' have to do with insulated glass.

                    FWIW - the chances of me contacting somebody to replace windows is probably 4 orders of magnitude lower than getting a correct answer, or 10,000 times greater than the intelligence of the person who suggested that <G>
                    not entirely sure how to take this reply.

                    I tried to stick up for you in my first post and you seem to be trying to bite the hand of friendship.

                    please clarify

                    The ones that we have dialoged and helped out in the past did not come back with a seemingly idiotic reply. NW is suggesting replacement as did I; this is based on your description of things and us trying to help you out.
                    Mark Parlee
                    BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
                    EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
                    EDI Seminar Instructor
                    Level one thermographer (Snell)
                    www.thebuildingconsultant.com
                    www.parleebuilders.com
                    You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

                      Insulated glass used to mean an air space; it has no bearing on today's performance IGUs.

                      Mark
                      That is why I usually don't answer any post where the profile does not apply. When someone expects the dessicant to pour out like sand once the seal is opened tells me all I need to know!
                      Take Care

                      Jim

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

                        Originally posted by sheder View Post
                        What is 'evacuate' have to do with insulated glass.

                        So, back to a corrolary of the original question:
                        anybody know anything about chemistry of glass??
                        Not a thing. Please purge that and any talk of desiccant from memory as they obviously have no use here.
                        “I find the curiosity of our men with respect to this animal is pretty much satisfied.”
                        ~ Meriwether Lewis

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

                          sheder has burned his bridges as far as I'm concerned. Bye bye.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

                            If I remember Fentron windows were a cheap aluminum window manufacturer in Oakland or San Leandro in the 50s or 60s, maybe it'll come back to me if I think about it, but I haven't heard of them for years. Many of those cheap aluminum window manufacturers tried to modify their frames to accept dual pane in the late 70s, they were a failure as the added weight destroyed the frames, I know I installed some of them and have had to replace them.
                            You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 'fogged' double pane windows

                              Originally posted by NW Architect View Post
                              sheder has burned his bridges as far as I'm concerned. Bye bye.
                              They were probably cheap aluminum bridges anyway. At least the fire desiccated them.

                              Comment

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