LESLIE: Roland in New York listens to The Money Pit on WABC and something’s going on with your windows. What’s happening?
ROLAND: Yes, I have a picture window about five feet by six feet …
ROLAND: … double-pane. And I have this moisture inside of it and I don’t know what to do. It looks terrible.
LESLIE: How old is the window?
ROLAND: Well actually the window is about 10 years old but I’ve had this – I guess in the third or fourth year.
TOM: Well Roland, what you have there is a failed thermal pane seal. Obviously you have two panes of glass – an insulated window – with a seal in between. And as that seal leaks, moisture from the outside gets sucked into that space and then it condenses. Depending on the difference in temperature between the outside and the inside, the level of humidity in the air and the level of temperature, that area is going to get wetter or drier but it’s always going to be somewhat cloudy.
Now, the good news is it has very little effect on the energy efficiency, believe it or not; still a reasonably tight window. However, it’s going to really look bad and it’s only going to get worse. The only cure for this is to actually physically replace that piece of glass with a new one that has a good seal on it.
ROLAND: So, one piece of glass I should take out.
TOM: No, no, no. It’s a thermal pane window so it has two pieces of glass with a seal in between. The seal in between, does it look like a black gasket?
TOM: That’s called swiggle and a swiggle …
LESLIE: I love that word.
TOM: The swiggle seal has failed and, as a result, you have moisture in between the glass and the only way to correct it is to replace it. And so it’s really a job for a window company to do. It’s really not a do-it-yourself job because you’re probably going to have to order a new piece of glass made to fit the exact same size.
LESLIE: Is it an expensive repair?
TOM: Yeah, could be. Five foot by six foot window? It’s going to be probably $300, $400 I’m sure. It’s a pretty good – it’s a pretty good job.
ROLAND: I’m better off just getting another window, then.
TOM: You may very well be. That’s a good point. It’s wear, tear and bad luck. Sorry, Roland. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.