Why are my windows doing this?
It’s the way they’re made. Windows are manufactured with desiccant (i.e. drying beads) built into the spacer. The constant heating and cooling of the airspace causes moisture to accumulate in the desiccant. Once the desiccant is saturated with moisture, and the outside temperature warms up (daytime), the moisture evaporates into the air space. When the outside temperature reaches the dew point (evening), fog and condensation will show up. At really cold temperatures the condensation will show up as starry patches (frost) on the inside air space of the window.
How long will it take to dry?
By the time you notice the fog and condensation, there could be several cups of water in the desiccant. If we were able to remove the desiccant from the window, it would take 4 hours in a conventional oven at 200 degrees to dry. However, the air space in a window only heats up to 170 degrees, so the dessicant can only dry to about 80% in the first month. In the second month, we return to install our proprietary UV resistant membranes which allow the window to breathe and continue expelling the moisture. The window may refog with temperature fluctuations, but it will be less and less each time. Once dry it will stay dry.
Are you going to reseal the unit?
No. We re-engineer the unit so the moisture can escape. If not done, the moisture will continue to accumulate and the window will continue to deteriorate.
Will it restore the R value?
Wet air is colder than the dry air. Drying the air space restores the window to that of a dead air space window which has an R value of about 4.2 for dual pane windows and 5.6 for triple pane.
How long does the defogging process take?
It is a 2 part process:
Part 1 – Each window takes an average of 20 minutes to 1 hour. First, we drill 2 small holes in the outside pane of glass. Then we spray in and extract a cleaning solution, followed by a drying (rinsing) solution. At the end, we put in a mesh fabric to allow the window to continue to breathe and expel the moisture.
Part 2 – It takes about a month for the window to expel about 80% of the moisture. At that point, we return to remove the mesh fabric and install UV resistant membranes over the holes. After the membranes have been installed, the remaining moisture will continue to be expelled. You may notice refogging with temperature fluctuation, but it will be less each time and eventually, it will disappear completely.
When is the best time to get a window defogged?
The short answer is “as soon as possible”. The longer the moisture has a chance to stay in the window, the more likely there will be staining on the glass or possibly rust on the spacer. Even when treated late in the fall, a window will still continue to expel moisture from between the panes during the cold months, although at a slower rate than when done in the spring and summer when the days are longer and there is more heat.
What happens to the argon gas?
The argon gas in a window is only temporary as it dissipates over time. The rate at which it dissipates is a question that will garner different answers depending on whom is asked. Some say argon leaves a window at a rate of 10% per year whereas others may say 5-8%. And yet another answer we have heard is that the argon is completely gone in a few years. Being that it is invisible, how is a person to know for sure?
Why do window replacement companies say defogging doesn’t work?
Business, business, business. Just like any other business, window replacement companies will tout that their product is better than anyone elses. That said, we at All About Windows have defogged several companies’ windows; from the most expensive “high quality” to the fly-by- night. We have also been referred to customers by some window replacement companies to defog windows if they would entail a lot of time and labour or if they would require high cost equipment to access.