Common Glass Shower Doors and Windows Q&A
Have you ever wondered why your windows are starting to fog?
Do you need to replace a broken window?
Broken or fogged windows are common problems that most homeowners will face. Here are some of the most common questions that homeowners have about windows:
How can I tell if my double paned window unit is bad?
The window glass should be clear. If the glass is not clear, clean the window on the inside and outside. If the window is still not clear, it needs to be replaced.
What is a “fogged” window and how does it happen?
Insulated window units are made up of two panes of glass separated by a spacer. A sealant is applied along the edges of the unit to seal off the space between the two panes of glass. This space provides a measure of insulation and allows for you to see out the window. When this seal fails, outside air and humidity are able to enter the space between the window panes. The difference in temperatures on the outside and the inside of the windowpanes can cause condensation to form and create a “fogged” window.
The seal between the windowpanes can be broken for several reasons. Age is the primary reason as the sealant begins to degrade. Movement and flexing of the windows over time can also cause the seal to break.
My window looks fogged some days, but not others. Is that bad?
Most likely the window seal is bad. Changing temperatures and humidity can affect whether condensation is forming on the inside of the window and is visible. If there is condensation on the inside, the unit is bad and needs to be replaced. The window is clear somedays because the seal is broken and allows for moisture to travel in and out.
How can I fix a fogged window?
The window unit must be replaced. It is possible to replace just the glass in the window and not the entire window frame.
How much does it cost to replace a fogged window?
The cost of replacement is going to depend on a couple of factors. First, there is the glass itself.
Size: Glass is generally priced based on the square footage, so larger pieces of glass will cost more. Most glass manufacturers have a minimum square footage of at least 3 or 4 sqft per window unit.
Glass type: Tempered safety glass will cost slightly more. Tempered glass is used in certain areas such as in doors, windows close to the floor, or in bathrooms.
Low E vs Clear: Most newer homes have Low E glass which is intended to improve the insulative properties of the glass. This glass costs slightly more. Your glass provider generally carries a tool that can detect whether Low E glass is being used. Your provider will work to match the existing glass, so if the existing windows are not Low E it is not recommended to change only one window to Low E. There will be a noticeable difference in how these windows look.
Muntin Bars: Some windows have muntin bars in them in various patterns. These bars will add to the cost of the window unit.
Labor is the second component in the cost. Larger windows tend to require more people for the removal and installation. Where the window is located also factors into the cost. If the window is located in a difficult to reach location that requires scaffolding or other measures to reach, that can also affect the cost.
Due to the nature of glass installations and removal, it is hard to provide an accurate price estimate over the phone.
My window is broken and I need it replaced ASAP. How long does it take to get the window replaced?
Windows are generally custom and it is highly unlikely that your glass provider would have a double paned window unit in stock that fits your needs. The window unit will have to be manufactured and shipped to your provider which can take a couple of weeks.
A typical replacement has three steps:
- Measurement of the existing window
- Order/Fabrication of the replacement window
- Installation of the new window
Measurement: Your glass provider will schedule a time to measure the broken or fogged window unit. Precise measurements are needed of the existing window to place the order. A window unit cannot be modified in the field. If the measurements are off, a new window unit will need to be ordered.
Fabrication: Once measurements are professionally completed, the window can be ordered and fabricated.
Installation: Your glass provider will schedule a time to come to your home. They will first remove the old glass by removing the stops holding the glass within the frames. They may also have to cut the window out of any sealant or foam tape that is holding the window in the frame. Once that is completed the new window can be installed.
Replacing a broken or fogged window will generally take 2-4 weeks.
If the problematic window is small enough and you are able, you can bring the window unit to your glass provider. This will allow them to quickly get the measurements needed and have the glass placed on order. If the window is just fogged, you can take it back home and wait for the glass to come in. Doing this can cut down the wait time and save you money.
Do window units have warranties?
Generally, most manufacturers will provide 5 or 10-year warranties on the window units themselves. The age of the window unit can often be determined by looking at the spacer located between the windowpanes. There is often a year stamped onto the spacer. If the window unit is within that warranty period, then you should contact your glass provider to see about getting a replacement. Most warranties will cover the glass, but the installation cost may not be covered.
Some window units may not be eligible for a warranty. These windows tend to be custom shaped or oversized (>50 sqft) .
My window unit has shattered. What should I do?
Tempered glass will shatter in hundreds of tiny little pieces. It is not uncommon for the outer pane of glass to be shattered while the inner pane is still good. In this situation, it will allow you time to get the window unit replaced without having to deal with a large open hole. The little pieces of glass can be disposed of. The pieces are small, but can still cause cuts. It is recommended that you wear gloves when working with glass.
Sometimes the glass will shatter, but will stay together. In this situation, it is best to leave the window or door undisturbed.
Wolverine Can Help with Your Windows and Glass Shower Doors in Ann Arbor
If you need to install or replace your windows, mirrors or glass shower doors in Ann Arbor, Wolverine Glass can take care of your custom needs.
Contact us today at (734) 426-5600 for your custom glass installation and replacements. Don’t worry about accurate measurements or glass types when you have professionals on the job.