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replacement windows in Phoenix, AZ

What Causes Window Seal Failure?

Energy efficient windows have insulated frames, multiple panes of glass, special coatings, and inert gas fills to help protect against heat transfer. They also have seals designed to hold everything in place and prevent air and moisture leaks. Unfortunately, even the best seals do not last forever. And if a window seal fails, it is time to start thinking about replacement windows in Phoenix, AZ. But what causes seal failure? Here are some of the leading culprits:

Improper Window Installation

Poor window installation is a common problem, especially for homeowners who attempt to do the project themselves. One mistake in sizing or placement could result in premature seal failure. Window installation is meticulous work. It takes proper training and skill as well as the right tools. And most window professionals receive training directly from the manufacturer. This is why it is so important to hire a window professional for installation.

Extreme Temperature Fluctuations

All materials undergo thermal expansion and contraction due to temperature fluctuations. Unfortunately, not every material expands and contracts at the same rate. And temperature extremes are brutal on window seals. Because window and frame materials are rigid, the window seals are made from a less rigid material meant to stretch and contract to help make up the difference. But repeated exposure to extreme fluctuations can cause the seal to crack, peel away, or even disintegrate.

Natural Elements

Window seals are meant to withstand the natural elements—at least to a certain point. But even the best window seal has limits. Harsh wind and rain carved out the Grand Canyon, and prolonged exposure to these harsher elements can do the same to window seals.

Moisture Damage and Corrosion

Certain windows in the home invite more condensation. Areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room are prime examples. And if condensation continues to pool it can lead to mold growth along the frame, the sill, and even the window seal. If not promptly cleaned and dried the mold will begin to obliterate the integrity of finishes, surfaces, and even the adhesives. Even window seals are vulnerable to the impact of mold growth.

Neglected Maintenance

Keeping windows in top condition means following the manufacturers’ guidelines for proper care and maintenance. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t even get a chance to look over the care instructions for their windows. As a result, they often use the wrong products or neglect window maintenance altogether. The use of abrasives, harsh chemicals, and power washers can all damage the window seals.

Age and Use

With time and use the seals on all windows will eventually wear out and break down. As caulk ages it becomes brittle and cracked. In some cases, it is simply a matter of removing and replacing the damaged caulk. But seal failure on the insulated glazing unit (IGU) is more serious. If the inert gas leaks out there is no way to restore the insulation on the window. The only option is to invest in window replacement.

For more information about seal failure and replacement windows in Phoenix, AZ contact our experts today. They can help you find the right product at the right price.