Insulated glass units help keep homes cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. Double pane windows are a type of IGU. The insulating airspace in between the glass panels helps to reduce heat loss.
The seals hold a spacer in place — usually a tube containing water-absorbing chemicals, otherwise known as a desiccant. The two panes of glass are separated by the spacer and sealed together at the edge of the window.
Why IGU Seals Break
For the most part, double pane insulated glass windows work extremely well. They can withstand and handle all types of weather, including cold temperatures, heat, and humidity, as well as repetitive open and close motions.
With the double seal, when one seal begins to break, the other can hold the line for a while. However, as the window ages, its components begin to break down. The standard lifespan of double pane windows ranges from 10 to 20 years.
Other than old age, there are two additional factors that affect seal breakage:
Water retention in the frame or improper drainage around the window.
Direct exposure to sunlight — the more sun your window gets, the more heat will buildup, causing the glass to expand, contract, and eventually weaken.
Once the seal is broken, moisture begins to form between the glass plates, giving your windows a milky, foggy look.
Call Your Local Glass Doctor to Fix Condensation Between Your Window Panes