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Thread: Cloudy Windows

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    3

    Unhappy Cloudy Windows

    After 3-4 years some of the windows in our new home started to cloud up. We've replaced them one-by-one but now the arched windows have clouded and we've been told that they are entire units and quite expensive. Would it be possible to just replace the glass?

    I've checked all the postings on windows and could not find any problem like ours. The windows are not on any particular side of the house so that the sun or wind causes this problem...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Cloudy Windows

    I'm not a window pro, but what I have been told over the years is that the windows cloud due to the seal being broken between the 2 panes of glass...assuming these are double paned windows. Condensation and/or dust gets in between and you have cloudy windows. If it were me, to try to save money, I would try taking the glass apart, since the seal is already broken and cleaning the windows. I'd let them get bone dry before putting them back together and then use a good silicone caulk to make sure they are once again air tight. Time consuming and labor intensive, but windex and caulking are much cheaper than replacing the glass or getting new windows and if it works, you've saved yourself a bundle. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,160

    Default Re: Cloudy Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by sjbraun View Post
    After 3-4 years some of the windows in our new home started to cloud up. We've replaced them one-by-one but now the arched windows have clouded and we've been told that they are entire units and quite expensive. Would it be possible to just replace the glass?
    As the previous poster said, moisture gets between the panes, causing the fog. Yes, you can replace just the glass, the question is how the window is assembled. Most windows have a weather seal that must be removed from the outside, then they are either caulked or taped to the frame. Once weather strip is removed, cover the window with butcher paper or similar and emboss the window onto the paper. This creates a template for the replacement glass. Take the template to a glass shop for reproduction before continuing with this project.

    Once you've received the replacement glass it's time to remove the old window. With a special blade you can separate the glass from the frame without breaking the glass, which is helpful, however you can just as easily break out the window then use a utility knife and sc****r to remove the glass and clean up the frame. Use all safety gear and equipment if breaking glass. Lay a small bead of clear silicone caulk around the opening, then press the new window into it, shimming the bottom so that there's an even gap all the way around the window. Reinstall the weather strip and you're done.

    When the silicone has completely cured, use a fresh, sharp utility knife and paint sc****r to cut and remove any excess silicone that was squeezed out. If you try to remove the silicone before it's cured it will create a very big mess that will be difficult to clean up. Just wait for it to cure.

    If you've got cheap windows, then the glass may be held captive within the frame and the only way to remove the glass is to remove the entire window, frame and all, from the house, and disassembling the frame to change the glass. This is a bunch more work and I'd recommend a professional do it for you if you're not a capable DIY'r.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Cloudy Windows

    Thank you for your excellent information. I don't know if the windows are 'cheap' and how would one tell. I could not find a maker when I wanted to call them. The windows we have replaced are with Pella (hoping pay more get more) but who knows if we'll have same problem. Tnx again, sjb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: Cloudy Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by gbecki49 View Post
    I'm not a window pro, but what I have been told over the years is that the windows cloud due to the seal being broken between the 2 panes of glass...assuming these are double paned windows. Condensation and/or dust gets in between and you have cloudy windows. If it were me, to try to save money, I would try taking the glass apart, since the seal is already broken and cleaning the windows. I'd let them get bone dry before putting them back together and then use a good silicone caulk to make sure they are once again air tight. Time consuming and labor intensive, but windex and caulking are much cheaper than replacing the glass or getting new windows and if it works, you've saved yourself a bundle. Hope this helps!
    Trying to reseal window units would be a waste of time. Considering you have to remove then from the frames, remove the metal frame and the butal sealant, then try using silicone and letting it cure for 24 hours, reinstalling the window is a lot of effort only to find out it might not work. Then there is a possiblity you break or crack the glass,then your in trouble.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Cloudy Windows

    Thank you for your input. Sure doesn't sound like replacing a window in the old days.

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