Author Topic: Condensation in Windows...drill em?  (Read 1135 times)

Allie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1637
Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« on: April 26, 2019, 11:06:14 AM »
Good morning!  We have a large, center window in our living room and the seal has failed (likely due to children repeatedly running their bikes into it or some such nonsense) and it is full of moisture.  It will be very expensive to replace and isnít high on our list of priorities if there are options to clear it up without replacing.  But, I have heard that you can drill holes and let the moisture escape.  Since this window is giant and right in the middle of everything, it would be awesome to be able to see out of it.  Has anyone used the drill holes in your window to clear it out trick?  If so, did it work?

Iím also worried about the integrity of the glass being compromised and more likely to break in the event that it is bumped (how the deck is arranged allows everything to bump into this window), the wind hits it (weíre higher up in elevation in Alaska, so wind gusts to 40 or higher happen somewhat regularly and much higher on occasion), or earthquakes.  Does anyone know about how holes would effect the glass?

Now that Iím typing this out, maybe we should just bite the bullet and replace it.

Thoughts?

Sailor Sam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4127
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Steel Beach
  • Semper...something
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2019, 11:25:30 AM »
I have no advice, but I originally read the thread title as Conversations with Widows...drill em?

I was a little horrified ;)

Allie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1637
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2019, 11:59:51 AM »
I have no advice, but I originally read the thread title as Conversations with Widows...drill em?

I was a little horrified ;)

Oh my gosh, Iím laughing so hard.  Thank you.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4176
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2019, 12:23:41 PM »
Condensation in a double glazed unit doesn't just mean that you can't see out, it means that it is effectively working as a single glazed pane of glass.  Also, the water running down the inside of the two panes might be running out of the bottom of the unit and into the walls of your house.

So, a large, single pane window in your living room when you are high up in Alaska with the possibility of water inside the wall below it?  Replacing it with a new double glazed unit might be cheaper than your heating/repair bills next winter if you don't.

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2768
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 12:27:39 PM »
Is the glass tempered? I've tried to cut tempered glass a couple of times and it simply explodes.

ixtap

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1514
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2019, 12:58:31 PM »
Those windows are no longer functioning as designed. Moisture inside means that the inert gas inside has escaped.

After reading bean counter's description, it seems more accurate than my original memory, so I have redacted this post. There is still a crucial step about removing the moisture and replacing the inert gas, though.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 01:19:21 PM by ixtap »

BeanCounter

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1300
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2019, 01:15:00 PM »
We've dealt with this problem several times in the past. Your seals have just failed. It happens with age. Just call a glass company that will come and replace the seals. It's easy and costs about $100 a window (in the Midwest). I believe they just open the window up replace the seal, put the glass back in and seal. Cheaper than replacing and completely fixes the problem.

affordablehousing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 03:23:12 PM »
agreed, drilling through window sashes is more for single pane windows so the water drains out the bottom of the wood sash. It's basically the last thing you do before throw the window out and get a new one. You need a new seal or sealed glazing unit (the two panes of glass spaced apart with a seal and filled with argon. A window company should be able to do this for a few hundred. A new window would be nice but probably a few thousand. It sounds like the window should be tempered based on what you describe which adds greatly to the cost.

Allie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1637
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2019, 12:35:21 PM »
Thanks for the input!

Due to the construction of these windows, they canít be resealed.  Maybe these specific to our climate?  Weíd have to get a new one if we wanted the full insulating power of the sealed, double pane glass.  I think itís been two winters that we have gone through where we noticed the condensation, and this spring it started to serious obscure the view.  The difference in heating needs has been completely unnoticeable...our house is so well sealed and insulated that we have to purposefully create airflow and ventilation during the winter to avoid moisture issues. 

Replacing it would not only cost a bunch, but given where the window is placed, it gets bumped and thumped a lot.  It would be great to be able to just keep the kids/toys/ animals, etc away from it, but it sits at person height right in the middle of our deck.  The chances that we would get a new one and it would be flexed enough to break the seal again is significant.  Iím pretty sure it was the big earthquake that really jostled it and let all of the moisture in, but itís been failing for a while. 

Because there is a reasonable chance that anything that we replace it with would be damaged in short order, Iím really more interested to know if there are any MMM users who have tried to remove the condensation and what the success is of this.  I have no idea if the glass is tempered, but maybe I could drill into the frame?  Itís some form of vinyl...

Here4theGB

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 03:00:55 PM »
Thanks for the input!

Due to the construction of these windows, they canít be resealed.  Maybe these specific to our climate?  Weíd have to get a new one if we wanted the full insulating power of the sealed, double pane glass.  I think itís been two winters that we have gone through where we noticed the condensation, and this spring it started to serious obscure the view.  The difference in heating needs has been completely unnoticeable...our house is so well sealed and insulated that we have to purposefully create airflow and ventilation during the winter to avoid moisture issues. 

Replacing it would not only cost a bunch, but given where the window is placed, it gets bumped and thumped a lot.  It would be great to be able to just keep the kids/toys/ animals, etc away from it, but it sits at person height right in the middle of our deck.  The chances that we would get a new one and it would be flexed enough to break the seal again is significant.  Iím pretty sure it was the big earthquake that really jostled it and let all of the moisture in, but itís been failing for a while. 

Because there is a reasonable chance that anything that we replace it with would be damaged in short order, Iím really more interested to know if there are any MMM users who have tried to remove the condensation and what the success is of this.  I have no idea if the glass is tempered, but maybe I could drill into the frame?  Itís some form of vinyl...
If you don't want to replace it, it doesn't really sound like you have any more options.  Even if you could remove the condensation today, with the seal broken, it will just be replaced tomorrow. 

There are sometimes a right (expensive) and wrong (cheap) way to fix problems.  Unfortunately this isn't one of those things.  It's broken and you can fix it or not.

affordablehousing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2019, 11:01:58 AM »
This sounds like this will end very badly.... Sounds like you need to replace the window, period, and make sure it's tempered. Perhaps block the lower part of the wall in and shrink the window so it isn't always being hit and you could get standard glass and save money, or build a railing proud of the window if you want to maintain the opening. But if you don't want to spend any money, why is this an issue? Just deal with the murky window. Drilling sashes only helps on wood windows where the water in the frame can evaporate out. You're just going to further destroy a broken window.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3408
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2019, 02:52:54 PM »
1. replace the window
2. put something on the deck in front of the window to protect it from being run into by said children. Cinderblock would be removable, and effective.
3. Also work on training the children to stay away from the window. If it's possible to train animals that you can't communicate with, you can make some headway with children whom you can.

zolotiyeruki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3078
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2019, 11:08:28 AM »
Allie, if you haven't caught the hint yet, you're getting gently facepunched. :)

Realistically, there isn't a cheap way to permanently get rid of the condensation.

js82

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: Condensation in Windows...drill em?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2019, 06:08:29 PM »
Good morning!  We have a large, center window in our living room and the seal has failed (likely due to children repeatedly running their bikes into it or some such nonsense) and it is full of moisture.  It will be very expensive to replace and isnít high on our list of priorities if there are options to clear it up without replacing.  But, I have heard that you can drill holes and let the moisture escape.  Since this window is giant and right in the middle of everything, it would be awesome to be able to see out of it.  Has anyone used the drill holes in your window to clear it out trick?  If so, did it work?

Iím also worried about the integrity of the glass being compromised and more likely to break in the event that it is bumped (how the deck is arranged allows everything to bump into this window), the wind hits it (weíre higher up in elevation in Alaska, so wind gusts to 40 or higher happen somewhat regularly and much higher on occasion), or earthquakes.  Does anyone know about how holes would effect the glass?

Now that Iím typing this out, maybe we should just bite the bullet and replace it.

Thoughts?

Comments:

1:
Is the glass tempered? I've tried to cut tempered glass a couple of times and it simply explodes.

This comment is correct.  Tempered glass = huge mess(and potential injury risk)  If the glass is not tempered this will not happen.  Although generally speaking unless you do a fantastic job polishing off the edge after you drill, the hole will be the weakest part of the window and a likely failure point.  Also, even with a non-tempered glass window there's a real chance you could break it if you do it incorrectly.  If you want to machine a hole/cut non-tempered glass without breaking it/weakening it substantially, it takes tooling more specialized than a typical home drill.

If the goal is to save money, your best option is probably to live with the foggy window.  Aesthetically it isn't the best, but it's just that - aesthetics.