A key to maintaining home value is ongoing maintenance. This article is part of a new Home Maintenance Tips series.
If you haven’t looked closely at your double pane windows recently, you might want to add a quick visual check to your home maintenance to-do list. Why? Window seals can fail.
How to tell if your double-pane window has a broken seal
From a distance, it’ll look as if the window is dirty. No matter how much Windex you spray, though, the “dirt” won’t clean because the problem is between the panes of glass.
If this happens to one of your windows, start by searching online for warranty information on your window manufacturer’s website. You might get lucky.
For example, Milgard has a detailed warranty section on their website. On it you can see that the warranty changes depending on when you purchased the window. To give you you an idea of coverage, though, a window originally installed in 2000 in a Burton Valley home recently failed and was fully covered.
As a shortcut, call (800) 645-4273 and speak to the Service Department about your specific situation. Expect to give them your address and the year you purchased the window.
How do you fix a window with a broken seal?
The answer is to replace the compromised dual-pane window unit with a new one as opposed to replacing the whole window. This is good news since it means the replacement shouldn’t impact surrounding moldings, etc…
For a Milgard window covered under warranty, the process if fairly painless. It requires contacting the Milgard service office and then scheduling two quick visits by a contractor to your home. On the first, the contractor takes measurements. Two or so weeks later, he returns with the replacement double pane unit and makes the switch, a process that takes about 15 minutes.
Total homeowner time spent: Less than one hour.
Dollar cost for homeowner, thanks to window warranty: Zero Dollars.
Note: Each window is unique. Just because one window goes bad doesn’t mean your other window seals are similarly compromised. Just in case, though, check all of them closely. It’ll save you time in the end.