Double to Single?

whitecapFebruary 7, 2011

I have a 7' x 6' window in my living area. It has 4 rectangular double pane sections. Moisture has been forming, for some time now, in one of the sections, and I expect it is only a matter of time before it begins to cloud over. I hate to think what it would cost to replace it. The seal didn't last all that long. The house was built in 78, and I noticed some moisture shortly after I moved in in 91. This window sees no direct light, and I am in San Antonio where we see little extended cold. I am wondering if the outer pane could be removed in such a way that its absence would not be noticed. I assume it is glued into the frame, and will try to leave a jagged edge. Might scoring it with a glass cutter where it joins the frame do the trick? The window is well removed from the walkway, and I am the only one who would be near it from outside.

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Windows on Washington Ltd

Do not do any of the things that you are suggesting.

If you decide that you do not want to replace the window or the glass pack to correct the problem, I would suggest that you contact a company that does moisture/failed seal repairs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Glass Guru

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 7:07PM
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If you have no glass experience you might be in danger when you attempt to save the glass. The technique of scoring the glass with a glass cutter only worked on that TV show (It takes a thief) years back with the character named "Al Monday". In reality you will have a very difficult time breaking out the glass after it is scored. Even a person with 10 years of experience would not attempt it. If you are insistent on doing it you will have to completely de-glaze the insulated unit and then cut separate the glass and then re-glaze the unit. Professionals will have pump-up vacuum cups to help remove the glass. If you really want to do it, you'll need at least two of the suction cups to do it right and then at least two to three people to remove the glass. With all that said the likely hood of personal injury--assuming nobody has glass experience, it high. If your a tool junkie, the vacuum cup is totally cool.

Here is a link that might be useful: vacuum cup

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:33AM
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Thanks. Actually, I've got a nephew who is very adept at breaking the outer pane. He uses a baseball. Or maybe it was a football. Anyway, the idea behind scoring the pane was to make it easier to remove the shards flush with the edge of the metal, not to pop the pane out in a single piece, a la 007 or whoever.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:18PM
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Why do you want to remove the outer pane?

Is it just for looks?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 8:14AM
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Windows on Washington Ltd


I think he wants it out because of the moisture.

I recommended that he just have some air holes drilled in the pane and wash it out. Done and done and you still keep the relatively trapped air space in the double pane and have the added thermal performance over single pane.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 10:24AM
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Yes, the moisture. This air hole business sounds promising, if I can find someone around San Antonio to do it.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 12:17PM
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I worded that poorly.

I understood that it was the moisture, but I was wondering if you were concerned about the "look" of the moisture or the performance with the moisture in the IG?

As WoW said, in any energy performance circumstance the dual pane will outperform the single pane - moisture or not.

The moisture is strictly an aesthetic issue.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 8:02AM
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Not to quibble about semantics, but the most basic function of a window is to provide a line of sight and admit light. The moisture is not only an eyesore, but I'm concerned that the moisture will eventually lead to clouding. I have a couple of smaller windows that have done just that. As concerns energy conservation, I'm not altogether convinced that the double pane window, in San Antonio, is cost-effective, given the failure rate.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Windows on Washington Ltd

Double pane is, without question, a more energy efficient application than single pane regardless of the environment.

I know that Oberon would not suggest that you keep a cloudy window as a matter or efficiency.

I would renew my suggestion to contract with a company that drill a hole in the upper and lower corner of the IGU. They will wash out the debris and cloudiness as part of the protocol after they install breathers in the window. The breathers will prevent the future accumulation of condensation while still allowing you to keep the double pane (although not sealed) and more efficient opening.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 10:54PM
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Thanks. I'll look into it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 1:15PM
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What WoW said.

My question was simple curiousity, but I should have realized what you wanted based on the idea of breaking one lite in order to clean the mositure from the other one.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 6:44PM
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