condensation in sliding glass door

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by WalterSobcheck, May 10, 2006.

  1. May 10, 2006 #1

    WalterSobcheck

    WalterSobcheck

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    I was pressure-washing my deck last week and threw some water at my sliding glass doors. Now I look at it and there is some condensation between the two glass panes. I'm sure I just forced some water between the glass and the frame. Is there a smart guy here who might know of a little trick that will let me get rid of that stuff? It is mighty annoying when you try to look out into your backyard and can't see anything, and I don't have the cash to buy a whole new set of doors.
     
  2. May 10, 2006 #2

    Square Eye

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    Smart allec says, "Replace it.":D

    That's no good. The pressure washer has apparently broken the seal and has started the process of ruining the glass. Pressure washers and insulated glass do not play well together. See if it will clear up with a little time, but I'm afraid that the damage is done.
     
  3. May 10, 2006 #3

    Square Eye

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    Your local glass company may be able to replace the glass. It's expensive, but maybe cheaper than replacing the whole door.
     
  4. May 10, 2006 #4

    WalterSobcheck

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    Crap. I was afraid of that. Can you replace a single door in a sliding set or does it have to be the whole thing?
     
  5. May 10, 2006 #5

    Square Eye

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    You can take the frame, or remove the frame and just take it to the glass company for them to measure. They can order a new panel. Do not measure it yourself. If it comes back wrong, you don't need to be responsible for it.

    I had a window panel replaced for a regular customer of mine recently, the panel was about 18"x54". It costed about $90.00. Because of the labor involved, a sliding door panel may not be much more. I removed the glass and reassembled the frame. That saved some cash. It may be worthwhile to have them reassemble it for you. Still would be cheaper than replacing the door.
     
  6. May 10, 2006 #6

    woodworkingmenace

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    Actually, I would pay for them to take it apart also. That way, they will know how its done...(Also, they will "know" where all the screws are, the hardware and will be responsible for everything, because if you lose it, then you will be responsible still, and they will charge extra for having to get parts and for all the extra time they spend on the door).

    But, thats just my opinion only..

    Jesse
     
  7. May 11, 2006 #7

    Oberon

    Oberon

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    Just curious, but who made your doors and how old are they? Condensation between panes is a warranty issue, it just depends on who'e warranty and how long it lasts.

    You never noticed moisture between the panes prior to the pressure-washing incident? Unless you actually sprayed the high pressure water directly at the edge of the lite where it disappears behind the sash, I can't think of a way that the pressure washer would have caused your problem...
     
  8. May 14, 2006 #8

    Plumb1up

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    I have to go with Oberon on this one. Unless you shot the water directly at the edge of the glass, where the seal is, I see no way the water could have gotten inside the glass.
    Unfortunately, dual pane glass door and window seals seem to suffer from the same problem computer hard drives do. It's not a matter of if they will fail, but when. Thats why the manufacturers don't have lifetime warranties on them, they just don't last for a lifetime.
    The seals are getting better but they still aren't perfect.
    I had a set of Anderson sliding doors that failed in less than two years and started condensing on the inside. I was surprised to say the least.
    They can be fixed, and many manufacturers have a supposed lifetime warranty, but it is for the lifetime of the original installer. If that is your case you may be in luck. It never hurts to call the manufacturer to find out.
    Good Luck
    Roger
     
  9. May 14, 2006 #9

    woodworkingmenace

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    I once sprayed my car with a 1.5 inch hose (huge ice storm and I had an inch of ice all over the car), and wouldnt you know, it blasted right into the car through the seals in the window...(Yea, I know, what an idiot!).

    I had to dehumidify the car, wet&dry vac it, and put a heater in there for a few days to really dry it out... So, I know seals wont hold against a lot of pressure... (Another thing I can attest to, if anyone asks for a DIY LOL!).

    I dont know if there is anyway to "heat" the glass? Maybe get a piece of metal, paint it black, and tape it to the inside of the glass, so that it heats the inside up... (Might just force the water vapors out, but, like you said the "integrity is lost" and it will probably do the same, if you DO get the water out)...

    Just an idea...

    Oh, I would get the piece of metal large enough to cover the exact dimensions of the window...

    Jesse
     
  10. May 15, 2006 #10

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Nope not going there.You basically have no recourse but to change out the glass. I have seen thousands of these failures and (coincidence)all glass guy's have said the same thing. No fixi'n it.You most likely did it by applying the pressure to the window.This flex's the glass and presto-chango fogged glass syndrome.
    Keep those pressure washers at the least 12 inches away at all times.
    Powerful little critters.:D
     
  11. May 16, 2006 #11

    Oberon

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    In the "good old days", IG (Insulating Glass) seals were made of things like polysulfides or hot melt butyl, or a couple of other products, including silicone in some cases. These were made primarily using a single seal system and the one thing they all had in common was eventual seal failure.

    Manufacturers looked for better ways to make IG seals and they came upwith a number of innovations to prolong seal life. The first was using a dual-seal system rather than a single-seal system.

    Basically, dual-seal means using two different materials to bond the spacer to the glass. One part of the seal is the moisture or vapor barrier - or the primary seal - and the other is the structural or secondary seal.

    The best primary seal in use today is polyisobutylene or PIB. This is the only butyl known that is 100% impermeable to gas and moisture. Unfortunately, PIB has no structural strength and if used alone in the IG unit the glass wouldn't stay attached to the spacer very long. So the secondary or structural seal is usually silicone.

    Gas and moisture passes quite readily thru silicone, but because of the PIB primary seal the unit remains tightly sealed - when applied correctly. This is the system used in the better metal-spacer systems. If using a metal system the best material to use is stainless steel. Aluminum is still available, but it is being phased out (if not totally gone) by most manufacturers.

    There are maybe a dozen or so different methods currently used to seal IG windows. Some are better than others. Some have no metal component at all such as SuperSpacer and TPS. Others are a combination of metallic and non-metallic ingredients such as Swiggle. I won't get into the details because quite frankly it can become technical and boring rather quickly! Suffice it to say that when using one of the better sytems today seal failure has become very uncommon. If the manufacturer is using one of the
    not-so-much-better systems, then seal failure can still be an issue.
     
  12. May 16, 2006 #12

    woodworkingmenace

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    Ok, so what do you ask for, in a door like that?

    Do you think the seller will know what type of system that they used? Or, are they just "Home Depot" type sellers that dont know too much of anything?

    Also, I like those windows that are almost bullet proof!

    (My brother got windows, cost about 2 grand a window and you can drop a 12 pound bowling ball on them from a certain height, and they are guaranteed NOT TO BREAK!)...

    He lives in Pontiac Michigan, so, I dont know if that Company is just exclusive to that area or not...

    Now THAT would be the type of window to get in my opinion... He also got his sliding glass door made from the same stuff!

    Jesse
     
  13. May 21, 2006 #13

    Oberon

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    There are really two ways that a window manufacturer gets an IGU (insulating glass unit - the glass with the spacer between the lites) - first build it himself, second buy it from an IG manufacturing company.

    The majority of window manufacturers make their own IGU's....but, the majority of the bigger companies buy their IGU systems from an outside source....

    Basically, if a person buys a window or door from one of the major wood window manufacturers, then the spacer system used in those windows and doors comes from the same source in the majority of cases.

    If a person buys a vinyl window, then there is more of a chance that the window manufacturer made the IGU...but some of the larger vinyl manufacturers are starting to switch over to buying their IGU's (at least some of them) from the same source as the wood guys get theirs.

    Smaller companies generally make their own IGU's because it is cheaper for them to do so. These are much simpler systems and they tend to reflect that in longevity.

    I suspect that your brother's windows may be simple tempered glass. Although I have never heard of dropping a bowling ball onto the glass to test it, there is an ANSI and CPSC test requirement that drops a bag filled with 100#'s of lead shot onto the glass from a height of four feet.

    This test is used with both laminated and tempered product and often - if the glass is thick enough - tempered glass doesn't break at impact.

    Thick tempered glass should be able to handle the bowling ball with little problem - depending on the drop height of course.

    Tempered glass isn't generally used in bullet resistant applications, however. In those cases laminated glass is used in various thicknesses and make-ups...
     
  14. May 23, 2006 #14

    WalterSobcheck

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    For the life of me I can't find the name of the manufacturer anywhere on the door. It makes me think it was some "lowest bidder" type company who supplied them to all 101 houses in our subdivision. But it was my fault all the way. I was trying to spray out the track with the pressure washer while it was partly closed, so I am sure I tagged the seal. Anyway, I'll probably just get with a local door or glass company, get an estimate, and give the buyer a door allowance if they want it. I'm too tired from fixing up everything else in the house to add even one more thing to the list. Thanks for the help though. I'll be needing it again in another forum about doing millwork with rounded corners, so if anyone cares to opine I'll be twice as grateful.
     
  15. May 23, 2006 #15

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    I had an idea from your post. If you live in a subdivision and all these homes have the same windows.....you know where I'm going....check with others in your community to get a discounted rate at a glass company.Shop around because I have seen this work. Friends of mine put in a driveway with their 4 neighbors and everyone received discounts.
    Worth a try.:)
     
  16. Jul 8, 2006 #16

    defogger

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    What happened is that the integrity of the seal has been compromised and allowed moisture to enter into the cavity. The moisture was already there in the vapor state and when the cold water from the pressure washer hit the glass it cooled the glass down and the vapour condensed. This problem is now repairable and there are dealers across North America. To find a dealer go to www.ccwwi.com.
     
  17. Jul 8, 2006 #17

    glennjanie

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    Hello Walter:
    Insulating glass is made by sealing 2 panes of glass to (usually) an aluminum frame with an organic caulk. I have taken windows apart, cleaned the glass inside and out, warmed it in the hot sun and stuck it back together with silicone caluk. As the glass cools the air inside shrinks and makes a tight seal. I have noticed that extreme temperature differences on each side will cause a leak almost every time (one glass shrinks while the other expands). Your power sparyer water may have been too cool; shrinking the outside glass and breaking the seal. Square eye is correct; take it to a glass company and let them reseal it. By the way--Andersen has a 20 year warranty on their glass which they will honor through one of their authorized dealers; Home Depot is one of them. To my knowledge, Andersen invented the double pane window with welded glass. No aluminum or sealer between, just welded glass; I've never seen one of them leak.
    Glenn
     
  18. Aug 6, 2006 #18

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    WWW.ccwwi.com

    I have never heard of it ...but it all makes sense.

    Anyone else ever seen this work?
     

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