Double Pane Window Fogging Repair – DIY in 3 Easy Steps


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defogging double pane windows and double pane window fogging repair coffee cup on a stack of books in front of a beautiful window Middle Class Dad

When we get those windows in our house that are cloudy and fogged, it’s irritating! Believe it or not, you can perform DIY double pane window fogging repair.

Here’s what I learned about how to remove moisture from between window panes:

Double pane window fogging repair can be done by drilling 2 small holes on the outside pane of glass. As the sun hits the window, the trapped moisture & condensation get released. Then glue small plastic tubes in the holes to prevent further moisture from getting into the window. 

The windows always look dirty and are harder to see out of. We also wonder if we’re losing energy efficiency.

Do we have to replace the windows? What will that cost? Is there a way to fix them? Depending on the climate, the process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months to take effect.

The colder the temperature, the quicker you should see results.

So in this post, we’re diving in deep into glass window leaks and repairs. We’ll examine the causes, preventative measures and finally how to fix them. So if you have ever wondered can double pane windows be resealed? Read on.

Specifically, we’re going to go step-by-step on how to do double pane window fogging repair. That way you can learn about defogging double pane windows and save yourself considerably on avoiding replacing those leaky windows.

Of course, depending on where your fogged window is located (bathroom, for instance), it might be simpler and easier to apply a frosted window film over the glass, giving you privacy and hiding those fogged windows!

The best part about this surprisingly inexpensive solution is that Avalon Etched Glass Film (click to see on Amazon) is adhesive free, installs in minutes, and is easy to clean! Just click the link to see size options and check current prices.

Post co-authored with Alex Omelchenko of Apex Window Works: a home window repair & replacement company. 

Can double pane windows be repaired?

The short answer is yes; you can get condensation out of fogged windows without replacing the windows.

Particularly in humid areas where the climate changes are quite extreme, wooden window frames are usually to blame.

When too much moisture builds up in the wooden frames, the wood begins to rot, in time causing the window’s seal to fail. By the time fogginess has appeared between the panes of glass, this indicates that the window’s seal has been compromised, which lets moisture seep inside.

If rotted wood is the problem check out just how easy it is to Replace Rotten Wood on a Window (click to read my detailed article).

Once the seal is damaged on your thermal windows, it cannot be re-sealed. Usually at this point, replacing the windows is advisable, but it is very costly.

However, there is a chance you can do double pane window fogging repair by fixing it yourself.

Remember that learning how to get condensation out of windows is risky. There is a chance you may crack the glass, in which case you’ll have to call a pro.

But there’s a chance you can fix it yourself and you could save a lot of money!

How do double pane windows work?

defogging double pane windows and double pane window fogging repair foggy window Middle Class Dad

The way that double-pane windows, also known as thermal windows (or insulated glass windows or I.G.U.s) work is by providing an additional layer of insulation.

This additional level of insulation helps your home to maintain a consistent temperature by minimizing loss of energy and transfer of heat between the exterior and interior environment.

You’re probably going to find that, like most modern thermal-pane windows, your windows have two seals. The inner seal is there to ward off excess moisture and prevent corrosion, and the outer seal enhances the durability of your window.

These seals will be holding a spacer in place, which is generally a tube which contains water-absorbent solutions.

If you’re a DIY fan, why not check out some of my other great home repair posts on this site such as How to Build a Deck (click to read my step by step guide)!

Not sure the best product to clean your windows with?

Why not use the highest rated glass cleaner on all of Amazon?

Sprayway World’s Best Glass Cleaner (click to see the current price on Amazon) is literally rated the highest of all glass cleaners on Amazon and comes with free shipping!

Why are my double pane windows cloudy?

On the whole, IGUs (insulated glass units) serve their purpose quite well.

They are able to withstand all sorts of weather, from freezing climates to sweltering heat and blustering winds. Because there are two seals, one can carry the weight of the other for a while, should one of these seals break or fail.

But, inevitably, the other seal will buckle under the pressure and will begin to deteriorate as well.

When that happens you’ll begin to see condensation inside double pane windows. When there is inadequate drainage, water starts to collect and spread, further damaging the seals and even jamming or rotting the frame.

Your windows face constant direct exposure to the outer elements, particularly sunlight.

Temperature fluctuations cause the glass to continuously expand and contract. Over time, this warps the shape of the glass, causing it to fit improperly in its frame.

As the glass and the frame weaken over time, more air and moisture is able to seep in between the panes of glass, causing the build-up of moisture which you see in the form of condensation on your thermal panes.

A great solution to this, which also gives privacy and less glare on your TV is to tint your windows.

defogging double pane windows and double pane window fogging repair window tinted living room Middle Class Dad

Tinting your home windows is no different than tinting a car window; except it’s easier! No curved windows or awkward dashboards to make applying the tint challenging.

Window Whirl Privacy Window Film (click to see on Amazon), is very inexpensive and comes with free Prime shipping!

How do you fix condensation on a double pane window?

If you have found condensation inside double pane windows, then you may have noticed that your utility bills have gone through the roof.

As moisture creeps in, the treated air in your house can creep out, making for energy inefficiency. This can take its toll on your comfort, your energy costs, and your HVAC system.

Getting ready to perform double pane window fogging repair

  1. First, give your windows a good cleaning. This will eliminate buildup on the window which may not be condensation.
  2. See if the problem is in just one part of the window; a lot more cost-effective than replacing the entire window.
  3. If the problem is too far-gone (such as severe water damage or rot), it may be wise to call in a professional to treat or replace the whole unit – frame and all.

If you would rather consider professional window security film to both cover the foggy windows but also provide benefits like UV protection, security from prying eyes, and reduced energy bills, check out one of my newer posts about whether or not Security Film is Worth It (click to read now on my site).

Attempting To DIY & perform double pane window fogging repair

defogging double pane windows and double pane window fogging repair foggy glass above a door looking out to trees Middle Class Dad

Remember, you should only attempt defogging double pane windows if you are prepared to have the window replaced, regardless.

Don’t pick a day to work on that is either very sunny or extremely cold. The additional strain on the glass could result in it shattering. Remember safety; wear gloves and safety goggles.

With double pane window fogging repair, the idea is to drill two tiny holes, on the lower side of the outer pane of glass.

What happens is, when sunshine hits the window, the outer glass will warm up, absorbing condensation inside double pane windows which is trapped.

Before fixing those windows fogging up in the house, make sure you have all the proper tools.

For DIYers, check out my Recommended Tools page (click to see on my site). I know my page will save you both time and money, and I only list the best of the best either what I personally own or have used, or the top reviewed items on Amazon. I also list the best, and often times, that’s NOT the most expensive items too.

Want some tips on drilling holes in glass? Check out exactly how Bob Villa does it!

Due to the fact that hot air is expanding, it should move toward and through these holes.

As it starts to cool down at night time, the cool air seeping in will be drier. In many cases, this procedure will gradually clear all of the moisture out of the window. If you got this far, congratulations!

How to plug the holes you drilled (once the moisture is out)

First of all, whatever caused the condensation inside double pane windows in the first place has not been addressed. Thus, new moisture can still creep in from the source.

So if you have rotting window frames make sure to repair those as well.

Secondly, should rainwater get into your new holes, then your window will end up worse than when you started. Bugs can also get into these tiny holes as well.

If you live in a climate which sees hot and humid summers, then you may want to consider plugging these holes during summer.

Otherwise, when you run the air conditioning, you may find the process working backward and that your windows fill up with water. So once the condensation is cleared out, we need to fill the holes.

Place an inch of plastic tubing into the holes, which you can glue into place using clear silicone or caulk. The tubing should be the same size as the hole you drilled. Once the caulk is dry, just snip any excess tubing and caulk off of the repair spot.

Depending on the climate, the process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months to take effect.

The colder the temperature, the quicker you should see results.

Can double pane windows be resealed?

The short answer is yes, they can (and should) be resealed to prevent future moisture from creeping in.

IGUs have an added layer of protection from the weather that keeps your home more energy efficient.

As we mentioned above, 2 panes of glass are held in place with rubber gaskets and gas is inserted between the panes.

As the gasket is exposed to rain and temperature extremes, the rubber can begin to fall apart. This allows excess moisture to sneak in between the two panes of glass.

So while you can follow the steps above to remove the condensation inside double pane windows, you will then possibly need to replace the gasket to keep the window in good shape.

After all, you don’t want to go through the steps of double pane window fogging repair only to have to do it again 6 months later!

If you are super handy, you can actually remove the old gasket, get new ones from a glass shop and install the new ones.

However, ultimately since we are DIYing this and not adding gas back in between the panes like a pro could, caulking is a much simpler solution.

Thus, run a small bead of clear caulk around the entire edge of the glass on both sides. Once dry, you can scrape off any excess with a razor blade.

How much will it cost to fix a double pane window?

defogging double pane windows and double pane window fogging broken glass in a window frame Middle Class Dad

If your best DIY efforts fail and you need to call a pro, here’s what to expect.

Just replacing the glass? Glass repair companies, on average, charge about $3.00 per square foot of regular single pane glass. When you factor in glass, labor, caulking and repairing any damage to the window frame, you’re likely going to spend anywhere from $50 to $100 per window.

To fix a double pane window (which as we mentioned above contains gas in between the panes of glass) you’re looking at paying between $250-$300 per window.

Of course, depending on where your fogged window is located (bathroom, for instance), it might be simpler and easier to apply a frosted window film over the glass, giving you privacy and hiding those fogged windows!

The best part about Avalon Etched Glass Film (click to see current price on Amazon) is that it’s adhesive-free, installs in minutes, and is easy to clean! Just click the link to see size options and check current prices.

 

Did we cover everything you wanted to know about how to perform double pane window fogging repair?

In this post, Alex walked us through identifying the underlying causes that led to the condensation inside double pane windows.

We also looked at the steps that anyone can take to DIY defogging double pane windows. He also pointed out the risks involved and when to admit it’s time to hire a professional.

But most importantly we learned how to get condensation out of windows, and you now know that double pane window fogging repair is possible to do ourselves!

If you have condensation inside double pane windows have you tried fixing them?

Not ready to perform double pane window fogging repair yet? Why not save this post to your favorite Pinterest boards so it will be there when you need it!


About the co-author of this post.

Alex works for Apex Window Werks which is a home window repair & replacement company which also specializes in foggy window repair. They provide their services in the following states: Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Colorado, and Ohio. Feel free to visit their website for more details. Follow them on Twitter or Facebook for more great tips!

Want to write for Middle Class Dad too? Check out everything you need to know on my Guest Blog Page.

defogging double pane windows and double pane window fogging repair bio Middle Class Dad

Of course, because of the society we live in, I have to add the disclaimer that by allowing this post, I am not necessarily endorsing the steps outlined in the post nor do I offer any guarantees of the suggested work. The opinions expressed belong solely to Alex and Apex Window Werks. If you have questions, feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to answer, but you may also wish to contact Alex directly at alex@apexwindowwerks.com.
 

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Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

6 thoughts on “Double Pane Window Fogging Repair – DIY in 3 Easy Steps

  1. a simple question, why not drill the holes on the inside of the glass where there would be less insects and dust issues? my fogged window is a full glass door on a semi heated porch.

    1. Hi Belinda

      I think in Alex’s mind (Alex was the author of this post) the window would be getting sunlight on the outside and so it made sense to drill it on the outside where the heat would cause the moisture to evaporate. In most cases, the inside would be getting potentially cold, moist air from an air conditioner (at least in some states) which could be problematic.

      But what you’re describing probably should work just fine. If you find it doesn’t get rid of the moisture and condensation fully a dehumidifier could help too, but that’s new territory for me.

      Hope that helps and thanks for being here!

      Jeff

  2. What a load of crap ! From what I can make out,this is nothing more than an advert for window film from Amazon . Being retired now from the glazing industry,where I served my time as an apprentice glazier and spent a further 25yrs in this job, take it from me, when the seals go on your ‘double glazed’ units, they cannot be repaired, replacement is your only option, trying to drill holes in glass without the specialist equipment and without having the unit lay flat, putting a drill anywhere near glass will only lead to the glass cracking and needing to be replaced at best, at worst, it’ll lead to you putting your hand through the glass causing a very nasty cut !
    ‘Double pane window’ ? If you’re going to pretend you’re in the glazing industry,at least use the correct terminology , which is a double glazed unit !
    PLEASE, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU ATTEMPT ANYTHING SUGGESTED BY THIS GUY !

    1. Hi Mark

      I can appreciate a difference of opinion, although I’ve always felt like name-calling or ridiculing those with a different opinion is what people do when they can’t make an intelligent argument.

      At any rate, as you know if you read through the article, the post was written by one of the owners of Apex Window Werks in Chicago, so he does know a little something about windows, window repair, and double-pane windows in general.

      I don’t know Alex personally as he, like a lot of people, approached me about writing a post on my blog about windows and I agreed. But I see from their 4ish star Google and Yelp reviews that enough people are happy with them that I doubt very seriously they make their money by providing bad service or information.

      The mention of the Amazon window film was added by me (not Alex) as an attempt to cover the expenses of running a blog. You may be opposed to people making money, but that is a very common way for most websites to generate income and as long as it’s a quality product I’m recommending (which it is), I don’t see anything wrong with it. If you do, then don’t buy it; pretty simple.

      Again, I do appreciate your taking the time to comment, even if you were rude. I also appreciate you obviously make money selling windows, which naturally could make you opposed to the idea of repairing them since that affects your livelihood. But I stand by the information Alex wrote and I’ve talked with people who have read this post and tried the process with success.

      I doubt very seriously if you did anything buy glance at the post and fire off an angry comment.

      I’ll lastly end simply by saying that Alex does indeed mention in the article that repairs like this are risky and don’t always work, but if you’re otherwise going to have to replace them anyway, why not try this first since it would save people a lot of money?

      But I still thank you for being here. I’m happy for you to comment back, but only if you avoid being rude as otherwise it will just be deleted; no one has time for rude people, especially me.

      Jeff

  3. This seems not too bad. I just hope i dont break the glass! Yes, your instructions where very clear to me. Wish me luck

    1. Thanks, Christine!

      There is definitely some risk involved, but by going slow with the right drill bit, you can definitely do it! Comment back and let me kn9ow how it went!

      Thanks

      Jeff

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