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Fixing Broken or Fogged Insulated Windows

Fixing Broken or Fogged Insulated Windows

Great Lakes Glass repairs or replaces fogged and broken insulated windowsUnlike single-pane windows of the past, today’s double-pane and even triple-pane options can reduce energy costs and help to keep a home or office comfortable in extreme temperatures. Whether you’re dealing with Cleveland’s hot and humid summers, or lake effect snow, your windows need to be able to pull their weight.

Insulated Glass Explained

Also called an Insulated Glass Unit (IGU), or more commonly known as a thermal window, a modern multi-pane window is a sealed product that includes the following elements:

Glass Panes

Two or sometimes three panes are used to construct a thermal window. They are mounted in the frame with space between the panes. Glass can be thermally or chemically treated to increase the window’s energy efficiency or strength, to block UV rays, and more.

Air or Gas

The space between the glass panes is filled with either air or inert gas – often argon, krypton, or xenon are used. The air or gas acts as an insulator and works to prevent outdoor temperatures from affecting the indoor climate. Dense gas is preferable to air and increases a window’s energy efficiency.


Depending on the window, you will find at least one seal to prevent air or gas from escaping and stop moisture from entering the interior space of the window. Most modern windows use two seals, which improve the unit’s strength and overall durability.

Space Bar and Desiccant

As part of the seal, a spacer functions to separate the glass panes and also provides support during thermal expansion. This spacer typically houses a desiccant that contains water-absorbing chemicals. Should small amounts of water vapor or moisture penetrate a seal, the desiccant will help to absorb it and prevent fogging.

When these elements are combined you’re left with a sturdy window that will withstand the elements over time. But if repeatedly over-exposed to extremes, even the best windows will eventually fail. Unlike surface condensation that typically points to excess moisture in the environment, “fogging” – or an opaque cloudiness between the panes – is clear evidence that the window seal is compromised. It’s also likely that the desiccant is saturated and can no longer trap moisture. 

Lifespan estimates on windows vary by manufacturer and can also depend on environmental factors. But as your windows age, they will naturally lose efficiency and are more prone to deterioration. Constant exposure to direct sun is a major contributing factor to the breakdown of window seals. 

Fixing Fogged Windows

Beyond obscuring the view of your surroundings, foggy windows are a clear sign of excess moisture. And when it comes to protecting any structure, too much moisture is never a good thing. But besides that threat, close to a third of heating and cooling costs can be traced to heat loss or gain through windows. Once a window is fogged, it’s no longer providing a barrier to outdoor temperatures, so energy costs will likely increase. Whether it’s small or great, your windows can have a direct impact on yearly heating and cooling costs. 

It’s always worth it to fix minor issues before a full replacement is necessary. But whether you need repairs or replacement windows in your home or business, Great Lakes Glass can tackle your project. Here in Cleveland, where we never know what next week’s weather will bring, it’s vital to have a solid defense against the onslaught of outdoor extremes.

As with any home repair, serious DIYers could feel confident in tackling fogged windows. But seeing as windows impact not just overall energy efficiency but can also factor in to environmental safety and comfort, we’d suggest working with a professional.

Rely on Great Lakes Glass

At Great Lakes Glass, our roots run deep in Northeast Ohio – we know the havoc that Cleveland weather can wreak on windows. Over the years we’ve accumulated the tools, products, and specialized knowledge needed to fix any window-related concern. We recognize that it’s vitally important to have safe, functioning windows, so we’re always sensitive to your scheduling preferences and will work to quickly get things back to normal. You can also count on us to honestly assess the situation and provide skilled advice on the best path forward. Rest assured that when you call us you’ll be working with local experts who know the industry and who value each and every customer. At Great Lakes Glass, we’ve spent decades taking care of Cleveland’s windows – let us put our expertise to work for you. Get in touch today!