Don’t Sweat Small Stuff | Passage Island

Abstract: Passage Island Home Inspector notes on failed window seals. Options as to what to do about it are discussed. In consideration of the difficulty of access, always ask yourself  “Does it really have to be fixed?”.

Not an Ocean Mammal Looking Through a Window

A window seal failure occurs when the space between the dual panes of glass is now leaking or ‘breathing’ exterior air, rather than being closed-off and sometimes filled with an intert gas such as nitrogen. When seals fail, the window appears fogged up or wet with moisture, without any way of cleaning the surfaces because they are on the inside of the glass sheets.

Is the View Important?

But should this be a concern for the homeowner or buyer? The short answer is… no. It is strictly a cosmetic issue. If the purpose of the window it to open up a spectacular view, then certainly it’s irritating and a replacement is appropriate. However if the view is secondary and the purpose of the window is for daylight, then it can be ignored.

Fix or Forget?

As to what can be done to correct it… nothing, other than a complete replacement of the window panes, if the frame is still in good condition. If the window frames are obsolete (aluminum) or have aged poorly, then a complete window and frame replacement is required.

In this particular case on Passage Island, since the cottage’s occupancy is seasonal and only accessible by water taxi or private boat, the hassle to replace the windows for cosmetic reasons is hardly worth the effort, in our opinion.