Your professional window cleaner just cleaned the outside of your windows but they still look hazy. You think to yourself: "maybe it's on the inside". Well, after he cleans the inside, the haze is still there. You ask him if he missed a spot and he says: "the seals are broken". Well, what does that mean? And, how can you fix it?
If you live in a house that was built or remodeled after the 1920s chances are you have double pane windows. That means your windows are made up of two pieces of glass with a pocket of gas sandwiched between them. This gas in the middle helps insulate your home. Awesome, right? The only problem is over time as that gas heats and cools with the changing of the seasons and sun exposure, the seal on your window can break allowing that gas to escape and moisture to get inside. This moisture condensates and deposits minerals and other nasty things on the inside of your window causing them to look hazy or even leaving lines and spots inside.
What can you do? If the window isn't too far gone there are a few companies out there like Glass Renu, a franchise, that will actually drill two tiny holes in the window, spray a cleaning solution inside, and then cover the holes with a type of mesh sticker that allows the window to breathe. I know it sounds a little crazy but it actually works.
Most of the time though if your window looks hazy or has spots inside the only option is replacement. Replacing a window can be quite costly but there are a few things you can do to cut down on the cost. First, check with the manufacturer of your window to see if there is any kind of warranty for this type of thing. All window seals will break eventually. It's just a matter of how long it will last. Some manufacturers say that their product should last x-amount of years before this happens. If your window is within that time limit they may replace it for free! Look in the corners of the glass or on the jamb or screen to find out who the manufacturer is and contact them to see if there is anything they will do. You may also be able to contact your contractor to see if he has any more information.
Another option instead of replacing the entire window is you may be able to replace the insulated glass unit (or IGU). Having the IGU replaced is usually much cheaper than replacing the entire window. This is usually only practical on vinyl or aluminum frame windows. Although you can do it on some wood frame windows as well. You can contact your local window and door shop to find out what they can do for you.
Long story short, window seals do break but you may have options. If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment below.