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Answers to Common Questions & Troubleshooting

Does my window have a seal failure or is it just condensation?

If you can wipe the water off on the inside or outside of the window it is condensation. If you can see water on the inside of the window pane where you cannot touch and if it appears foggy you most likely have had a seal failure. Older homes that did not use argon gas or other inhert gas between window panes can have small amounts of moisture inside the glass. It is typically a very small amount, if you see something noticeable please call a professional.

What is a window sash?

The operating and/or stationary portion of the window unit that is separate from the frame. The sash consists of the following parts:

STILES: Vertical sash members.
RAILS: Horizontal sash members.
CHECK RAILS: Horizontal sash members that meet, as in double hung units. These could also be vertical check stiles, as in the glider or patio door.
BARS: Divisional members extending from rail to rail or from stile to stile in an authentic divided lite unit.
MUNTINS: Divisional members extending from a bar to a rail or stile or another bar.

Is Sash Replacement Right for Me?

Sash Replacement is an excellent way to extend the life of a wood or clad window without replacing a full unit. However there is some criteria that can disqualify a sash replacement.

  • Symptom: Frame Rot / Splitting Finger Joints
    • Fix: Full replacement or specialty repair.
    • Rot or splitting finger joints can let water and air into wall cavities.
    • This type of damage needs to be address as soon as possible, as damage will not only get worse, but will spread.
  • Symptom: Seal Failure / Cracked or Broken Glass
    • Fix: This can be fixed by simply having a glass replacement company re-glaze the window.
    • Seal Failure will cause the window to fog, up or have permanent moisture in between the two panes of glass.
    • Some aluminum clad and most vinyl windows can't be re-glazed.
  • Symptom: Unit Does Not Operate
    • Fix: Troubleshooting / replacing or adjusting appropriate parts.
    • Improperly painted units or worn-out hardware can cause a window to operate poorly or not at all.

My Frame is Good but My Sash is Damaged, Now What?

If you think that sash replacement is right for you your ready for the next step, figuring out the manufacturer of the window. There are many different brands of windows and if you don't know, here's some things to check:

  • Look at the corners of the glass: Most newer windows will have the manufacturer's logo and brand specific information etched into the glass.
    • This can sometimes be used to get warranty or factory specific information like the manufacture date.
  • Look at the window hardware: Many manufacturers will stamp there name on to hardware specific to their brand.
    • On many casement and double-hung hardware "Truth" may be found, as they are one of the largest window and door hardware manufacturers that are used across many brands and manufacturers of windows and doors.
  • Look at the spacer bar in between the glass: All double pane window have some kind of spacer that holds the glass apart, on older units many manufacturers stamped information about the window here, before glass etching was made easier.

What Other Information Do I Need to Supply?

Its going to vary by manufacturer, window type, and age, but some basic information will get you a long way.

  • Manufacture Date:  This supersedes everything without an date of manufacture it can be impossible to get the right product.
  • Daylight Opening (DLO): The measurement of the width and height of the glass you can see and touch.
  • Outside Sash Measure (OM): Typically the width and height to the longest side.

 

What is Low E glass or a Low E coating?

Please understand that the “e” stands for emissivity. Emissivity is the ability of a material to radiate energy. When heat or light energy—typically from the sun or HVAC system—is absorbed by glass it is either shifted away by air movement or re-radiated by the glass surface.

Typically, a highly reflective material will have a low emissivity, and a dull darker colored material will have a high emissivity. Reducing the emissivity of one or more of the window glass surfaces improves a window’s insulating properties. Therefore, having Low E glass ultimately can improve the insulation of a home from external temperatures in any climate.

To reduce the emissivity of glass, Low E coatings have been developed to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted.

There are two different types of Low E coatings: passive Low E coatings and solar control Low E coatings.

How do I know if I have clear glass or glass with Low E coating?

The simplest way to see if your windows haveLow E glass is to hold a lit flame (match, lighter) next to the glass when it is dark. If you have a Low E coating you will see three flames reflected in the window. The center flame will be a different color than the outer two.

If you see only two flames in reflection then you don't have Low E.

Are all windows and doors a standard size?

Windows do not have industry standard sizes. Each window manufacturer has their own standard sizing. Doors do have industry standard sizes but doors will need to be measured in order to make sure the brick mould casing or surrounding trim will fit. 

What is the bottom rail of a window or door?

The lower horizontal member of the sash or door panel. French doors typically have a wider bottom rail than a patio door unless it is of a contemporary style.

 

Glossary