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Old 04-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #1
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A theory regarding window fogging

Yesterday I was discussing with a friend the problem that many of us are, or will be, having with our dual pane windows fogging. Troy has a very large manufacturing and distribution business in the Los Angeles area that specializes in windows, doors and dual pane aluminum frame windows for large residential projects. He said that his company went through a rash of fogging windows before they discovered that the butyl sealant they used to seal around the edge of two panes was being eaten away by window cleaners using Windex. As we know, the dual panes in our Alpine windows are spaced by a separating strip and that leaves a channel around the window that is then sealed with some sort of sealant. Could our windows be the victims of Windex as well? He went on to say that when they pulled the windows apart they found that their butyl sealant was all stringy and coming apart. In testing his company found that Windex, or other window cleaners that have alcohol as an ingredient will attack butyl sealant and destroy the airtight seal.
I donít know if our window manufacturer used a sealant that could be attacked by alcohol based window cleaners, or possibly some other chemical; but it is an interesting consideration. We could indeed by washing our windows to an early death.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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Don't think so.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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Doesn't Windex have ammonia in it?
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:16 PM   #4
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When Dave Root repaired my windows, I asked him what caused the window to fog. He blamed it on window prep when the windows were made. He said they run the windows through a window washer, and they did not get them clean enough. He was very through cleaning them and gives a three year warranty.
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:46 PM   #5
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How about the fact that Aluminum expands and contracts so much more than the glass?

Simple way to get rid of the fog is to drill an 1/8" hole in the frame edge and through the seal.. Top and bottom.. They make a kit with little silicon 'tabs' if you want..
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Birddog Pilot View Post
Yesterday I was discussing with a friend the problem that many of us are, or will be, having with our dual pane windows fogging. Troy has a very large manufacturing and distribution business in the Los Angeles area that specializes in windows, doors and dual pane aluminum frame windows for large residential projects. He said that his company went through a rash of fogging windows before they discovered that the butyl sealant they used to seal around the edge of two panes was being eaten away by window cleaners using Windex. As we know, the dual panes in our Alpine windows are spaced by a separating strip and that leaves a channel around the window that is then sealed with some sort of sealant. Could our windows be the victims of Windex as well? He went on to say that when they pulled the windows apart they found that their butyl sealant was all stringy and coming apart. In testing his company found that Windex, or other window cleaners that have alcohol as an ingredient will attack butyl sealant and destroy the airtight seal.
I donít know if our window manufacturer used a sealant that could be attacked by alcohol based window cleaners, or possibly some other chemical; but it is an interesting consideration. We could indeed by washing our windows to an early death.
This is an interesting thought, but; Do we use windex in such vast amounts that it runs down our glass and seep past the rubber window seal to attack this sealant?? I do not think so. Maybe Windex can damage the sealant when applied directly, but I do not see how it gets all the way into the sealant. Somebody else mentioned drilling a hole in the frame and sealant.....Wouldn't that just allow more moisture in??... Going back to the Windex theory; IF the Windex was allowed to seap into the sealant, it would appear that the fog problem would start at the bottom of the window..... mine are foggy throughout the glass, not just the bottom, food for thought.. Just thinkin, old trucker
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:22 AM   #7
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Yesterday I was discussing with a friend the problem that many of us are, or will be, having with our dual pane windows fogging. Troy has a very large manufacturing and distribution business in the Los Angeles area that specializes in windows, doors and dual pane aluminum frame windows for large residential projects. He said that his company went through a rash of fogging windows before they discovered that the butyl sealant they used to seal around the edge of two panes was being eaten away by window cleaners using Windex. As we know, the dual panes in our Alpine windows are spaced by a separating strip and that leaves a channel around the window that is then sealed with some sort of sealant. Could our windows be the victims of Windex as well? He went on to say that when they pulled the windows apart they found that their butyl sealant was all stringy and coming apart. In testing his company found that Windex, or other window cleaners that have alcohol as an ingredient will attack butyl sealant and destroy the airtight seal.
I donít know if our window manufacturer used a sealant that could be attacked by alcohol based window cleaners, or possibly some other chemical; but it is an interesting consideration. We could indeed by washing our windows to an early death.
This is an interesting thought, but; Do we use windex in such vast amounts that it runs down our glass and seep past the rubber window seal to attack this sealant?? I do not think so. Maybe Windex can damage the sealant when applied directly, but I do not see how it gets all the way into the sealant. Somebody else mentioned drilling a hole in the frame and sealant.....Wouldn't that just allow more moisture in??... Going back to the Windex theory; IF the Windex was allowed to seap into the sealant, it would appear that the fog problem would start at the bottom of the window..... mine are foggy throughout the glass, not just the bottom, food for thought.. Just thinkin, old trucker
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:02 PM   #8
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... Somebody else mentioned drilling a hole in the frame and sealant.....Wouldn't that just allow more moisture in??... .. Just thinkin, old trucker
Nope.. it allows the moisture to escape. Contrary to what most would have your believe, the actual R value of a double pane comes from having air between the glass, not necessarily an inert gas...
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:39 PM   #9
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All - J N J, does not list the ingredients of Windex on the bottle, at least not on mine. Front label says "Ammonia D". I don't believe alcohol is involved in Windex at all, could be wrong. The reason why our windows (and a whole lot of other brands as well) failed was very poor manufacturing by the company, and one other fact dirty glass when it was sealed together.

Window builders want the glass as clean as possible, and use lacquer thinner or industrial grade alcohol so the panes/frame seals together good. If alcohol is bad, what do you think lacquer thinner would do. You must break down any oil/grease from the glass before you try to seal it together, so what would you use? Think about this.

One other fact no one has mentioned in this thread is vibration, our MH's are just earthquakes going down the road, all that shaking, rattling, rolling, etc eventually will cause lots of things to fail, windows being one of them. Alpines had very poor window components, and subsequently, our failure rate is higher than some. We just gotta live with it. I use Windex on all my windows to clean them, and have in all the RV’s I have owned (30 + Years doing the RV thing), with never experiencing a window failure other than the alpine, so what about that?

One other point Dave Root made to me was, the bedroom escape window, he specifically said it’s not worth fixing this window, as it won’t ever be as good if he has to take it apart. Just put some thin flat type of foam in addition to the rubber gasket around the “escape part” to stop air leaks. IMO-The only windows it’s necessary to fix are the drivers/passengers windows, and the living room windows, the rest of them I would not worry about personally. We rarely open the bedroom ones, and they are small anyway, the bathroom one is fogged from the factory so no one can look through it. The small window over our kitchen sink give absolutely no viewing because of the angle we are at in relation to where it’s located, so that one we won’t fix. So we have fixed all the ones we are going to fix.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:34 AM   #10
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Nope.. it allows the moisture to escape. Contrary to what most would have your believe, the actual R value of a double pane comes from having air between the glass, not necessarily an inert gas...
After I drilled the holes and dried out the moisture, I filled the space between the panes with the gas fom my MIG welder before re sealing the holes. It seems to be working just fine.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:03 AM   #11
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I know any of the different manufacturers can fail. On my 2000, I had for 10 years and more miles, had HEHR wndows and no problems. On my 2007 with SEGI windows, 5 have failed. They all failed 2 years ago when I bought it. To me it seems like dirty glass is the cause.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:13 PM   #12
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I checked with my friend again about the problems his company had with their new production windows fogging and he said it wasn't just Windex that attacked the butyl sealant, but also ammonia and any other petroleum products. Once the seals are breached, that apparently is when the fogging begins. Anyhow, it was just a thought.

We are now on the road and heading north to Vancouver, WA and will be stopping at Pennisula Glass for them to measure all the windows for replacement with their Series 1800 Motion Windows. It's just not worth the effort, or the expense, to do window repair one or two at a time when they will all eventually fail. Pennisula has been building dual pane windows for a long time and has less than 1% failure rate on their products that have a lifetime warranty.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:29 PM   #13
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Dick, Does Peninsula use the bronze reflective glass that WRV used?
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:46 PM   #14
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Hax, they did our big kitchen/LR window, first class outfit, immensely pleased with the window. They do/did not have access to the reflective glass WRV used at the time, they may now, you need to contact them and check. We did ours last spring. Spent all last fall/winter in SW, and it was a nice window, but did not block sun like the others.
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