Repairing Broken Window Seals

I wrote a post several months ago about the problem of broken window seals, where condensation forms between the double panes of glass. It’s a common problem, and it shows up often on a buyer’s repair request as a result of the home inspector’s comments on his (or her) report.

It can be a challenge to find a service company that actually does this kind of repair. I am still searching for someone that does it in the North Mecklenburg County area. Even if I could find a vendor in South Charlotte, it would be a good resource.

The issue seems to be whether or not a broken seal prevents the window from “performing the function for which intended and not in need of immediate repair.” (Cited from NC Offer to Purchase and Contract form .) A broken seal does not inhibit the upward and downward movement of the window, and in most cases doesn’t really block vision through the glass. The question becomes then does the broken seal negate the insulating qualities of the double pane of glass, and is that cause for immediate repair.

I don’t believe there is a standard answer that applies to every instance. Like everything else on the repair request, this issue is negotiable. I have had sellers replace windows to satisfy a buyer’s request for remedy of a broken seal. I have also sold and closed properties where the buyer never asked to have the seals repaired at all. Broken seals are such a common occurance that some people aren’t overly concerned when they are present. Others expect that when they buy a pre-owned home the seller is obligated to make it like new in every way.

My advice to buyers and sellers alike is to consider the overall condition of the property in question, and base your repair request on those items that are deemed to be really in need of “immediate repair.” Sellers have the option of procuring a pre-listing home inspection to help ready the home for buyers. At a cost of $300-$400, it might be a good investment. It can help you eliminate issues that could lead to trouble after you accept an offer. Buyers, and buyers’ agents, you would do well to consider the inspector’s report and focus your request on critical systems and resist the urge to simply hand the inspection summary to the seller and say, “Here, fix these things.”

When I find a resource for fixing window seals, I will post the information here on my blog. Meanwhile, let’s all keep the condensation in perspective, shall we?


One Response

  1. […] in the winter and you’ll lose efficiency. But by simply cleaning the seals (and replacing any damaged spots) you’ll keep in the heat all winter […]

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