Why is that window wet or foggy looking?

When house-hunting in Silicon Valley, it’s good to take note of how clear the windows are. Sometimes when a dual pane window appears wet or foggy, it’s not just a matter of the sprinklers hitting it, but instead could be a failure of the vacuum seal. If that’s the case, the window will not be as attractive as intended.

There are some window repair professionals who claim that they can de-fog windows with condensation (the common belief is that foggy windows must always be replaced).  What many consumers do not know when purchasing dual pane windows is that many of them will fail, unlike the single pane windows they are replacing. (The Old House Authority site says 30% of the time, a replacement window will be replaced within 10 years. It also advises that “More heat is typically lost though your roof and un-insulated walls than through your windows. Adding just 3 and 1/2 inches of insulation in your attic can save more energy than replacing your windows.”)

 

Seal failure of dual pane window

Seal failure of dual pane window

 

Many of my home buyer clients for Los Gatos, Almaden, Cambrian and San Jose insist upon having dual pane windows in their future house or townhouse.  Before assuming that any brand is OK, though, do some research to learn about the windows’ failure rate and how long the warranty on them will be.  Dual pane windows look great and do save a little energy, but if you have to replace one third of them within ten years, it won’t be a bargain at all.

Further reading on insulation and windows

What Can You Learn from a Silicon Valley Roof on a Frosty Morning?

Closed curtains or blinds in an open house? What is the seller trying to hide?

Why does it matter if the bedroom windows are small or high?

Creating pleasant window views

 

 

 

Cal Fire operates “controlled burn” at Henry Coe State Park near Morgan Hill; skies smokey over San Jose

Yesterday Jim and I attended the Los Gatos Creekside Sports Park kickoff celebration (will nearly touch Vasona Lake County Park and is just off of University Avenue) and as we often do, drove east on Blossom Hill Road to get home. Straight ahead of us, hanging over south San Jose and Santa Teresa and extending north, was a huge and darkened cloud. Smoke? Smog? Rainclouds?

We drove up Harwood Road and to the top of Harwood Court to get a better view of it. It did look like it started in south San Jose or further south than that. Some hikers were trekking up the challenging hill and we asked them if they knew if it were a fire. “Can’t smell it,” one replied “so it must be smog – just awful!” Smog, though, tends to dissipate from side to side and not hang together so tightly as what we saw.

 

Controlled burn east of Morgan Hill on Oct 18 2011 created smoggy skies in San Jose

View from Harwood Court in Los Gatos of the smokey skies created by the Cal Fire “controlled burn” in south county

 

We flipped on KLIV, the San Jose based AM radio station (channel 1590) that best covers local news & traffic, and learned right away that it was a controlled burn. This morning I googled the fire and learned that it’s a 2 day burn at part of Henry Coe State Park, overseen by Cal Fire, with more scheduled for today.

The Morgan Hill Times reports that “The prescribed burn is part of the ‘Western Zone Complex’ controlled fire in the remote area of the park. The fire will take place on the Middle Ridge Trail off Hobbs Road, about eight miles northeast of Morgan Hill, according to Calfire fire prevention specialist Chris Morgan. ”