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




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

Window with plantation shuttersRecently I showed a Silicon Valley home during a regular weekend open house.  Almost every single one of the plantation shutter blinds were closed tightly.  That made the house appear dark on a bright, sunny, summer day.  What was the point?

It was a “red flag” that there was something to hide.  In fact, there were several somethings to hide.

  • Walking outside, I noticed that while there were a few newer, dual pane windows, many more appeared to be decades old.
  • Next I noticed that some of the older windows appeared unclear or foggy.  Many seemed to have seal failure.
  • Finally, from inside the house, my client and I opened several of the blinds and discovered that the view from a number of windows was pretty unattractive.

Something seem wrong?  That’s a clue that you might want to investigate further.

One of the reasons that home buyers in the San Jose area will want to hire a buyer’s agent (and not simply work with the listing agent of a property they like) is to help you to identify any red flags, any potential issues, problems or risks.  Because we full time Realtors are in and out of homes, attend inspections, office meetings (where we share information) and do classes to keep up our knowledge and skills, we’re in a better position to help both sellers and buyers avoid risky problems.

Related reading:
Creating pleasant window views