Why You Have a Foggy Window and What to Do About It

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

A foggy window can put a real damper on any room in your home. Chances are it will need to be replaced, and when the time comes you can trust the experts at Budget Windows & Doors! Read on to learn how to determine the problem, how to attempt to fix it, and how Budget Windows & Doors can help. For a no-obligation estimate, contact us today!

Foggy Window - How To Determine The Problem And Fix

A foggy window is often caused by its seal allowing air to enter the glass, resulting in condensation and cloudiness that will not dissipate by itself over time.

A consistent cloudy window is something you will have to spend time repairing or replacing in order to make sure you are kept safe from the elements and to allow a good amount of sunlight into your home.

How to determine the problem

This is the easy part. You're likely to enter a room and simply notice that your window is fogged up, and you cannot seem to clear it, no matter what you try on the inside or outside.

Exterior window condensation is simply dew that develops when the window is colder than the dew point, and it's not an issue that needs to be addressed.

Interior window condensation is caused by a lot of moisture in the house, and it often occurs in the winter when the warm air inside the house condenses on the cold windows. All of the above can be easily wiped away with some Windex.

Fogginess between window panes generally occurs when the seals between the panes is broken; when that fails, When the window seals fail, the desiccant within the window panes saturates with water.

You've got a foggy window - what's next?

How to fix a foggy window

1. Window defogging

This process involves boring tiny holes into the glass to get between the window panes, allowing you to spray a cleaning solution inside. Then you let the solution dry up the condensation, and install vents in those holes.

It's a quick and easy fix that can be done at any time of year, and it temporarily saves you some money by delaying the inevitable window replacement.

Window defogging usually costs 1/2 to 1/3 of the cost of window replacement.

2. Patch cracked or broken glass

A foggy window is sometimes caused by minuscule damage to your window's glass, and you can offset this problem by trying to repair any cracks.

Applying a piece of either masking tape or clear packing tape over the crack on both sides of the window pane can help to keep the glass intact and keep condensation from working its way through the crack until it can be replaced. Apply the tape so that it extends past the crack on all sides, and press it firmly against the glass.

Note: This may stop the fog from getting worse, but may not fix the fog that is currently there. Your window will also be prone to shattering if bumped as cracks negatively impact a window's structural integrity.

For more, read our article on 6 Hacks To Stop A Cold Draft From Your Window.

A foggy window can be temporarily dealt with using tape or weatherstripping.

3. Replace window sash

A window sash is the unified framed that holds the sheets of glass in place. Unfortunately, replacement kits are usually tied to your brand of window and are usually special-order items straight from the manufacturer.

Purchasing an identical new-construction window at your local home centre, removing the sash, and using it as a replacement may be less expensive than ordering a sash replacement kit. This is possible only when your existing window is an exact, one-for-one match with the new-construction window.

Here's an example of how to replace a window sash:

4. Limit scope of work to affected window pane

Repairing or replacing a single foggy window pane is much more affordable than replacing the entire unit.

Repairing a cracked or shattered window pane is a relatively easy repair, especially if the crack is small. For large panes, it’s usually smart to call a glass dealer. In most cases, a special pane will have to be ordered - you’ll want to have the replacement on hand before your remove the old pane.

Here are a few other tips we have found to be useful:

  • Begin by removing the broken glass.

  • Tape the cracked pane with duct tape to prevent glass shards from falling out as you work.

  • Be sure to wear safety glasses and heavy gloves when working with glass.

  • Try to buy the same kind of glass originally installed in the window so it will match the glass in the other panes or other windows in the room (this may not always be possible if you have an older home).

  • Take a shard to your hardware store and ask your dealer to match any coatings or other features.

  • Before you remove any broken glass, tape newspaper to the inside of the sash to catch any fragments.

  • Pad the glass with newspaper when you take it to or from the store.

  • Dispose of fragments in your regular trash; window glass usually can’t be recycled.

For more detailed information on replacing a window pane, click here.

Call a professional if you need to repair or replace a foggy window pane at elevation.

5. Replace the Entire Window

The only sure fire way to completely remedy a foggy window is to have it replaced.

Most window design professionals agree that new, quality windows should last at least 15 or 20 years before you should consider replacing them. Windows built to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) guidelines can be expected to last 25 years.

With windows 15-25 years old, you can expect to perform repairs regularly, adding caulking and insulation, and performing a number of other temporary fixes such as the ones mentioned above.

Eventually, you will need to replace the entire unit, and a foggy window is a sure sign that the time is nigh.

For more information, be sure to check out our article on 5 signs you need a window replacement.

Have a foggy window? Trust Budget Windows & Doors!

When it comes to repairing and replacing windows, you can trust Budget Windows & Doors. With over 20 years of experience, we take great pride in our work and place special emphasis on customer satisfaction. Our highly trained professionals also take great care when working on any project to make sure the job is done right and on time.

What our customers are saying:

"We did 5 basement windows. Great experience all around. The install technician was amazing. He was professional, tidy, fast, and great with our dog. The workmanship was great. Windows are great quality. I would recommend this company." - Amy

Read more customer reviews here.

Budget Windows & Doors services Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Stratford, and the surrounding areas. Our success stems from the quality service we provide with every job completed. After all, that’s why our customers keep coming back and referring us to friends and family. For a no obligation estimate, call us today!

Additional sources: https://www.thespruce.com/fogged-windows-repair-options-1822911

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