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  1. #1
    Nick Welty's Avatar
    Nick Welty Guest

    Default dessicant strip failure??

    THe window is not fogged and i have seen many of these cheap vinyl windows with this strip bulged up but no viewable failure. Is this really the dessicant strip and why is it not fogging yet>

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Welty View Post
    THe window is not fogged and i have seen many of these cheap vinyl windows with this strip bulged up but no viewable failure. Is this really the dessicant strip and why is it not fogging yet>
    The window manufactures use butyl rubber with a desiccant embedded in the rubber. It is sprayed on a metal strip that is then formed into the frame. The glass is then set and a few more steps are done before it is a finished window. OK, that is the Readers Digest version of a window..

    What you are seeing is the rubber being forced or distorted out of shape most likely from heat. Windows do not always fog when the seal is broken. But that window is damaged even though it is not fogged.

    The only repair is the replacement of the window.

    FYI, just because it is a vinyl window does mean it is cheap. All insulated windows can and will do this if the conditions are right. I prefer and recommend a good vinyl window over a wood window any day of the week.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Scott

    Had an EW case like that a couple of years ago. Badly built home by a “building contractor” followed by a worse inspection by a so called “home inspector.” Lots of money changed hands on this case.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Scott,
    Never have seen it in the rubber seal. Where did you see that?

    My experience is that there is a spacer tube that has the descant in it. It is placed between the panes and the edges are sealed with butyl rubber. The fabricated double pane is then heated and the descant adsorbs the moisture. When gas is pumped in there are two holes made in the butyl deal and through the spacer where it is pumped in and out. Then sealed again.

    I am having a hard time determining exactly what is in the picture that has raised. Looking to the left of pane you see the spacer. The window,appears to be a mechanical assembled sash. It is possible that it has been dissasembled and reassembled for some reason. What is being seen may be a gasket that is used to seal the exterior of the meeting of the glass and the vinyl sash channel.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    I have seen that a few times in nearly new vinyl windows. The rubber gasket is humped up in a few places, but the seal may not be broken. Nevertheless, replacement is the only cure.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Vinyl window frames will expand upto 8 percent, particularly darker colours, and if receiving a lot of sun.

    Why replace them? They are not fogging and are keeping the elements out. A discretionary replacement at best.


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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Scott,
    Never have seen it in the rubber seal. Where did you see that?

    My experience is that there is a spacer tube that has the descant in it. It is placed between the panes and the edges are sealed with butyl rubber. The fabricated double pane is then heated and the descant adsorbs the moisture. When gas is pumped in there are two holes made in the butyl deal and through the spacer where it is pumped in and out. Then sealed again.

    I am having a hard time determining exactly what is in the picture that has raised. Looking to the left of pane you see the spacer. The window,appears to be a mechanical assembled sash. It is possible that it has been dissasembled and reassembled for some reason. What is being seen may be a gasket that is used to seal the exterior of the meeting of the glass and the vinyl sash channel.
    We (group of home inspectors) toured a window manufacturers plant last month. We watched the making of the windows from the start to the end. This is how they did it at this plant. The fame had spacers or channels that the glass fit in.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    John, The window in the picture is a repair, not a replacement (just a picky point). Rail off - rail on. Not real hard.

    Scott,
    What is the name of the manufacture that you toured. You have me curious on how embedding descant in butyl rubber can be effective.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    John, The window in the picture is a repair, not a replacement (just a picky point). Rail off - rail on. Not real hard.

    Scott,
    What is the name of the manufacture that you toured. You have me curious on how embedding descant in butyl rubber can be effective.
    Hi Gary, it was Painted Vinyl Windows, vinyl window manufacturers, Replacement Windows, new windows - MGM Industries, Inc.

    They produce high end commercial and residental windows. We had a 4 hour tour and class and we could have still spent another 4-6 hours and still not covered everything about windows.

    They are one of a handful of manufacturers that can actual paint the vinyl in custom colors. That machine and process is about as long as a football field!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    John, The window in the picture is a repair, not a replacement (just a picky point). Rail off - rail on. Not real hard.
    Maybe we're seeing two different things in that pic.
    The defect I have seen would involve removal of the glass, and a new thermopnane unit installed into the frame. That is, the seal between the panes is humped up.

    And I agree, it appears to be a cosmetic issue, but clients will freak out about such things.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Scott,
    Was the football length machine you referred to an extrusion line?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    Scott,
    Was the football length machine you referred to an extrusion line?
    Yes and then it went directly to the painting process.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13
    Tech 9 Home Inspections's Avatar
    Tech 9 Home Inspections Guest

    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Could this possibly be a result of filling the gaps around the window with too much "Great Stuff" expanding foam insulation?


  14. #14
    Rod Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    I tend to agree with Raymond Wand - if the seal has not "popped", why make work/expense for yourself/homeowner? If it falls into the general classification of a "cosmetic defect", I dont see why a mention to keep an eye on the window unit wouldn't suffice!


  15. #15
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Smith View Post
    I tend to agree with Raymond Wand - if the seal has not "popped", why make work/expense for yourself/homeowner? If it falls into the general classification of a "cosmetic defect", I dont see why a mention to keep an eye on the window unit wouldn't suffice!
    I think it is important to point out any window that has a swollen or bulging gasket. If you don't and it becomes an issue later, guess who the owner is going to call? Two years down the road your client sells the home and a new inspector points it out as a problem. You are then on the hook for not telling them about this.

    Just say that you found a window that has a swollen or bulging gasket, but it does not appear that the seal has failed, yet. Leave it up to your client as to what they want the owner to do with it.

    You can not worry about the homeowner and do a good job for your client. Report what you find and you will be the best inspector in town in the eyes of your client.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  16. #16
    Rod Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    All good points, scott!


  17. #17
    ERICK PRATHER's Avatar
    ERICK PRATHER Guest

    Default Re: dessicant strip failure??

    Appears to be Swiggle I.G. spacer or similar and mechanically fastened corners, notorious for movement. Likely site built or pre mid 90's before fusion welded corners became common.


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