Defective Low E Windows

by Lindy

I am not sure what brand of windows I have. The only thing I do know is that they are low e windows. These windows are about 8 years old. Recently I washed the windows and noticed small shinny and colorful spots throughout the window as you can see in the picture. It must be inside the glass because it will not come off. Is this a defective window? Do you know what the cause might be and is there anyway to fix this?

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Defective Low E Windows
by: Ray Croskrey

Low e windows are double pane windows that contain an inner metallic coating in or on the glass. This coating is designed to reflect a certain amount of ultraviolet light for heat blockage and for unwanted fading to furniture and flooring.

I'm not sure if your window is defective or simply just past its natural life span. I believe the spotting seen in your photo is the result of the low e coating becoming oxidized. This oxidation takes place when oxygen comes in contact with the metallic coating. Typically the inside of the two panes of glass are filled with a gas such as argon. The argon gas prevents this oxidation from taking place. Over time the seals in the windows may leak allowing the argon gas to escape and oxygen to enter thus resulting in oxidation spots throughout the window. These spots usually have a green, purple, blue or reddish look.

Unfortunately I think that once the oxidation has occurred, your only solution to the problem is to have the entire window replaced.

Contaminated Window Glass
by: Anonymous

I have seen this type of window failure. During the insulating process, the glass was not properly washed and dried. The low e coating begins to oxidize from contaminates left on glass. This process can take quite some time to appear because the unit is sealed from outside air. Often it happens after it is out of a builders warranty. This would be a latent defect.

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