Pure Water on IG Panes

Since it’s winter and I have time to ponder some of last years jobs, I recall one in particular that raised a question to me as a new user of the water fed pole then. I know pure water will not damage glass and the surrounding surfaces. One particular home I used the pure water on had a large IG pane that was positioned over the top of the front door and some transom panes there. It was a typical (for this area) large pane that allows viewing of the large chandelier hanging in front of the stairwell in the front of the home. I used the WFP on that pane and it came out perfect for cleanliness. However, 1 week later the customer called telling me of a smear on the pane. I went back out and climbed up a ladder and went eyeball to glass only to discover that the seal was clearly broke as the moisture was on the inside. I explained that seals break and that perhaps the seal had been broken for some time but that the cleaning had exposed it.

Tidbits on Insulated Glass:

Most IG units have two seals. Once those seals give for any reason and the desiccant beads are saturated then the process of fogging and corrosion begins. R-Value is the reasoning behind Insulated Glass or “double paned” glass. Glass alone has virtually no R-Value to combat heat or cold. (R-1) Homeowners using IG panes will increase their R-Value to R-2 thus increasing the energy efficiency of the home.

The leading causes of failure are:
Seals breaking down from exposure to water. Windows not positioned to keep puddling away from panes are always at risk for seal failure.
Excess heat. Direct sun exposure causes the panes to expand and contract, and it softens and weakens the seals until they develop a crack in their armor and allow moist air in.
Old age. Self explanatory as even the best seals from the best manufacturers will fail over time.
What can we do as window cleaners to enhance a customer with knowledge of insulated glass?

Do any of you offer written information regarding insulating glass to your customers?

Are there any techniques that you use to decrease the amount of water you are using when cleaning IG panes with a WFP?

Are there any real solutions that can “fix” a broken seal on an IG unit other than replacing it?

I always monitor the direction of my jets when using the water fed pole on double hung windows so as not to force water underneath the top pane. I always monitor closely where I allow water to directly spray when water fed poling IG panes so as not to force a compromised seal to break or to open wider.

If the seal was compromised then in a short time the humidity and any other cleaning (pwing comes to mind) would increase the moisture around the seal and show up the problem.
I did a job 2 years ago that had almost every IG seal blown. The customer wanted only the outsides done and when the moisture didn’t go away she thought it was my fault. I had to take a 1/2 hr out of my day to walk her thru the fact that I had no control over a window defect before I could get paid.

Does anyone have any written info on IG pane failure that they give to there clients if need be. Or, know where this info can be found explaining how and why the fail? I run into this alot and having something I can give them to read would be less time consuming than trying to explain it to them as they look at me puzzled.

I have a replacement window company that I do business with that I contacted about this yesterday. They are getting me some pertinent information that is put in the short form context.

I’ll post it here once I get it. Hopefully, we can put it to some use.

Great idea Dwight!

I just googled it - there are heaps of warrantys from window companys on IG pane failure - but nothing educational.