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Can I Replace Just One Pane of a Double Pane Window?

An Overview of What to Expect During a Double Pane Window Repair

If your home’s windows are relatively new, chances are good that they are double pane, or even triple pane windows. Read on for more information on what is involved during a double pane window repair, including whether or not it’s possible to replace just one of the two panes.  

Double pane windows have been a standard part of the building process for more than two decades now, being preferred by building codes for their ability to insulate your home a lot better than their single pane counterparts. This thereby reduces your heating and cooling bills and lowers your home’s energy consumption. Double pane windows also provide a little bit of extra noise control as well.

How Do Double Pane Windows Work?

Double pane windows consist of two sheets of glass sealed together with a bit of space between them. This airspace between the two panes is often filled with argon or krypton gas to provide further energy-efficient insulating properties. When this airtight seal breaks, or just one of the two panes cracks, windows can get foggy or drafty, which eventually leads to a need for repair. This usually prompts the question, “Can I replace just one pane of a double pane window?”

The short answer is no, you can’t. It’s not possible to replace just one pane of a double pane window. The reason is because a double pane window is actually a sealed, insulated glass unit (IGU). In other words, the two panes are sealed together, often with an insulating gas filled in the airspace between the panes. Taking off just one pane breaks the airtight seal and lets out any insulating gas that was added to the IGU. So, again, it’s impossible to replace just one pane of a double pane window.

To maintain the seal of your insulated glass unit, both panes must be replaced to maintain an airtight seal and be able to keep on insulating your home. Fortunately, repairing or fixing a double pane window isn’t as arduous as it seems. In actuality, when it comes time to repair a double pane window, a professional window repair company like Modern can often just replace the panes (both panes, as in the entire insulated glass unit), without having to pry out and replace the entire window frame. This saves you time and money overall.

The Double Pane Window Replacement Process

Is one of your double pane windows starting to get foggy? Is there a hairline fracture becoming increasingly harder to ignore? Has a tree fallen and completely shattered your window? Whatever your reason for needing double pane window repair, a professional window repair company ought to be called. Start by scheduling a free consultation with a window repair company. A specialist will come to your home at a time of your choosing to evaluate your window repair needs.

The window glass experts will start with assessing the condition of your frame to see if you need a new frame in addition to new panes. If the frames (casing, trim, and sill plate) are in good condition, you’ll be able to replace just the panes (the insulated sealed unit) of the window. Frames are typically in good condition if they are less than 15 years old and made of either vinyl or aluminum.

New Panes

If you can get away with just replacing the panes, here are the typical steps involved:

  1. If your window has been completely broken and glass has been shattered or scattered, our crew will clean up all the debris from the area and prepare the existing frame for the installation of new panes.
  2. We then measure up the windowpane opening and then secure the broken window, (if applicable), before we go to work on your replacement window glass.
  3. We then work to get your double pane window glass professionally cut, sealed and ready to go.
  4. Once your custom window is ready to go, we will call to schedule our return visit for installation.
  5. We install and seal in the double pane glass on top of or within the home’s existing frame.

New Frames

If your double pane window glass needs replacing, and it has come to your attention that your window frame is in poor condition, a new window frame will be recommended. Sometimes a glass replacement also prompts some homeowners to replace window frames due to them simply being outdated. In either case, new frames are in order!

At this stage, you’ll need to decide what material of frame you’d like, with the top choices being vinyl, aluminum or wood (see below). You can also change the window’s operating type at this point. Some choices include double-hung, single-hung, and casement. You’ll likely want to match the style to your other windows. The professionals at Modern can help you make the right decision based on things like your home’s style and your budget.

Double Pane Window Repair Near Me

Modern offers double pane window repair from our four locations in BC covering Vancouver Island, Powell River, Vancouver, Whistler, Squamish, and the Sunshine Coast. In addition to our more than three decades of window glass repair and installation experience, we also offer quick turn-arounds on free quotes and consultations, flexible appointments, and replacement glass for custom and hard-to-fit window dimensions.

If you’re on the market for a double pane window repair on Vancouver Island, Powell River, or the Lower Mainland, Modern’s professional window installers have got you covered. We will help guide you through all your double pane window repair and replacement needs. Request a free quote online or call us today at 1-866-934-2599 to learn more.

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