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How to Look

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    A back-and-forth action that has been dubbed “thermal pumping” contributes to the loss of the gas over time. It is the expansion and contraction, along with flexing in and out, of the glass and surrounding frame and seals with changes in temperature. Sides of a home exposed to direct sun are more prone to the effects of thermal pumping and it can’t be avoided.

    But pressure washing double pane windows creates even more pressure and flexing of the outside pane, with corresponding movement at the seal. It is possible to break the seal sufficiently to lose all the inert gas quickly when blasting a window with high-pressure water. We sometimes visit a home less than 10-years old that the homeowner has pressure-washed and 90% of the windows are clouded over.

    So don’t do it. Avoid expensive window replacements by washing your windows the old-fashioned way with a soapy solution and garden-hose water pressure. Although pressure washing is one cause of premature clouding of double pane windows, a manufacturing defect or poor installation that squeezes the frame can also cause seal failure. Further investigation may be necessary if you have a large number of windows in your home cloud over at the same time, but no history of pressure washing.


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection


More Blog Posts on Home Safety:

  1. Where is safety/tempered glass required for the windows of a house?

  2. What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

  3. Should a front door open in or out?

  4. What causes cracks in a driveway?

  5. When should I replace my smoke alarms?

  6. Why are window security bars dangerous?

  7. Are house numbers required by law in front of a house?

  8. How can a tree damage my house?

  9. What can I do right now to prepare my house for a hurricane?

  10. How do you inspect a dryer vent?

  11. What is radon? Should I be concerned about it in Gainesville?

  12. What is a “cross connection” in a home’s plumbing system?

  13. Is a bare bulb light in a closet alright?

  14. What safety checks will limit my tenant liability in a rental house?

  15. Are carbon monoxide alarms required to be installed in Florida?

  16. What are the requirements for a room to classified as a bedroom?

  17. How can I know how much damage there is inside a wall if the inspector found termites in the baseboard?

  18. How can formaldehyde gas in the house be a problem?

  19. How can I check my garage door to make sure it is safe?

  20. What can I do to avoid kitchen accidents and injuries?

  21. When is a railing required for the edge of a deck or porch?

  22. Why does my concrete floor slab sweat and get slippery?

  23. Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard?

  24. Why is vermiculite attic insulation a problem for both buyers and sellers of a home?

  25. What are the common causes of ceiling stains in a house?

  26. Why is a pet door from a house to the garage a fire hazard?