“Fogged” windows, or windows with condensation between glass panes, are commonly discovered at home inspections. From my perspective, it’s a cosmetic issue because the condensation between panes isn’t a water intrusion issue for the home’s health itself. Sure, you’ll lose some thermal efficiency when the window panes lose their seals, but it’s somewhat negligible in the grand scheme of things. In my experience, Realtors are about 50% successful in negotiating replacement of “fogged” windows in real estate transactions. The Seller typically takes the stance that the “fogged” windows were obvious when the offer was made. The Buyer, on the other hand, may take the position that (a) they didn’t notice the “fogged” windows or (b) they had no idea what it would cost to replace. If you have a significant number of fogged windows, replacement adds up quickly. Standard “fogged” windows typically cost $300-$500 each to replace; contractors can usually pop-out the old glass pane and install a new one, without having to encumber trim and siding elements. These pictures were taken at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands.
Tim Hance, owner of All Islands Home Inspections, recently discovered a “fogged” window at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island. “Fogged” windows have lost their seals and exhibit a “foggy” appearance; this is considered a cosmetic issue in the home inspection industry and doesn’t mean that water is coming into the home or putting the home at risk of water or insect damage. That said, you can expect “fogged” windows to become progressively “foggier” with time and most homeowners want them replaced. Window contractors can replace most “fogged” windows by simply replacing the glass panes, e.g., without needing to remove the entire window and trim.
At a recent home inspection on San Juan Island, I found a “fogged” window. Fogged windows are common and indicate that the seal between the double-pane glass has been lost. It DOES NOT mean that water will be entering the home to cause damage. For this reason, “fogged” windows are generally considered a cosmetic issue in the home inspection industry. That said, you can expect “fogged” windows to become progressively “foggier,” and most homeowners want them replaced, especially if they impede an amazing view. A window contractor can usually replace fogged windows without having to remove the window or trim itself; they simply replace the glass. Because replacement can be expensive, especially if a significant number of windows are “fogged,” it’s best to get a quote for replacement so you can understand the costs involved. Continue reading