What I'm Seeing Now

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Hit The Bull's Eye!

These photos came to me from my thermal infrared friend in Maryland, John Evans.  It isn't often we thermographers get such an opportunity to photograph this.  Windows are one of the things routinely looked at during a thermal image sweep of a house.  We look for many things, not just leakage.

Andersen Windows has had problems with seals breaking and argon gas leakage in windows manufactured 1989 - 1993.  What most don't realize is that broken seals create pressure inside, literally drawing the two panes together.  John installed these windows in 1991.  These are images of the same window taken from indoors.

Andersen has agreed to repair this seal problem.

And apparently hundreds of thousands of them.  The window on the left is before the repair.  Thermographers call this a "Bull's Eye" pattern.  It is classic!  I have seen it before but have never been able to photograph such good before and after images as this.  You rarely get this opportunity!!

The image on the right is after Andersen's repair.  They sent two techs to this house.  The repair involves drilling a hole in the top of the window to relieve the pressure.  Argon is then re-inserted and caulking placed over the hole.

Note the temperature on the left where the two panes are actually touching!  And note the uniform temperature of the same window on the right, after the repair.

My recommendation:  If you have broken window seals, it might pay you to contact the manufacturer.  One that is proud of its product may just come to your house and take care of the problem.  It sure beats a local window guy charging $250 - $450 each to replace the damaged ones!

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 19 commentsJay Markanich • January 21 2010 05:45AM

Comments

Thank you for the post. I will have to check windows in my house..

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 9 years ago

  I think you could have a whole new business photographing the photographs and framing them..the before pictures could pass for contemporary art....hmmm ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Jay,

What a dramatic photo.  I haven't seen thermal imaging used in our market, and the preponderance of tract-built homes from the 1980's and 1990's might yield some interesting images...

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 9 years ago

Hi Gita - the Bull's Eye is hard to see without a camera.  But you might be able to see condensation.

S&D - they are pretty aren't they!  You can actually choose from a dozen pallets or so.  Some guys look for things using black and white, but then change to the color scheme here (the most popular for clients) to demonstrate what they have found.  The black and white is actually a better palette for finding problems.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

A picture is worth a thousands words. . .very dramatic example..  .thanks for sharing it with us

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 9 years ago

Mike - I have had my camera for 6 years now.  I think I was way ahead of the loop, seeing what new information that product could provide for the home inspection industry.  Still today, I can't believe more home inspectors do not use them.  Cost is no excuse - the camera I bought is 1/2 the price now!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Fernando - it is very cool technology.  I use my camera routinely on Energy Audits and Thermal Infrared sweeps.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

WOW!  Andersen is one of the mega window manufacturers.  Good thing the window wasn't from XYZ company.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing. With their reputation for high quality, most would not suspect seal problems with Anderson windows.

I posted blog on my Facebook wall.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 9 years ago

Exactly Lenn!  When you buy stuff for your home, buy the good stuff, from good manufacturers, who take  pride in their products and back them!  In the long run it pays.  These windows are almost 20 years old and Andersen is still backing them!  I would imagine any warranty has long since expired.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

It was apparently during those years Roy.  It is most interesting they would back them this long after fabrication!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay, I have written about this very issue sometime ago These Windows are Hiding a Secret. I have found this defect in a few homes. Andersen is very accommodating in repairing the problem.

This Andersen window is from a home just a few years old. Same problem, but less pronounced. I found several just like it through out the home.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 9 years ago

James - the bull's eye is easily detectable.  Often it is smooshy, like yours, and sometimes really clear.  Seldom, though, do we get the opportunity to do a before and after shot!

That was a great post.  It happened before we met on AR so I am sorry not to have commented then.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay, I was thinking the same as Sally and David. You have some artwork here.

BullsEye by Jay Markanich

 

 

 

Posted by Kate Kate over 9 years ago

Beeeertiful Kate!  So do you think I can get away with selling someone else's photos? Should I even try?

But yes, artwork!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Was there any condensation forming?

Posted by Vince Santos, Southeast Michigan Home Inspector (StepByStep Home Services LC) over 9 years ago

I don't know Vince.  John sent them to me, knowing my interest.  Often times the bull's eye pattern is without condensation, the two panes being drawn together so tightly.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

For the longest time everyone said those windows couldn't be repaired, but where there is interest, there's someone to do the job.

I still don't know of anyone doing thermal imaging out here. Maybe it's the weather; we always have our doors and windows open! LOL

Posted by Not a real person over 9 years ago

Well, Russel, that would make for an easy energy audit!  "Sir, you seem to have very drafty gaps in your walls.  Oh, you removed the windows."  IR is a big new world and it is very cool.  My camera, 6 years old now, is still terrific.  The software I have been using has been superseded though...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

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