What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

New Construction - And A Double-Pane Glass Bull's Eye

New Construction - and a double-pane glass bull's eye. 

I have had double-pane glass bull's eye blogs before, but never one with sliding glass doors.

Seals break on double-pane glass, doors and windows.  Theoretically the seals can break at any time - due to age, or after severe deflection caused by high winds, or during installation when the window or door is mistreated or improperly installed.

When a seal breaks on double-pane glass it is not immediately evident with sweaty condensation or cloudiness. It's invisible to the naked eye.

Whether the interior cavity is filled with gas or air, negative pressure is created when the vacuum-sealed interior leaks and dissipates and the two panes are pulled together.

As they get closer the cooler air outdoors is manifest where the panes are the closest.

At the time of this image the outdoor temperature was about 55F.  The indoor temperature was about 70F.  The resulting bull's eye is quite apparent.  You can see the balcony, it's railing, and the building beyond.

Had it been colder outside the bull's eye pattern would be even more pronounced.  But it is quite clear.  There was no condensation or cloudiness in the glass.  The door is very new.  The left side is fine, the right side had the beginnings of a broken seal.

The only way to detect broken seals in double-pane glass of any age, but particularly with new products, is with a thermal camera.  Eventually this would have demonstrated droplets of condensation and then cloudiness that would get worse with time.   This room is an upper-level room with a large wall with a TV jack and plenty of space to sit or go out onto the balcony and relax outdoors.  A cloudy sliding glass door would be a big spoiler!

My recommendation:  even new construction needs inspections.  And a thermal camera can detect many things from poorly-placed insulation, to unsuspected leaks, to electrical and mechanical issues, to even bull's eyes in glass!  Mighty Mo, my thermal camera is the sharpest arrow in my home inspection tool quiver.  Find an inspector with some thermal imaging skill and a good camera and hit the home inspection bull's eye...

 

 

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 14 commentsJay Markanich • October 29 2016 03:32AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay Markanich thermal imaging seems to be an application that every home inspection should have and equipment that separates the best from the OK inspectors!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 4 years ago

Barbara - for years I have been saying that in a few years all home inspections would come with thermal imaging as a part of the deal (as I have done for years), but I have been wrong.  The good cameras are still expensive and training is as well.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

This is excellent use of your Mighty Mo with this revealing discovery. Thanks for the reminder of this, Jay Markanich 

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) almost 4 years ago

 

Here is another view of the one side, S&N, in a different palette.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Jay. A home inspector prepared to produce a thorough report! Congrats! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Jay! That is very cool, although probably the owner didn't think it was so cool.... Yes, thermal imaging should be a part of all home inspections. But as you say, cost prohibitive for some. Scary for others... 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 4 years ago

Wayne - people are often surprised to see that I not only use the device, but that the results are so definitive.

This was a builder Andrea, and he said that in 20 years he had never seen anyone use a thermal camera.  Once before a builder said home inspectors should not be allowed to use thermal cameras (I found lots of missing insulation...)!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Hi Jay - I had no idea those cameras were useful for detecting blown seals. Thermal cameras still haven't caught on wth inspectors in our area.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 4 years ago

Bummer, Dick.  I have been doing thermal imaging for 13 years and have found many a blown seal in my day!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Jay, thermal cameras are a real game changer in home inspections, and I'm betting that the new construction guys aren't real thrilled about it!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

Builders in general don't like it Pat, and the supervisor here in particular.  See my answer to Andrea above.

This supervisor asked me to "prove" it was happening because he couldn't see anything.  I said he would have to look at the image on the report.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

This is a popular complaint by Buyers.....broken seals...yuck !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 4 years ago

Thank you for the advertisement! I agree 100%, that is why I am in the game! At this point I feel like if a Home Inspector does not use thermal imaging he is doing a disservice to his clients!! Never seen the bullseye effect... very cool!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 4 years ago

S&D - well, on new construction it is even more interesting.  But the broken seal does not affect the energy efficiency of the window, just the visual appearance.

This was my first sliding glass door Fred.  And on new construction!  Had it been colder that day the bull's eye would have been more pronounced, and larger.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments