A few weeks back our column addressed window tint and Kathy Sisley, a reader of our column made comment “if the window seal fails on a double pane window and it is under warranty the company may not honor it (the warranty) due to film being applied. “ Kathy thank you for your comment and for reading our column.
First let’s talk about window seal failure. What is seal failure? If you have “fog” or condensation in the window this indicates that a seal has failed. Double or triple pane sealed windows are suppose to be unassailable from seal-breaks, however, abnormal pressure applied to a window can cause the seal to leak. I talked with a multitude of window manufactures and most have a warranty against seal failure anywhere from 5 to 10 years and some even have a 20 year warranty. Window seal failure is the most common failure in a window and once the seal breaks a reduction in the window R-value occurs and the low-E coating turns into high-E coating and heat is absorbed instead of being reflected. Some window manufacturer’s I talked with will not cover any glass or seal failures on a window that has any after market alterations to the glass (tint, etc.) and then there were others that have no issues with tint being applied and the warranty is not affected. I know how we all hate to read warranties and the fine print and after diving in to the window world, I highly recommend that you stay up all night if you have to and read your window warranty before purchasing replacement windows and when purchasing a new home, make sure that your builder delivers to you the window manufacturer information and warranty. It is relatively easy to start a window glazing business, especially if someone wants to get into the low-cost arena of windows. Low-cost is not always the best option and it is important to know that the company you have selected will be in business in 3 or 5 or even 7 years.
Many warranties cover wonderful items up front, however when the details are outlined you will see a decline in the coverage. The warranty label on your windows will provide all of the pertinent information bout your windows. Look for the label which will include the srial number, the date of manufacture and size of window and you should retain a printed copy of the warranty. Remember, the “fine print” has all of the details in your window warranty and the hard part will be staying awake to understand the language such as “fully transferable” or “non-glass” or non-prorated” and more importantly “exclusions”. Let’s take a detour back to window tint being applied “after market”. The window film installed by ProTint, our local window tinting company, has a standard film manufacturer’s warranty which will cover the window unit from seal failure for 36 months after the film installation if the window is currently covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. This is ProTints standard warranty that comes with any film applied. ProTint does offer a “Gold” Warranty and this warranty will pick up the terms and conditions of the customers current window warranty. The customer must provide proof of an existing in force manufacturer’s glass warranty. If the “Gold” Warranty is purchased at $0.35 per square foot of film applied the average cost for an entire home is around $20.00 for warranty protection. Seal failures are relatively easy to fix and in most cases the entire window does not have to be replaced.