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Why Are My Windows Foggy? 3 Causes And Do You Need A Window Replacement

November 16th, 2022 | 8 min. read

Why Are My Windows Foggy? 3 Causes And Do You Need A Window Replacement

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Are your windows foggy? Is it hard to see clearly through them? Have you repeatedly tried to clean your windows only to find that fogginess won’t go away?

Foggy windows are a common problem with home replacement windows. Depending on your home, there are a few different causes that would create an unremovable fog. 

If you look at your windows and notice a foggy glow you can’t get rid of, you most likely assume something is wrong.

But what’s a little fog going to do? Are your windows in danger? Is your home in danger?

We completely understand. The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars for a window replacement you don’t need. 

While we’ve offered high-quality window replacements since 1989 at Southwest Exteriors, we want you to have the right information on whether or not a full window replacement is the right solution. 

Foggy windows can be a pain, but do they really need replacing? That is the exact question we will answer in this article. 

This article will outline what causes foggy windows, what solutions there are, and whether or not you should replace them. 

After reading, you’ll understand why your windows are foggy and can inspect them to find the root cause. Then, you can know whether you need to replace your foggy windows or if an easier fix is an option. 


3 reasons your windows are foggy and what to do about it

So, you’ve noticed a fog that won’t go away on your windows and want to know why it’s there and what to do about it. 

The root cause of fogginess in your windows is moisture. The fogginess is condensation that is trapped between the window panes. 

But there are a few reasons why that moisture has made its way into your window glass: 

  1. Seal failure around the window frame
  2. Cracked glass or problems with the glass seal 
  3. Improper installation of the window


Let’s look into each of these causes, so you can understand what is causing the fog in your windows and your solution. 


1. Seal failure around the window frame

The most common cause of foggy windows is seal failure. When your windows are installed, they need to be properly sealed around the frame to secure it in the window's opening and protect the frame's integrity from outside elements. 

Replacement windows must be properly sealed with a high-quality caulk for the window's interior and exterior. 

Seal failure around your windows can occur for a few reasons: 

  • If the window was not caulked and sealed properly
  • If the wrong caulk is used and starts to fail
  • If the caulking is old and starts to deteriorate or peel 

Seal failure allows air and moisture to penetrate the window and window panes. This creates condensation and the foggy appearance of your windows. 


What is the fix for foggy windows caused by seal failure? 

You have three options if you notice deterioration around your window seals or caulk peeling up as the culprit causing your foggy windows. 

  • You can recaulk around the window to prevent any further moisture from getting into your windows. This will not eliminate the fogginess but protect your windows from increasing fogginess and more serious damage, like rotting around the frame. 
  • You can replace the window glass while resealing around the frame to eliminate the foggy window. This is not a long-term fix. 
  • You can replace the entire window to ensure your new window is sealed properly and won’t fog in the future. 

Seal failure causes many issues than just fogginess in your windows. If not treated properly, it can lead to water infiltration, insect invasion, and rot. 

So, if your windows are foggy due to seal failure, it’s best to have a professional assess them to ensure no further damage to them and your home. 


Schedule your commitment-free consultation today!


2. Cracked glass or problems with the glass seal 

The second common cause of fogginess in your windows is if the glass is cracked or there is seal failure around the glass seal. 

Because fogginess occurs when moisture becomes trapped in the glass, it would only make sense that if your glass fails, fogginess may occur, right?  

If your glass has cracked or the seal around the glass is deteriorating or peeling, this may cause your foggy windows. 

This cause for fogginess would be easy to spot if your window glass is cracked in any way. But, if you don’t notice any cracking in the glass and the seal around the window frame is still holding up, check around the glass seal for any signs of failure. 


What is the fix for foggy windows caused by cracked glass or glass seal failure? 

If your foggy windows occurred because of one of these glass problems, the only two options to fix it are a glass replacement or full window replacement. 

  • You’ll first want to consider a glass-only replacement if the root problem behind your foggy windows is the glass, especially if your glass is cracked. If the rest of your windows are intact, a glass-only replacement will save you time, money, and effort to fix your problem. 
  • Consider a full window replacement if your foggy windows are older and there are more problems than just the glass. This will fix your foggy windows and improve your home's energy efficiency.  

A glass replacement will be the simplest solution to fixing your foggy windows if damage to the window glass is the cause of the fogginess. 

Like seal failure around the frame, untreated seal failure around the window glass can allow moisture to seep into the frame and cause more problems than fogginess. 


3. Improper installation of the window

The third reason you may have fogginess in your windows is if they were not installed properly. 

A faulty window installation can cause several problems, foggy windows being one of them. Even the highest quality windows will not perform as well as they should if they are not installed properly. 

An improperly installed window that would cause fogginess can occur if: 

  • The window is installed out of square (not leveled properly)
  • The window is not sealed properly using the right caulk
  • The window is installed upside down 

Overall, if the window is not placed properly in the window opening and properly sealed, it will fail and allow moisture to impede into the window. 


What is the fix to foggy windows caused by an improperly installed window? 

If your windows are foggy because they were not installed correctly, your only option to fix it properly is to have your windows reinstalled. 

You may be okay living with foggy windows for a while, and that’s okay. But the longer your improperly installed windows live in your home, the more problems you’ll experience in the future. This will only cause more damage to your home and cost you more when you finally decide to fix your improperly installed windows. 

You will want to find a trustworthy window replacement contractor that can replace your faulty windows to a high quality to ensure they will last. 


Finding the right solution to fix your foggy windows 

Now that you know three potential causes of your foggy windows and the proper solution, you can take the next step to get them fixed. 

Is living with some condensation between your windows the end of the world? No. 

Will it continue to cause more problems for your windows and your home the longer they go untreated? Absolutely.

Foggy windows may not seem like the worst problem to have, but they can expose many other things wrong with your windows when further inspected. 

As you’re looking at your foggy windows, trying to find their main cause, you may find other problems that make you think, “Does THIS mean I should get my windows replaced?”

This article will outline three things that indicate it’s time for a window replacement, including foggy windows. Then, you will better understand if you need to replace your windows and can find the right contractor for your project. 


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Looking for the right San Antonio contractor to replace your windows?

Southwest Exteriors offers high-quality full window replacements with windows from top manufacturers like Marvin, ProVia, and Anlin. 

If you suspect your foggy windows need to be replaced, we’ll be happy to assess your windows and provide you with the right recommendation. If you don’t need a window replacement, we’ll never pressure you into investing in something you don’t need. 

Want to learn more about whether you need to replace your foggy windows or not? Schedule your free, in-home consultation with a design consultant today, and get the look you love coming home to!