Hurricane Harvey made landfall this past August and many of our family, friends and neighbors are still working on getting their homes and lives back in order. Harvey’s winds reached Category 4 levels as it hit the Texas shore near Corpus Christi and it’s the first time in 56 years that a major hurricane (category 3 or stronger) made landfall in Texas. Some parts of Texas reached 51.9 inches of rain and caused massive flooding.
Homeowners need to be aware of the hidden effects rising water may have caused to the windows in their home. Homeowners need to be aware of the potential threat for mold, mildew and bacteria growth if they have double pane or triple pane windows in which the seals and chambers of the window have been compromised. This may not be seen immediately and could cause damage in the future if the windows are not replaced. Replacing just the glass units or cleaning the exterior of the framing is not a guarantee that future damage will not occur.
Many homeowners may not be aware that the manufacturer’s warranty is voided for windows and doors that have been exposed to flood waters. Below is a description from one of our manufacturer’s on the long term effects of exposure to flood waters.
Why is the product warranty voided if flood waters reached or surpassed the windows or doors in my home? Windows and doors have been compromised by the standing water and have been exposed to conditions that exceed product design and capacity. Even though product failure may not be immediately visible it is likely that the following may occur in the future:
Insulated Glass Seal Failure
The insulated glass unit once exposed to standing water can no longer perform as designed because the spacer and secondary sealant have been exposed to concentrations of moisture not designed to withstand. This failure may appear within weeks or years depending upon the actual exposure.
The glazing application and adhesive bond between the glass and the frame have been compromised and will no longer perform at their designed level. This exposure has weakened the chemical bond and creates the opportunity for failure in the future.
The coil balance system within the windows, although made of high quality stainless steel, have been exposed to enough moisture to cause rusting. This rusting may only be cosmetic but could also end in product failure depending upon actual exposure and use.
Why is it recommended that our windows and doors be replaced if exposed to flood waters? The only way to ensure the highest level of product performance is by replacement. Due to the catastrophic event and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the standard limited lifetime warranty has been voided.
Why is there a potential for mold, mildew or bacteria to develop within the frame chambers or around the glass unit? Given the right environmental factors of temperature, moisture and humidity, mold can grow on any surface or material, including glass and vinyl.
If you see mold or suspect you may have mold growing in or on your window surfaces or any adjacent materials or surfaces, it is best to have a mold mitigation professional examine the suspect areas and provide advice as to best mitigate it.
Contact Superior Window Company if you have any further questions or concerns regarding your windows and doors.