Pre-sale Home Inspection | Window Glass & Rot Issues

March 20, 2016

If you are about to purchase a home, you will need to obtain a presale home inspection report prior to closing. This is generally a requirement by the mortgage company to unveil any costly repairs that may be needed. Even if the lender doesn’t require a presale home inspection, you should take the initiative on your own to protect yourself financially.  If you are about to sell your home it’s in your best interest to keep the windows off the bargaining table.  Trust me on this! While most home inspectors have a broad knowledge of home construction, they often don’t have the experience to understand the intricacies of certain items such as windows.  There are so many brands, materials and styles of windows that if you haven’t seen them all, you really don’t know what you’re looking at or looking for.  If you are purchasing a home of any age, it would be a good idea to hire a window inspection specialist to perform a  more thorough inspection of the windows and all of their components. With a better understanding of the complexities of windows, they are more likely to discover any window deficiencies and could potentially save you thousands of dollars in surprise repairs.  Just because the home is less than 10 years old don’t assume the window are fine. 

Repair Costs for Window Seal Issues:

One of the more common problems that may go unnoticed in a presale home inspection are windows with insulated glass which have lost their seal.  Many people have purchased homes with failed seals in insulated glass that have been overlooked by a regular home inspector.  Or conversely they have tagged windows they thought were bad when in fact they were not.  The fact of the matter is it will cost way less to repair your windows than it will to replace them completely.  In most cases any way. 

Who Pays?

If you conduct a proper inspection of the home well in advance of closing, the existing owner may have time to repair or replace the defective windows by replacing glass or components or even replacing rotting sills.  If the closing date is less than 60 days away, there may not be enough time for the owner to find a contractor, order the windows, and schedule the work. More often than not, the existing owner may not be interested in replacing the windows because of the extreme expense.

Identifying Window Issues isn’t Easy:

There are many things that can go wrong with windows.  Glass can lose their seal making them useless against the elements.  Parts can break causing windows to not open or close properly or even the dreaded “Rotting Sills”.  These things can all be repaired for pennies on the dollar compared to new window replacement.  Thermal pane windows are constructed using 2 layers of glass which are completely sealed around the perimeter.  If the perimeter seal breaks, the outside air is drawn into the window unit along with the moisture in that air.  For the most part broken window seals are easy to identify especially if they’ve been bad for some time.  If the seal failure is relatively recent, during certain times of the year and depending on the temperature differential inside and out the moisture can be difficult to see or may not present at all. This is because the descant in the spacer bar is still controlling the moisture level.  But if you look closely you might see rusting on the spacer bar between the panes of glass which is a tell-tale sign of a broken window seal. You might also notice a white haze on the glass which is evidence of a broken seal.  The only way to resolve this is to replace the glass with new insulated glass.  As for rotting sills, this can be resolved as well and the window will look and operate like it should if was never repaired.   Before you even think of getting a window repair quote, get three to five window replacement quotes so you can have an educated number to work with.  One Source Renovation now offers this extremely important presale window inspection service because we see people lose sales because the window issues were not addressed properly or within time or budget.  Whether you;re buying or selling your home you owe it to yourself to make sure the windows will not be an issue.  Windows are THE MOST COSTLY thing to replace in your home.  More than a roof, more than all you appliances combined!

Contact Us:

Need help with a presale home inspection of your windows? Contact One Source Renovation, LLC at or give us a call at (815)-634-8922.