If you own or run a yacht, you are very much aware that it requires constant maintenance and checkups in order to ensure it is always able to operate to its fullest potential. The window system is no exception and has important maintenance tasks that are needed to ensure they last the lifetime of the vessel. Cleaning salt and other residue from the face of the glass is important for esthetics and to ensure nothing etches into the glass long-term. The most important maintenance task is the inspection of the sealants used to protect the edges of the glass.
What Happens to the Sealant?
The sealant around yacht windows needs to be maintained in order for the windows to function properly on your yacht.
Over time, sealant around the windows can crack and deteriorate. In the case of direct glazed windows, the caulk should cover the side edges of the windows and be completely bonded to them in order to limit water penetration into the plastic layers of the window. If you can pull or push the sealant and expose the edge of the glass, the bond is broken and water can now directly attack the window at its most vulnerable location. Eventually, this condition will lead to a premature, yet totally preventable window failure. This edge is often called the tip out, and when you start to see this degradation, it is time to re-tip the windows.
This process can be slow, and you might notice no issue with the window for weeks or months after you notice caulk separation start to appear, but in the end, ignoring the warning signs in the caulk can end up costing you much more to replace the entire window instead of simply replacing the tip out.
Will Any Sealant Work?
Not all caulks are created equal. It is important to use a sealant designed and to work both in the marine environment AND be compatible with the window.
Laminated windows have plastics inside them, and it is important to make sure that all chemicals put in contact with the plastics are compatible and will not attack the window. This includes cleaning solvents and caulk. If in doubt, you should check with the window manufacturer to verify compatibility. The window system might appear to be a very simple item, but a lot of detail does go into ensuring its long-term success which is why we recommend using a professional when it does come to re-tip your windows.
ProCurve Glass Design
At ProCurve Glass Design, we have been in the glass curving industry since 1988. We offer the highest quality fabrication of specialty curved glass. You can have total control over the maintenance of your yacht windows and preventing any damage of the laminated glass. Contact ProCurve Glass Design at 215-441-9101 today to have a marine glass installer inspect and fix any problems you’re having with your yacht windows.