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Storm Window Repair

Storm window repair can cover many different aspects as they age. External storm windows are subject to far more abuse than Triple Track or internal storm windows so need more in-depth care. The following two tips are common problems one might address in their storm window repair.

Rattling Storm Windows

Rattling storm windows can be caused by a couple problems. The most common area is the area around the window clips or turn-buttons. Shifting and use of these mechanisms cause them to loosen in their home and develop cracks. These cracks compromise the integrity of the window seal, allowing wind and weather to work the window in its frame. This will ultimately lead to the frame being damaged or the panes breaking in especially high winds.

The simple solution to this is to remove the turn-buttons or window clips from the window. Use common wood putty and a putty knife to patch any holes that might have been created. Replace the mechanism hardware once the putty has dried completely. You should find there is much less draft and noise coming from the window.

Repairing Broken or Cracked Glazing

Materials List: Replacement Pane, Glaziers Points, Putty Knife, Glazier Compound, Heat gun, Tape Measure, Safety Goggles

This is a very common repair project. It should be noted that there are several different uses for the word glazing when it comes to windows. Glazing putty is used to mount panes of glass, panes of glass are referred to as glazing, and a glazing system can refer to multiple panes of glass with an inert gas buffer. In this case, we refer to glazing as the pane of glass.

Safety is an important part of any project. Wear safety goggles and a long sleeve shirt. The shirt will help keep slivers of glass from sticking to sweaty skin.

To remove the original glazing putty, a heat gun and a dull putty knife are excellent tools for the job. Once you can get under the old putty, it can be scraped off with the knife. The heat gun will soften the putty enough to allow it to be penetrated. As you scrape around, you will hit the glazier points that hold the pane of glass in place. If they are in good condition then feel free to re-use them. This might be best with older windows as newer points have different sizing and may stick out of the putty once reapplied.

Any home improvement store will be able to cut and sell you glass or plexiglass to replace your glazing with. Take a measurement of the window frame and subtract 1/16th of an inch (or 2mm) from it. If the replacement glazing is cut to the same size, the natural growing and retracting of it will cause it to break in the frame. If it is too small, it may simply fall out when it retracts.

Set the piece of replacement glass into the frame. Glazier points should be inserted around the frame where the replacement glass sits. Push them into the wood with the putty knife. The appropriate distance should be approximately every 8" the entire way around the frame. Use glazing putty and a putty knife to seal the pane of glass into the window and let dry.

Note: When using heat to remove old glazing putty, do NOT use a soldering iron or other uncontrollable heat source. A heat gun has a variable temperature setting to it which allows you to tune it to your need. Using a soldering iron could result in a fire, the glass breaking, the paint lifting from the wood, or nearby panes of glass breaking. If you do not own a heat gun, try your local hardware stores. Many have rent-a-tool programs that you'll be able to rent a heat gun for a couple hours to get your job done safely and smartly.

This small guide is provided to help you with a couple of the most common storm window repair problems you might face. With proper maintenance, repair, and care; your storm windows can last for several years.