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Window maintenance is an often overlooked part of home improvement. Replacing older windows with energy efficient windows is a popular DIY project. But not all older windows need to be replaced when you encounter problems, and some historic districts have very strict guidelines. Some windows may need glass replaced, paint removed, caulk to seal the air leaks, or ropes replaced. Older windows are hung on ropes and need to be properly balanced to open and close properly. If you have older windows, you may want to invest time and money in restoring them. Newer windows may be more difficult to update and repair, as they often available only as units.
Clean the rabbet before you start, as shown here. Cut some putty from its container with a putty knife. If it's particularly sticky, spread a small amount of powder filler on your hands, and coat the putty itself with more filler to make it easier to handle. Work it in the palms of your hands so that you achieve a malleable, smooth consistency before you begin.
REPLACING WOODEN BEADS
Wooden glazing beads are attached to the exterior of the frame to secure panes of glass. They can be used to glaze a window that was previously puttied. A snug fit is essential to ensure that the glass is secure and weatherproof. Glazing silicone is used to seal the joint.
INSTALLING DOUBLE-GLAZED UNITS
Double-glazed windows have two layers of glass separated by air space, which creates nearly twice the insulation as single glazed units. Glass does not provide insulation value. It is the air between the layers of glass that creates the insulation of an air pocket. Some types of double-glazed windows also use a plastic film as an inner glazing layer. While you can achieve a similar result with a storm window, it isn't as effective as there is heat loss along the frame of the storm window.
If you add a third or fourth layer of glass, the insulation value of your window will increase. Each layer of glass traps some of the heat that passes through, increasing the window’s resistance to heat loss. When double glazing windows are manufactured, the air between the glass is dried and then the space is sealed airtight. This eliminates possible condensation problems later. Some double-glazed windows are made with a reflective coating, which helps the insulation value.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008 6:55 PST