Before you replace older wooden windows in your house for those newer vinyl ones, consider the fact that new information points toward neither having any clear advantage in energy savings. A recent report to The State of Vermont Division for Historic Preservation has found that older windows might in fact be even better at keeping the elements out in some cases. The report states the largest energy savings came to homeowners who hung a storm window over an existing single pane unit, and the second biggest savings came after using weather stripping. It seems now that those older windows are not only worth hanging on to, but worth repairing. So, for those of us who have grown up in the age of plastic, how does one go about performing maintenance and window repair on older windows?
Wood And Paint
One of the first things youíll need to know is that older windows consist of a lot of wood and paint, and that old paint and wood will usually need to come off for a major repair. To get at the glass, itís best to hand scrap the outside of the old frame where the wood meets the glazing putty. Removing the overlapping paint usually helps break these two materials apart. Since the putty holds the glass against the sash, itís necessary to have a steady hand.
Once thereís only a little putty left, the next step is to slide a scraper along the surface of the glass to remove any glazierís points remaining. Next, with all the putty gone, run a knife blade along the edge of the glass. It takes a gentle push to free the glass from the back, so that any window repairs to the sash or glass itself can be carried out.
Old wooden window frames were built to last and rarely need fixing.
Most double hung windows consist of two sashes. An outside one that moves down and an inside one that moves up. Itís usually these sashes that are in need of someone who knows about window repair. As a wooden window sash ages, it may start to get stuck in its frame usually due to moisture. If the wood has swelled, it can be sanded or, in extreme cases, planed to fit again. However, if the sash is broken and needs to be replaced, it can be angled out after removing the inside stops holding it in place.