3 Tips for Cleaning & Storing Storm Windows

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3 Tips for Cleaning & Storing Storm Windows

17 May 2016
, Articles

When it's time to take your storm windows down, it's important to clean them thoroughly and store them safely until the next time that you need them. If you're taking off storm windows that are old and haven't been removed in a few years, or if this is your first time dealing with storm windows, you may need some help figuring out how to clean and store them safely. Take a look at some important tips that can help you ensure that your storm windows get the care they need, so that they'll be ready for the next storm season.

Safety Precautions

Storm windows can be heavy and awkward, and there's always a risk that you could drop or break the window at some point in the process. So, before you begin removing the windows, make sure you're dressed in a way that will ensure your safety. Long sleeves, long pants, and eye protection can protect you from cuts from flying glass. Gloves can also help prevent cuts, and can protect you from splinters if your storm windows have wooden frames.

Check to see if the windows have any cracks or chips before removing them. Removing cracked or chipped windows can be particularly dangerous, and it's safer to hire a window professional to deal with storm windows that are not fully intact. You'll also want to find out whether or not the windows are made of tempered glass. You can usually tell by checking the four corners of the glass: if the glass is tempered, it should have an etched label identifying it as tempered glass or safety glass. Glass that isn't tempered will break into long, jagged shards. Tempered glass breaks into small cubes, which are less dangerous, but tempered glass can be easily broken by using tools like a window scraper. It's important to know which kind of glass you're dealing with so that you can take the proper precautions.

Storm Window Removal

The method for removing your storm windows depends on what kind of storm windows you have. Indoor single pane windows are held in place with tabs that are screwed into place, and you have to remove them by turning the tabs to the side. Depending on how tight the tabs are, you may need to grip the tab with a pair of pliers to turn it. After all of the tabs have been turned, you can use a flat-head screwdriver to lift out an edge of the window so that you can pull it out. Be careful, though, because if the window is loose, it can pop out on its own once the tabs are all turned. It can help to have a second person to hold the window steady in its place until you're ready to lift it out.

Outdoor storm windows can be removed the same way as the indoor single pane storm windows. However, keep in mind that they may be more difficult to remove. Wooden frames can warp due to exposure to sun and rain, making outdoor windows more likely to stick in place. Outdoor windows also tend to be heavier due to thicker glass.

Indoor aluminum sliding track storm windows can be removed by pushing or squeezing a spring-loaded lock that allows you to slide the glass pane up or down and take it out. These have to be removed one pane at a time. If the springs have become rusted or corroded, you may need to spray them with lubricant before you can remove them.

Cleaning and Storage

Once the windows have been removed, place towels on the ground and line the windows up on top of the towels, leaning against a flat wall for cleaning. If the windows are especially dirty, you may want to pre-wash them to get the top layer of dirt and debris off. Use a wet sponge to soak the window, then use a squeegee to wipe the dirty water away. After that, you can clean them normally with a glass cleaning fluid.

Before you store your storm windows, label them, so that you know which window they came from. This will help ensure that you put them back correctly when the time comes. Wrap each window in a drop cloth or an old sheet to protect it from dust. Store the windows upright in a place where they're not likely to be disturbed.

If you need help removing your storm windows or putting them up, don't hesitate to call a company like Jerry Newman Roofing & Remodeling, Inc. You should only attempt DIY window maintenance if you're confident in your ability to do so safely.