Glass Block Windows

I need to replace four very old basement windows and was considering either regular windows or glass block. The windows haven't been opened in 30 or 40 years so glass block might be more secure.
I had an estimate from one window company; he said they don't do glass block windows anymore as they've changed a few years back and aren't as secure as real windows against break ins.
Is anyone aware of major recent changes in glass block design or is this just a sales pitch?
Paul
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wrote:

Maybe they are talking about the plastic "glass block" look alike that is just glued together with silicone.
Real glass block is pretty tough if you put the reinforcing steel in the mortar. I have done quite a bit of it around here and the trick for amateurs is not to try too much at one time. On a big window I only did 2 courses, let that set up, clean the block (not as easy as it sounds) then when it is set, do 2 more. A regular basement window could be done in one shot once you got a feel for it but glass is not like brick and block. I tried those plastic spacers but they were not that much help.
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On 4/24/2014 11:18 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

replaced with glass block. The company came and measured, then brought the pre-assembled windows and installed them. FWIW, I liked them a lot. I got their privacy pattern (vs clear) and the way the light diffused through it really brightened up a dark basement. I also got the vents in them. When I later moved to a different row house, I was happy to see they already had glass block windows, but there were not vents so I had those installed.
I just checked and there are several glass block companies in my area advertising residential windows and talking about how secure they are, so who knows why the OP's first company said that.
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Even if there were "major" changes in glass block design, there are a few other things to consider:
1 - Compared to what you have now, how much of a security improvement would current glass block be, even if they aren't as secure as a "real window"?
2 - What are the odds that your house is going to be broken into? High value neighborhood? High crime area? In other words, do you need to pay for the extra security that a "real window" would supposedly provide? That's assuming that real windows are more expensive...you didn't,t say.
3 - Look around the rest of your house. Is there easier access than through the basement windows? You could put armor plating over the basement windows but if they can get in through the garage or a sun parch, what's the point?
All I'm saying is that if you are truly concerned with security, you can't just look at the basement window replacement as an isolated matter. There are other items that come into play.
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On Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:39:06 AM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

The current windows are about 40-50 years old; the frames are worn and coul d probably be kicked out easily. Plus they're drafty; I've had plastic shee ting stapled over them for several years to keep out the wind and snow.

Probably not much. We're a 15-acre sheep ranch with a development of a doze n or so McMansions on the south side. I'm sure there's more worth stealing over there than at our place. Anyone looking at our raggedy old barns and p ick up truck would probably figure that it's inhabited by a cranky old man with a shotgun and a large, mean dog.

I've been firming up things a little each year. At this point in time, the basement windows are probably the weakest point although the replacement is as much to keep out the wind and improve the looks as preventing break-ins .

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there are times ventilation can be useful, like painting basement walls with drylock..... the glass block vent windows arent big enough to do much of anything
burglars are lazy, its far easier and quicker to kick in a door, rather than mess with a basement window that might not open leaving shards of glass to get cut on.
glass block is espically attractive to older folks, it gives the illusion of safety
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On Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:40:21 AM UTC-4, Pavel314 wrote:

In theory glass is more slippery than a concrete block so mortar does not h old it as securely.
In practice the burglar is probably just going to kick in your back door an yway.
I think code probably requires egress from a basement. You're probably gra ndfathered, but you might want to consider whether it would ever be safer t o have an operating window. One of my relatives recently filled the baseme nt with smoke while cooking.!!! We could not clear it until we found basem ent windows that would open.
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On Thursday, April 24, 2014 3:20:34 PM UTC-4, TimR wrote:

to have an operating window. One of my relatives recently filled the base ment with smoke while cooking.!!! We could not clear it until we found bas ement windows that would open.
Our house is built into a slight hill, so the basement door opens out into the yard, no steps to climb. The windows are less than 3' wide and 2' high; my wife may be able to squeeze through if she dragged the ladder over ther e but I'd need to go on a severe diet to do so. Opening the door airs it ou t quite well. No cooking down there, mainly storage and the tool room, but we do get odors in the wine cellar when I'm stomping grapes. They're pleasa nt odors, so I keep the door closed at those times.
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wrote:

No window is secure unless it's got bars across it. Glass block is just as "secure" as regular windows. Either one will make noise when broken. With blocks a burglar can't see in, but window shades of curtains do that with regular windows. I went with sliders for my basement, except for the window over the clothes dryer, which is glass blocks with one block being a vent fitting. I like being able to open the windows to air it out occasionally. Basement flooded twice last year (record rains) and that came in handy.
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wrote:

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wrote:

Hey, if your windows haven't been opened in 30 or 40 years, how could they be more secure than that?
But seriously, the first summer I owned my townhouse, someone kicked the front door in. Didn't take anything, however. (Maybe the next door dog whose barking every night at 11:15 and every morning at 6:45; kept me from getting 8 hours sleep, scared him away.) The next day, I reinforced the door frame as much as I could and installed the burglar alarm.
Prior to my buying the house, when they were new or almost new, there had been a string of burglaries by someone who went in through the basement window. Somone thin. The owner put bars on the windows. Pre-fab bars, in two sections, which pull open or push shut, depending on how wide the opening is. Screwed to the 2x4's in the window frame (or maybe the ones that hold the "wood" paneling in place) using hex head lag screws. Actually they were too close to the window and it only opened a little. I moved them in another 1/2 or 1 inch so the moving half of the window would open all the way.
Come to think of it, the glass in half the window is plastic. Maybe the guy broke into my house before I owned it, but he's certainly not getting in now.

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wrote:

You should be worried about cattlemen. They hate sheep farmers. Some times they buy McMansions to disguise themselves.
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wrote:

See my post at the end.

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wrote:

If the room is filled with smoke, I'm sure you'll be willing to diet severely.

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The ICC codes sat you only need egress from a basement with a sleeping room in it. I have not seen many basement windows that would comply anyway. You need 5.7 square feet of clear opening with the window open and the window well needs to at least 9 square feet with a minimum 3 feet in both directions. The ones I remember in Maryland were a half of a 36" corrugated drain pipe.up against the window opening with some gravel in the bottom,
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