The good news is I got 9 older aluminum frame double-hung windows to go
in the barn I just built (garage, workshop etc).... Free!
The Bad News is that they were lying outside, flat on their backs, for
a year, and most have water INSIDE the thermopane windows. Many have
dripping, moving water, a couple are just fogged.
Has anyone tackled windows this bad???
These are the type that have an obvious gasket around the edges, and
aluminum spacers about 1/4 inch thick.
I know I'll have to force dry air thru them somehow... So there seems
to be 2 questions:
1. How to access the inside area:
-- Drill thru side space after removing from frame (or thru frame??)
-- Drill thru the GLASS with appropriate drill.
I saw some Miracle System that has (is looking for) dealers etc, that
appears to put a patch of some kind in the corner of the window, I
assume ?? they drill holes....
2. Getting dry air:
-- Buy tank of dry nitrogen or argon ?? Regulator etc.... Maybe I
wanted a MIG welder??
-- Make a container for Silica Gel, and recycle it occasionally.
-- Make a air dryer with an old refrigerator?? Hey, Shop Beer goes
There's (almost) always an upside to every dumb thing that happens....
Any pointers, advice appreciated...
Regards, Terry King ...On The Mediterranean in Carthage
(Back ...In The Barn In Vermont for the Summer)
Well, that is probably why they were free. Replacement glass panels will
likely cost almost as much as new thermopane windows, unless they are a
Seeing as how this is a barn, do you really care if they are full
double-pane insulating quality, or if they are a little foggy? You could
lean them upright someplace in direct sun, and drill through the seal on the
low end to drain the water. In a few days they would probably look okay
enough for barn use. Double panes will provide some extra insulation, albeit
not as much as 'dry air' filled ones. If you don't mind the fog in damp
weather, good enough.
Now if you want them pretty, yes, you are looking at getting fresh glass.
Usually best to take the frames into the glass shop and have them change
them- even experts screw up the installs at times, and if you haven't done
it before, you will likely hose up a couple doing it yourself.
If the fogging is a problem in the barn for you, pull the
glass sandwich from the frames. Cut the panes apart with a
razor knife and scrape off all the old sealant. Some
desiccants, silica gel, can be regenerated by either nuking
them in a microwave oven or oven placed on self clean.
Others need a vacuum to be dried out. In either event, dump
the old desiccant and try to regenerate it. If you can't,
then go to a hobby store and buy a pound or two of new
silica gel. It's used for drying flowers, for instance.
Refill the channels separating the glass sheets after you
very thoroughly clean the glass. Silicone sealer will work
for several years, but my own little "trick" is to cut
aluminum foil to 2" wide and place it over the silicone
sealer while it's still uncured. That is a REAL vapor
barrier, IMHO. Pros use a 2-part polysulfide, but unless
you can get a glass company to sell you some, along with a
gun, you're out of luck there.
An alternative is to take the panes to a glass supply house
and get a quote for cleaning and resealing by a pro.
A vacuum sounds more convenient, with a small stiff hose to a hole in
the spacers between the panes that gets plugged up later? We might
connect the other end of the hose to the top of a pressure cooker,
after boiling a little water inside.
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