How to Conduct a Storm Windows Inspection

Guide to triple track and wood sashes storm windows inspection, including how to check fasteners and hardware, frames, caulking, joints, glass, paint, weather stripping, hinge hooks and hangers.

| September/October 1988

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    These modern aluminum frames fasten outside the window casing.
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    These solid, wooden, window-equipped frames are hung from the window casings.

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Both types of storm windows will do a better job of keeping cold air out (and warm air in) if you give them a fall checkup. 

How to Conduct a Storm Windows Inspection

Triple-Track Storm Windows

These modern aluminum frames fasten outside the window casing, have double-hung glass panels and a movable screen. 

Fasteners and hardware: Inspect the window inside and out. Loose screws should be tightened, and bent tracks straightened. Broken latches and springs can be replaced if the panel frames are disassembled; they're usually held together by corner clips or screws.

Frames: Aluminum storm frames must be parallel and square. If they're hung incorrectly, the panels will allow infiltration, won't operate smoothly and may even slip from their tracks, creating a potential hazard. To align a frame, hold it in place with one screw on each side. Use a square to check the corners, and a tape measure to determine that the sides are parallel. Remove and relocate screws if necessary to straighten the frame, but don't overtighten them or you'll warp it.

Caulking: The flanges on the outer edge of the frame are sealed to the window casing with caulking compound. To recaulk, remove the frame and apply a bead of sealant all around the flange, except for the weep hole reliefs at the bottom. Reinstall the frame using at least eight wood screws. The panel frames have their own weather stripping along the top rail.

Joints: The frame joints can come loose with time. If retightening doesn't close the gaps, use aluminum repair compound.

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