Window Reglazing Basics for Newbies
Hey newbie, if you have never reglazed a window before don’t worry, it’s no big deal and we’re going to walk you through each important step of the process.
You may have noticed your window has become compromised over time with condensation, drafts, or leaks evident in and around the glass. That means your glazing has been compromised and the tight seal around the glass has deteriorated badly. This can result in water damage, rot, warping and other effects that are potentially destructive.
If it’s time to renew that seal around your window, here are the things you need to do:
Diagnose the Problem
Look close, if your current glazing has tears, cracks, or missing pieces, it’s time to renew. But you can really see how bad it is if you can fit a flat tool into the compromised areas. If so, you’ll need to proceed with taking apart the sash and the stops.
Be very careful with cutting away parts that have been painted over and be sure to use caution if you are dealing with lead paint.
Clear Away the Old Glazing
Using a razor or some other sharp-edged tool, peel away the glazing that exists. Some of it should come off rather easily. Other parts will need some additional care. Don’t get too rough trying to remove it all, you could end up cracking the window pane. The best bet is to heat it but take care not to damage any surrounding paint while you’re at it.
Another thing to be careful of is the glazier’s clips that are used to hold the panes of glass in the frame. Again, make sure you don’t crack the pane.
Check the Window Frame
Now that all of the old glazing has been cleared away, give the frame a good examination to see if requires any repair work such as patching or sanding. Don’t reglaze a frame that is damaged.
If you ended up cracking a pane during any of the previous steps or maybe the glass was already in bad shape, you need to replace it. Now is the time to do just that but is sure you measure and cut the pane correctly so that you leave a little bit of available space for the points to firmly hold the pane in place.
Remember the pane needs to sit tightly in the clips so that it won’t shift around. The first thing you must do is apply a small amount of glazing compound to the frame, seat the glass into it, and then bolster it into place with the clips. Make sure you press the points into the frame securely.
Of course, be sure you’re very delicate and careful about handling the pane of glass during this part of the process so as to not crack or damage the pane.
Apply the New Glazing Material
Here we go. You’re ready to reglaze a window. Get your glazing at the local hardware store but first you want to get it to room temperature. If it’s not sufficiently warmed it won’t be malleable enough to apply correctly. Once it’s adequately softened, take a small portion in your hand and work it into an elongated strip. Take great care to mold and shape it to match the size and length of the windowpane you’re reglazing.
Place the glazing at the edges between the glass and frame and push it firmly into place. Be sure you get every edge and have a sufficient amount at each side.
Cutting Away the Excess
Press the glazing into the space between the glass and the frame, use caution but be firm about securing the material into place. Use a putty knife to do this properly, pressing the glazing into place and then cutting away the excess material that you don’t need.
Do this along all four sides of the window so that the glazing is lined up with the wood on the other side of the pane of the glass. Then finish the exterior by evenly smoothing it down and be sure to use long uninterrupted strokes to get a clean finish.
We hope all you newbies out there find these reglazing tips useful for the task at hand. The cost of replacement windows can get pretty high so anything you can do yourself to avoid paying those expenses will be helpful. But sometimes you have no choice as repair is not an option due to excessive damage.