Monday, August 18, 2014

Progress Report: Windows

The 75-year-old windows in this house are in a bit of rough shape on the outside, but still sturdy. Honestly, they are mostly weather-tight from the inside, which is more than I can say for the lousy and drafty 1970s era casement windows in my kitchen.

After Dad got the old storms pried off, I got to work sanding the face frames and sills. But there were some spots of dry rot on these; small enough that I didn't need to call a carpenter for a replacement, but big enough that trouble was going to continue without some intervention.

So that had to come first.

The wood stabilizer product I bought is made by Elmer's and looks and smells just like school glue. The price, unfortunately, was not just like school glue. In the montage above, I've brushed sawdust and dirt off the surface with a dry brush, and brushed on the stabilizer generously with a disposable chip brush.

In the lower right-hand corner is the sill, dry. It looks like nothing happened, but feeling the wood, it feels as though the fibers have become plasticized, or polymerized. It's encouraging to feel those soft spots firm up in just a few hours, but I left it overnight because it was a super humid day and I felt like I detected some tacky feel to it even after five hours of dry time. The overnight dry is definitely worth it. It may have been our humid weather, but there was a big difference in the result between the five hours it got the first day, and the next morning's results. It's slowing me down, but the step is going to be necessary to prevent these sills from going any further south.

After that I caulked the top of the faceframe, where a little piece of metal flashing runs. The flashing is supposed to run off water, but it seems that it is running the water off and then right under, causing some of the dry rot I'm seeing at the top of the window. I hope this fixes it.

And here is the faceframe and sill painted, with gratuitous hydrangea photobomb included:

And here is the same section of sill, painted with four coats:

The next step is going to be the glazing. Wish me luck. I'm nervous. Really, it might have made more sense to do the glazing first and handle the sills and faceframes last, working from inside out so to speak, but the bare wood and dry rot concerned me more, and I wanted to get them weatherproof as quickly as possible.

This is our end goal. This is the window to the left of the front door, which had a new storm window mounted last fall. The white enamel coating on the window makes it blend in with the window frame, unlike the old unfinished ones, and the newer ones have low-E glass, to make them that much better keeping out cold and heat.

And here's the beginning of the second window, all scraped, but before sanding.

By the next window update I should be able to share my experiences with window glazing. Send your prayers to the DIY goddess!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, such a lot of work. And not the fun kind, either. But you are going to be so glad when you're done, that you did it right. I'll send you a prayer anywhere you want. :-)