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ltracy 03-23-2006 05:47 AM

storm window question
Hi - I live in a circa 1930 house with interior wooden single pane windows with aluminum storm and screen combination exterior panels. My husband drilled 3 holes in the bottom of each of the aluminum storm panels "to let water drain out" if it got between the interior and storm windows. Is there any reason for this to be done? There is a lot of air that comes in through each of those holes...

Square Eye 03-23-2006 06:55 AM

New storm windows have "weep" holes at the bottom. They are not very big, less than 1/4 inch (maybe 1/8 or even less), just 2 on each window on a narrow window and more for a larger window. On older homes, very often, the factory weeps get painted over and soon are ineffective. Too much air movement or bugs crawling through the holes, and the storm window doesn't serve much of it's purpose.

Storm windows were a great idea. They block most of the air from the wooden windows. They keep the wooden windows from being soaked with rain water. They contain an amount of air space, that may have an R value. BUT, They may intensify solar damage. The sun breaks down the paint and the glazing on the wooden windows right through the glass. If not properly maintaned, the sun will eventually affect the wood. Then there's the fact of condensation between the window and the storm window. Weeps are necessary. They just need to be really small to still be efficient.

I noticed that this is your first post, welcome to the forum. Please post again soon and check to see if anyone else has an idea about this question.

Tom in KY, Recommending new windows with insulated glass whenever your budget makes that an option.

CraigFL 03-23-2006 06:55 AM

Most storm windows have some kind of drain holes at the bottom for condensation removal so the sills don't rot. Those of us "old guys" remember the old wooden storm windows with the large holes and adjustable plate covers that would also keep the outer pane frost free by equalizing the temperature. While these wen't the most energy efficient, you could at least see through the windows most of the time. So, I guess the question would be, are you looking for the most energy efficient(in which case you would use the smallest drain holes possible) or trying to keep your windows as clear as possible(larger holes)?

ltracy 03-23-2006 08:24 AM

The holes are a little over 1/4" in diameter. The windows are about 28" wide and have 3 holes each. If I partially filled the holes with silicone caulk or something similar, l eaving just the bottom 1/16" or less open, would this still serve any purpose? I am looking to minimize air blowing through the storms as I feel drafts when the holes are open the way they are now, but a reduction in drafts when the holes are taped over completely. We have this ongoing battle where I cover the holes and he reopens them.. I just want to find out whether the holes are necessary and how big they have to be to serve any purpose. The sills are showing no sign of rot, but there is exterior paint and glazing damage on some. Long term, the solution would be to replace them, but this is what we have for now... Thanks for your feedback!

Square Eye 03-23-2006 08:43 AM

Caulk over them and leave enough room for a tooth pick. Then use a toothpick to keep them cleaned out.

Gee, I hate being in the middle of a husband/wife argument. The fact is you are both right. Resolve the issue and be happy again.


Bridgewater 03-23-2006 02:03 PM

Itracy: Square Eye & CraigFL are on. My experance is- All the storms I come across up here were I live, have an adjustment plate between the sash and the sill made from Alum. with Two or three set screws and some Weep holes bent right in like a, U in the part that set's to the sill.
A 1930's home, someone came in and sold Storm Windows, these sill plate is proubly painted over if it aint been maintained.
-Just me, I would not have drilled any holes, but would release the set screws and score the paint inside and out with a UT knife and a chesle and free these weep holes.
I want my venting on the the very bottom. Condensation can and will build up and fall to the sill looking for a vent. I have worked alot of old houses and replaced alot of sills. They aint to hard to do as long as ya still have a sill plate left in the rough framing.LOL
Dont let your Windows & Siding go.!!!

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