DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Windows and Doors > Remove storm windows from the outside?


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Old 01-11-2017, 12:36 PM  
TNfoxgrove
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Default Remove storm windows from the outside?

Hey folks - I just moved into a home and wanted to be able to open the windows for ventilation while I paint some of the rooms, but the windows are stuck firmly. They've been painted shut, inside and outside, and even though I've freed all the parts I can reach inside, they won't budge - I need to scrape around the outside parts, too.

All of the windows have storm windows covering the outside, though, and they're designed to be moved from the inside (which I can't get to!). With a great deal of effort, I was able to pop out the screen from one of them, but then there was still the glass storm window behind that, and I already felt I had come close enough to breaking the screen when I removed it.

The storm windows are aluminum frame, over double-hung windows behind. Any advice on how to remove them so I can free my stuck windows?


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Old 01-11-2017, 01:38 PM  
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What you have is the old common storm windows of the 60’s called triple tracks. They do open from the inside and can be real finger pinchers. If you really need to get them off they are screwed on as one big unit from the outside talking off about 10 screws will remove the whole deal and let you work on the painted windows and frames.

Start on the inside with a utility knife and score the paint line. Jar them around a little and you might get lucky. If not inside pull the window guide a strip of wood that holds the whole lower window in. work a putty knife in the crack and pry slowly. Sand it all up and get it running smooth.

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Old 01-11-2017, 01:40 PM  
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Originally Posted by TNfoxgrove View Post
Hey folks - I just moved into a home and wanted to be able to open the windows for ventilation while I paint some of the rooms, but the windows are stuck firmly. They've been painted shut, inside and outside, and even though I've freed all the parts I can reach inside, they won't budge - I need to scrape around the outside parts, too.

All of the windows have storm windows covering the outside, though, and they're designed to be moved from the inside (which I can't get to!). With a great deal of effort, I was able to pop out the screen from one of them, but then there was still the glass storm window behind that, and I already felt I had come close enough to breaking the screen when I removed it.

The storm windows are aluminum frame, over double-hung windows behind. Any advice on how to remove them so I can free my stuck windows?
If they were installed from the inside, then the outside can't be painted shut.
You would have to post photos from the inside and outside.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:40 PM  
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That's a tough one to figure. Your windows are probably not 'painted shut' on the outside because the storms would have had to be lowered from the inside. So i think you may have to really work the inside of the windows in order to get them operating. A thin putty knife inserted around the edges will break the paint seal. You may also want to try a lubricant ( I like the silicone sprays) along the the tracks of your double-hung windows. Make sure you spray it down into the lower window track too. If the tracks are covered in paint, you can use a steel brush, or some paint removing product (OOPS or Goof-Off come to mind) to clean up the tracks. In addition, if they are like my old wooden double-hung windows, a good old firm tap on the frame will help them get moving.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:53 PM  
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I am not sure on the mechanics of how it happened to begin with, but I can visually verify that the paint is covering the outside edges of the window. From the inside, I've already gone around the whole track of the window with a putty knife and freed every part of it; now I need to do that on the outside.

It does sound like I may have to unscrew the whole unit from the outside (which I was already wondering about, since I can see the screws). Am I likely to get myself into a situation I can't get out of when I do that - breaking something, being unable to reinstall it, etc.?
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:59 PM  
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I am not sure on the mechanics of how it happened to begin with, but I can visually verify that the paint is covering the outside edges of the window. From the inside, I've already gone around the whole track of the window with a putty knife and freed every part of it; now I need to do that on the outside.

It does sound like I may have to unscrew the whole unit from the outside (which I was already wondering about, since I can see the screws). Am I likely to get myself into a situation I can't get out of when I do that - breaking something, being unable to reinstall it, etc.?
Nope you are already in the situation you just donít know it yet. Do your windows have sash weights and cords? Do you have some windows that open you can look at to get an idea of how the lower sash is captivated in the track?

I know you donít want to mess up the paint job on the inside but your best bet is getting the lower sash out so you can really clean up the tracks. That trim normally comes off pretty easy. If you have sash weights then we can tell you how to disconnect them and even replace the cord if needed.
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:37 AM  
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What you have is the old common storm windows of the 60ís called triple tracks. They do open from the inside and can be real finger pinchers. If you really need to get them off they are screwed on as one big unit from the outside talking off about 10 screws will remove the whole deal and let you work on the painted windows and frames.
I don't know the mechanics of how both the inside and outside would have gotten painted shut, but I can visually verify it's the case. I have taken a putty knife through every side of the window from inside and tapped, whacked, jarred and pushed on it every way I feel comfortable (and honestly, with all my strength), but no luck.

If I unscrew the triple track storm windows from the outside, as you mention above, am I in for a big mess of an ordeal? One of those things where it's near impossible to get it back on right, or where it'll probably break or fall apart, or some such? Trying to gauge the feasibility of the project. Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:54 AM  
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I don't know the mechanics of how both the inside and outside would have gotten painted shut, but I can visually verify it's the case. I have taken a putty knife through every side of the window from inside and tapped, whacked, jarred and pushed on it every way I feel comfortable (and honestly, with all my strength), but no luck.

If I unscrew the triple track storm windows from the outside, as you mention above, am I in for a big mess of an ordeal? One of those things where it's near impossible to get it back on right, or where it'll probably break or fall apart, or some such? Trying to gauge the feasibility of the project. Thanks for the help!
You shouldnít have a problem in doing that. Most people take them off and toss them out as I have often wondered how much good they do. But having them off you can clean the tracks up in them also and get them working good. they are designed such that you can tale the windows and screens out from the inside for cleaning and such. You pull the finger pullers in and pull the window to you and lower at the same time. When you get the top about midpoint down you rotate the window and the pins in the slot come out of the slot and you take the window or screen inside the house. You canít do that as the lower sash wonít open.

Old windows like this started out with an outer storm window that you put in from outside with clips. In the 60ís people got tired of lifting those heave windows out and the triple track was invented. Storm doors are still made the same way.

Once you get the triple tracks off from outside thatís a good time to clean and paint the window frames and trim.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:36 PM  
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Any advice on how to remove them so I can free my stuck windows?
I've had to do this more than a few times. It has to be done from the outside. The storm window frame assemblies are normally screwed to the window frame. Remove the screws, cut around the edge of the SW frame assembly with a utility knife, then remove the complete assembly with the storm windows and screen in place. That gives you access to the outside of the window. Do on the outside what you did on the inside or use a tool designed for this, whichever works best.


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