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How to Repair Your Basement Windows

Updated on June 24, 2010

If your windows are in disrepair and need a new glazing job, you have three options.  One- you could buy new windows altogether.  Two- hire a professional to re-glaze them. Three- you can re-glaze them yourself.  Although the job is not complicated, it does require a degree of skill and patience.  If you decide to do it yourself, be sure not to rush things or you could end up doing it wrong and having to re-do bad work.  Therefore, if you have a steady hand and are the type of person who likes to do things on your own, you will enjoy glazing your windows.

What You Will Need:

You need a putty knife.  Be sure to get a firm one, as you need to apply constant pressure to the putty as you are running it in order to get the beading smooth.  You also will need to buy a scraper of some sort; this could be a knife, putty scraper, or other object with a sharp edge to remove the old putty from off the window you are working on.  Next, you should get some house window putty for sills.

Make sure to choose a window putty knife that is appropriate for your windows and that you are comfortable using.
Make sure to choose a window putty knife that is appropriate for your windows and that you are comfortable using.

How to Re-Glaze your Basement Windows

The first thing to do is to get rid of all the old putty off the window edge with the gasket scraper or putty knife.  If the old putty is in bad shape it will probably fall off fairly easy.  If you are just doing a re-glaze job though, you do not need to necessarily knock off all of it, just the bits of putty that are old and scrape off easily.  If there is some that still stays tightly attached to the window, it is okay to leave it. Be careful not to break the glass while you are scraping away the old putty.

In addition, while you are taking off the old putty you should watch out for small metal triangle shaped pieces that hold the glass in place.  In the scraping motion, you will probably hit on a small metal piece that looks a little like the end of a nail.  This is called a point, and keeps the glass in its position.  Therefore, you do not need to remove them, only be careful not to scrape them too hard because they are attached directly onto the glass.  Next, with a brush or a scrubber you will need to brush away all the small fragments of putty from your scraping.  These fragments will cause your new putty to scratch the window, so you have to get rid of them.

The next step is applying the window putty.  Get a handful of putty and knead it together in the palm of your hand.  You will need to warm it up and make it soft.  Once you have done that, all you need to do is carefully apply the window putty with the putty knife.  While you are putting it on, make sure that you do not apply it past the edge of the window frame on the other side otherwise; you can see the putty from the inside.  That is how you do a good double glazed window.

Re-glazing your windows can be DIY with the right tools and know-how.
Re-glazing your windows can be DIY with the right tools and know-how.

New Basement Windows

There a few options you can choose from when if comes to purchasing new basement windows.  One of the most popular home improvements in the USA now is replacing old windows with vinyl windows.  Vinyl windows are one of the best options for basement windows for a variety of reasons.  First, they save energy, since they keep air conditioning and central heating in.  Secondly, they greatly reduce outside noise.  In addition, you should take into consideration their cosmetic beauty.  Vinyl can look lovely and add a pleasant flavor to your home. 

These windows are not very difficult to install if you already have a window slot.  You could possibly install them yourself, but if you want a professional job, you should contract a carpenter or other professional to do the job.  Vinyl is not expensive, although the quality is superior; the cost of the product is not extravagant including window locks.

32/18 is the standard size for basement windows.  You can find many other options in quite a few stores for basement windows.  The price varies from store to store but typically, on window of the above mentioned size, should not cost you more than 80 to 90 dollars.  Some cost as less as 60 dollars for one window.  If you are buying more than one, you should look into deals that stores offer for multiple installations.  Therefore, whether you choose to re-glaze or buy a new one, you now know the process and some good options to choose from. 

When installing new basement windows, make sure they have the features listed above.
When installing new basement windows, make sure they have the features listed above.

How to repair window glazing


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