Fixing Genuinely Separated Light Windows


Our acquaintance has an antique house with all the charisma and history that only such a dwelling can provide. Some of the upkeep issues she asked about last weekend are unique to older homes. She had a broken pane in the storm door at the back of her property and wanted to know how to fix it.

Our acquaintance is fortunate in that she has an old wooden storm door that can be easily repaired. Her door has panes of glass that are individually split by wooden trim into one of nine sections. A natural divide light panel describes this type of door. Some doors, however, are constructed differently, with a single pane of glass covering the entire window space, with the molding put directly on top of the glass rather than between wooden stiles. The impression of actual divided light is achieved by applying identical molding to both sides of the glass.

Here’s how you replace the glass in a door or window with individual panes separated by actual divided light panels. The glazing compound is the putty used to secure the glass on the panel’s interior. The window trim is what secures the glass from the outside. The glazing compound must be scraped away before the shard of glass may be extracted. A heat gun resembling an oversized hair drier is ideal for this task. The heat cannon is an industrial variant of the commonplace hair drier, with a significantly greater heat setting but the same basic idea.

You should start by donning a sturdy pair of work gloves. Leather is what you should go for. Spend the extra few dollars on a sturdy pair of leather gloves; cotton or garden gloves won’t protect your hands from the glass’s jagged edges. Good safety glasses are the next step; they are just as vital as work gloves. These will prevent any flying glass from entering your eyes.

Prepare the glazing compound with a heat gun while holding a stiff putty knife. It will take a few minutes of heating before the compound can be peeled away from the glass. Before fixing the shattered window, I like to take one more precaution. Painter’s tape applied in a crisscross pattern over a little break in the glass works well for me. Cover the glass on both sides with tape. This will assist in maintaining the integrity of the glass until it can be safely removed. If the glass has already shattered, you should start by picking up as many stray shards as possible before attempting to repair the panel.

The glazing points must be removed after the glazing material has been removed. These little metal triangles secure the panes of glass to the wooden stops. To get rid of them, use your putty knife. The glass should release from the opening after removing the glazing points. Gloves are required attire here. Get rid of the shards of glass and sweep out the space beneath the panes.

Get a replacement pane of glass from a nearby hardware store or specialty glass shop. A bead of silicon caulk under the glass to seal it makes more sense than simply replacing the glass in the door and securing it with glazing pins and compound. Seal any holes or cracks that may be letting air in. One thing I learned the hard way is to use painter’s tape to protect the glass around the area where you would be applying the silicon caulk. Getting rid of silicon residue on glass is a significant nuisance. The tape will contain any leaking.

Once the silicon and glass are in place, new glazing points can be attached to the inside of the pane. The flat side of your putty knife works perfectly for installing these. You should install at least two points along each side of the glass. The glazing compound must now be reapplied. Remove some of the substance from its container and knead it in the palm of your hand. The compound should be worked until it can be shaped into a long, flexible snake; this can then be applied to the glass. Once the compound is applied to all four glass sides, use a putty knife to smooth it out. Holding the putty knife at an acute angle, with one edge riding on the glass, and working from corner to corner is the most effective technique. Don’t pause amid it; picking back up is a huge hassle. Don’t give up too soon; perfecting the finish takes time.
…and that’s it, you’re finished. This fix won’t work if your door isn’t made of wood. Metal tracks, often designed specifically for each door maker, surround the panes of glass in modern replacement doors. In addition, the standard configuration for a contemporary glass panel has two layers of glass separated by an inert gas. This non-reactive gas is used to improve the window’s insulation. As a result, the modern windows are beyond the ability of the typical homeowner to fix. The producer may be able to supply you with a replacement glass panel complete with a brand-new frame.

Our friend couldn’t undertake the repair himself, but he could if he had the older real divided light panes. However, this could be an excellent opportunity to upgrade to a more energy-efficient door. If you replace your system, you may be eligible for a 2009 rax rebate.

The Jersey Woodworker has been in business for over 30 years as a highly regarded woodworker. Visit his blog, Sawdust on the Floor, for more of his helpful hints, DIYs, and reviews.

Read also: Vacuum Glass Lifting.