How to Remove Storm Windows: Simple Solutions Now

When storm season ends, some people choose to leave their storm windows in place. However, it’s smart to remove storm windows, then clean and, if necessary, store them away until you need them again. Doing this prevents normal damage during the offseason, so you will have all the windows ready to replace the next year. Moreover, this sort of annual maintenance is a practical and important part of caring for your home. Replacing damaged storm windows and repairing screens is a good way to prevent higher electricity bills and catastrophic failure down the line when you need the protection most. A failed storm window can let water and debris into your home, causing more damage and problems in the future. I’ll explain the process step by step so you’ll have beautiful, highly functional storm windows year after year. 

How do you remove storm windows? You remove storm windows by sliding them upward. Sometimes you may need to cut through an old, badly placed layer of paint. Otherwise, it would help if you had a firm grip and enough strength to hold the panes of glass, plus a stable surface to place them on. Be careful not to scratch or chip your storm windows during removal. 

Steps to Remove Storm Windows

If you’ve never removed a storm window before, it may seem like a daunting task, but it’s really very simple. Follow the steps and tips below to get those windows out with no trouble. The most important part of storm window removal is a firm grip, so you don’t drop a panel. However, even if you do, replacing a storm window is also incredibly easy.

It would be best if you took storm windows out annually for cleaning and maintenance. You’ll want to check them over for any signs of excessive wear or damage. It’s essential to replace any broken panes as soon as possible. Failing to do so can cause leaks during or after a storm. Plus, the damage will prevent the storm windows from keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter.

Naturally, a compromised storm window won’t do that job as effectively. When you allow storm windows to remain broken, you can end up paying for them many times over through increased electrical or gas bills from heating and cooling. Plus, cracks and damage can let water inside, causing more damage or even toxic mold issues. Instead of risking your health and massive repair bills down the line, swap those windows when you notice a problem and avoid the issue altogether. 

How To Remove Storm Windows

For those who are new to this process, according to E-how’s concise description, “Storm windows are glass and mesh screens that are installed in front of the existing windows on the exterior of your home. They are meant to keep out rain, snow, and bugs during the seasons when these elements become problems.” Removing these for maintenance and cleaning is an important part of the upkeep of your home each year. 

  1. Check your seams. Often people will paint right over the edge of a window instead of properly taping it off as they should. This results in ‘gluing’ the glass in place with paint, and it won’t slide. When this is the case, you need a boxcutter knife to slice through the paint along the edge. You’ll want to peel that paint off later, so it doesn’t re-bond with the paint on the frame when it gets warm in summer. However, for now, you need to break that seal. Use light pressure and be careful not to cut into the glass. 
  2. Remove the sashes (aka screens) from the inside by sliding them upward. Most sashes have small latches that must be pulled and held inward before you can slide up and tilt these out of place.
  3.  Next, you will need to remove the screws from the outside of your frames. 
  4. Pull the frame away from the house. If it is stuck, you may need to use a hammer from the inside or work with a partner to accomplish this task. Similarly, you may need a flathead screwdriver or small pry bar to help release any tough, stuck on parts of the frame. 
  5. Lift your storm window carefully and set it aside before repeating the process. 

An ARES 70184-3-Piece Indexable Pry Bar Set will help you loosen even the most stubborn frames. Plus, with several lengths to choose from, you will be able to reach all around your storm windows more easily. The eleven position lockable heads give you an excellent angle every time, and they are super durable as well. Learn more on Amazon by clicking here

Aluminum Storm Windows

Aluminum storm windows are slightly different and need to be fully removed, cleaned, and stored each spring to prevent them from trapping excess heat inside your home. Unlike their glass companions, these are less breakable, but they will still bend, dent or scratch if you don’t treat them gently. You may want a good pair of work gloves with a rubberized grip for these.  While this style is less common in the US, they are highly effective, and it’s important to maintain and store them correctly for the best results. 

To take this style off of your home, you will need a screwdriver and possibly a ladder. Since they screw on to the outside frame, all you need do is take the screws out and lower them gently to the ground. For two-story homes, this can be slightly more challenging, but the process is the same. Finally, wipe them down and store them flat in a sheltered space that doesn’t get excessive heat during summer. 

Should You Combine Storm and Screen Windows

Using combination storm and screen windows make it easier because you don’t need to remove the sash every year when the weather changes. Basically, this makes the maintenance quicker and far more convenient. However, it would help if you still planned to perform routine track and sash maintenance every year or two.

Remove your sash by pulling latches inward and tilting the window toward you. By freeing the top edge, you should be able to get it out of the frame. You don’t need any special tools to accomplish this, but please put down a drop cloth to clean windows indoors. Additionally, sawhorses are a smart way to keep your windows off the ground. Cleaning the tracks and frames with soap and water or a vacuum is essential to ensure the windows can move freely when you put them back. Make sure you allow the track to dry completely to prevent trapped moisture and mold. 

If you notice mildew and mold, use WD-40 Company 260240 Mildew Stain Remover to help eliminate that mess and prevent it from coming back. You’ll appreciate how effective this particular mildew remover is on windows and even in your bathroom. Have a bottle delivered by Amazon when you click here

 You can easily remove any rust with steel wool or even wadded up aluminum foil. This is more common in coastal areas and when your sashes are mill-finish aluminum because of the moisture, salt, and untreated metal. Lubricate your tracks and latches with WD-40 before replacing the combination windows. Finally, wipe off any excess lubricant and enjoy your storm-screen windows. 

How Do You Clean Storm Windows

Storm windows are made of glass, just like other windows, so removing and cleaning them is very similar. You can use a glass cleaner on both sides of the pane to eliminate any streaks or splatters. For especially tough, stuck on issues like bird feces, you may need to scrape with a putty knife gently. However, if you worry about scratching the surface, try a warm, wet rag placed over the problem area for a few minutes to soften and loosen it up. 

I recommend using a twelve-pack of  Streak Free Microfiber Cloth from Amazon for washing storm windows. There’s nothing worse than putting in all that work only to notice a hard to reach smear on your windows after you’ve replaced them. With these chemical-free eco-friendly cloths, you won’t need to worry about leaving any mess behinds, and they won’t scratch or damage your windows. See the reviews by clicking here

There’s no secret trick to better clean windows. You merely need to use high-quality products and be thorough. 

Final Thoughts

While not every home has or even needs storm windows, those that do require regular maintenance. Taking the time each year to remove and clean your storm windows will prevent you from having unnoticed damages. Moreover, proper maintenance can help lower your utility bills. 

A good storm window should not be ‘glued-in’ with paint. It should slide out easily and go back into place just as simply. If you have trouble and the track is clean, you may need to replace the track that holds your windows in place. 

Proper storm windows are a lifesaver in severe weather. Plus, they keep excess heat, moisture, and cold out all year long, which means lower utility bills for you.  

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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