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Old 12-02-2007, 08:03 AM   #1
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Insulation a window


Ciera and I are stripping paint from window trim (see restaining window trim) and along the way we realized that the trim would be easier to strip if we removed it from the window first. That has been done, the paint and old stain have been removed, and re-staining has begun, yeh!

My question is about re-assembly, specifically should I bother adding insulation in various places. The original windows were wood with counter weights and have since been upgraded to the vinyl double pane variety. However, after removing the trim I realized that the area that used to hold the counter weights is completely empty (except the counter weights which were still in there). That means there were exactly 2 pieces of 3/4'' wood between me and the outside.

My questions
1) Is there anything wrong with adding insulation to the windows? I assume that windows don't need to breathe but I want to make sure.
2) Will it actually help or is the insulating value of the wood good enough?

Thanks!

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Old 12-02-2007, 08:23 AM   #2
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Insulation a window


The weight pockets should have been insulated when the windows were installed. Take the weights out and install insulation in the pockets. Do not distort the jambs or the window sashes will bind.
I would review the install process for these windows. If this was missed, who knows what other stupidity was done.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:01 PM   #3
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Insulation a window


I'd take the weights out and fill the spaces with expanding door/window foam (one that does not distort the frames as it expands)
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:22 PM   #4
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Insulation a window


Quote:
Originally Posted by GooperMC View Post
My questions
1) Is there anything wrong with adding insulation to the windows? I assume that windows don't need to breathe but I want to make sure.
2) Will it actually help or is the insulating value of the wood good enough?

Thanks!
It's not so much the R value of the insulation that you put around the window. Where ever there is a break in the wall as with windows or doors there's the potential for air infiltration. Stopping air infiltration is the best thing you can do to lowering your energy usage. Use minimal expansion foam like Great Stuff in the blue can.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:15 PM   #5
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Insulation a window


So do I fill the entire space with the foam or do I just run it around the seams like I would caulk?

Thanks everyone!
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:23 PM   #6
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Insulation a window


Fill 'er up!
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:49 PM   #7
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Insulation a window


Awesome thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:33 AM   #8
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Insulation a window


If you choose to use Foam, make sure it is the kind for "Windows and Doors". This type will not over-expand and warp the vinyl window frame's shape.

The ''regular'' expanding foam will over-expand and cause issues with your new vinyl window's; closing, weather-sealing and warrranty.

Links:

http://greatstuff.dow.com/greatstuff/pro/window.htm

http://www.dap.com/product_details.aspx?product_id=384

Good Luck!
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:01 AM   #9
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Insulation a window


Quote:
If you choose to use Foam, make sure it is the kind for "Windows and Doors". This type will not over-expand and warp the vinyl window frame's shape.
I am not sure if it is kosher to post links, if not admins feel free to remove it. I was going to get this: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...612&lpage=none

One more question: This is the only window of this type downstairs (the rest are floor to ceiling leaded pane, pretty but not exactly energy efficient) and there are 6 more like this one on the second floor. Like this one I'm assuming that they didn't install insulation on all of the second floor windows, do you guys think it would be worthwhile to open the rest of them and add foam?

I realize there are lots of details that you would need to answer that question accurately, I was just looking for an order of magnitude guess. Basically would the amount saved on my heating bill be closer to $1, $10, or $100.

Thanks, I don't know where I would be without this site (probably asking advice from people at Lowes which is a scary proposition).
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:03 PM   #10
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Insulation a window


Well, we got Great Stuff for Doors and Windows, and we're having two problems:

1) The Great Stuff isn't sticking to the wood, only to itself. It comes out fluffy, but then it "falls" off the wood and doesn't build up. Eventually it sags into a goopy mess. Is there some trick we're missing? Did we not shake it enough?

2) There doesn't seem to be much in the can. Based on can 1, we're looking at about 10-20 cans to fill this space up. Is this normal?

For reference, the one of the spaces to be filled is 4''x6''x5'. There are two others that are 4''x2''x5'.
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Old 12-08-2007, 02:20 PM   #11
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Insulation a window


Well, IMO I think the problem is probably the size of the gap you are trying to fill! That's a pretty wide gap to try and fill and the stuff is probably getting smeary as it falls apart under its own weight.
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:10 PM   #12
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Well, now in addition to not filling in the big areas, it made a mess of the small areas. There were also a couple small cracks that we used this in. We followed the instructions and filled them halfway.

Goop has been pouring out of those cracks for half an hour now. We keep wiping it off, and more comes. Now there's nasty yellow goop all over the windows and the wood. How do we get this junk off?
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Old 12-08-2007, 04:24 PM   #13
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Insulation a window


If you have a spray bottle, spritz it with just a mist of water- it usually helps cure it. When it's cold and you've got that syrup-y mess, it doesn't want to cure very quickly. A hair dryer set on high plus the humidity from the spritzing might help it cure a little faster.

The gunk in those straw cans is hard to control- you really have to watch what you're doing, control the speed at which it comes out, hold the straw way back in the opening and keep moving as it comes out. Having a warm can helps a little. Doesn't work the best in cold weather. And you do need to shake it a lot. But the gaps you are trying to fill are way too wide for expanding foam, IMO.

For your wide weight cavities, I'd recommend just using strips of fiberglass. And don't pack it too tightly. Unless you want to buy a case of foam and have more of the same problem. It may not be 100% air tight, but that's to be expected when you aren't replacing the entire old frame of the window. You just do the best you can.

Last edited by XSleeper; 12-08-2007 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ciera View Post
....Goop has been pouring out of those cracks for half an hour now. We keep wiping it off, and more comes. Now there's nasty yellow goop all over the windows and the wood. How do we get this junk off?
Use "Goof-off", it's a residue remover. All Home Improvement stores carry it.

Link: http://www.valsparglobal.com/val/resident/goof-off.jsp
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:53 PM   #15
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Insulation a window


BEFORE you stick anything in there,,,if you are getting little air drafts from outside caluk all outside wall layer cracks first,,,then add loose packed fill insulation. IF air can get in water may be able to also,,,the windows WERE a questionable install IF your finding THIS!!! IF you still have the holes thru the wood where the ropes ran on pullys,,,plug those holes up too. Might wanna look around at outside of windows and caulk there,,when weather permits next!! Makes one wonder how much"you cant see it so you cant complain" installs there are out there!! PLUS you NOW have cash for materials from selling those heavy weights!! Some people call then antiques,,,I call they dead weight!! You WILL enjoy better windows when you get them ALL done!!! AND dap a bit of caulk,very little, between the wall and trim and trim and casing,,,but NOT enough to ooze out!!

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