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GB Greg 10-14-2010 07:11 AM

New Guy Cincinnati
My name is Greg. I've been managing a glass block company for several years. Our company was opened in 1983 and is part of a family of glass block companies in several cities the oldest having opened in 1965.

My personal background is in construction. I remember hanging from roof trusses more than 25 years ago when my dad was a framer. After high school, I was on a plane to St. Louis with my destination being Ft. Leonard Wood for boot camp. I designed and installed ceramic tile and natural stone flooring, walls and stone slab work for some of the most prestigious home builders in Northern Kentucky for around 6 years. From there worked production for a truss company in Cincinnati for a few years and handled duties in production control on occasion before taking a job where I am now. 10 years ago I started as the warehouse manager, then within 10 months I was became the Operations Manager and ultimately the General Manager.

We install glass block windows, walls & showers, vinyl replacement windows and dabble with a little basement and bathroom remodeling. We complete more 2,000 contracted residential and commercial installation projects each year.

We own several patents and manufacture glass block specific accessories including air vents, dryer vent blocks and a proprietary nailing fin frame for new construction glass block.

If you have questions concerning glass block in any respect, I will be glad to provide an honest, unbiased opinion. Since most of you folks will be outside of my service area, I have nothing to gain by promoting anything other than facts based on our collective experience in the world of glass block.

But of course, these views are still my opinion and anything I claim to be fact will be backed up by legitimate resources.

I look forward to participating in your forum.


davemiller 01-25-2011 09:29 PM

Question about glass block please
Can you please assist me? I need to install a dryer-vent through an existing glass block basement window. Could you give me any advice?
Dave Miller

GB Greg 01-26-2011 06:36 AM

Good morning Dave,

There are a couple of options...

-Most glass block distributors, even some of the big box stores, Lowe's, Home Depot, Menards, etc... have vinyl dryer vent blocks that are sized to replace a single glass block within your window. These come complete with a sleeve that recieves a standard 4" dryer vent pipe and hose. If you can't find one locally, I can ship one just about anywhere in the U.S.

-You could build the block with mortar. It comes at the cost of a bag of mortar and your labor. Essentially, you would pick up a dryer vent kit from your improvement retailer of choice and once the block you are replacing is removed, you would replace the block with mortar and while the mortar is still wet, insert the tin tube through the mortar. Once the mortar is dry, carefully pull the tube back out and remove the dry mortar disk from the tube. These tubes cost about $1 each so if you tear it up, it's no huge loss. Put the hood (the part with the louvers) on the tin tube, add some silicone or acrylic caulk to the back side and within the hole in the mortar and insert it from the outside. Let it dry overnight and connect the foil hose from the dryer in the morning.

-Removing the block can be tricky, messy and dangerous. Always wear heavy leather gloves and safety glasses. If your windows have mortar between the block, use an angle grinder and cut the mortar carefully between the block you are removing and the adjacent blocks. You can use a chisel if you're careful. The idea is to get the mortar off of the edge of the adjacent blocks so that you dont break the edge when your removing the other block.
-Once this is done, or if your windows were assembled with silicone. Cover both sides of the block with masking tape, completely. This will keep shards and fragments from blowing out all over the basement and yard.
Hold a piece of cardboard on the face of the block and give it a whack with a hammer. Yes, you're going to break the block. Once you have the face busted up and cleared out, you should do the same for the other face. Clean up the mess you just made.
-At this point, you should have the edges or most of the edges still in place. A good chisel and some patients shoud get the rest out pretty easily.

-If you are using a vinyl dryer vent block for glass block, you're not done. You will have to continue to chisel out the mortar until the block fits.
-If you're going to build one out of mortar, mix your mortar to the consistency of peanut butter, maybe a little heavier even.

Good tape
Card board
Angle Grinder (optional)
Clean up tools

Vinyl Dryer Vent Block for glass block (optional)
Sleeve & Hood (optional depending on vinyl block)
Bag of pre-mixed masonry mortar
Silicone or Acrylic Caulk
Foil hose

It would take one of my technicians about :45 to do this completely. A do it yourselfer may take 2.5-3hrs.

1-5 scale of difficulty: 2

Hope this help!

Scuba_Dave 02-01-2011 07:15 PM

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