re: Removing Glass Block Windows

Old 11-17-04, 06:30 AM
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re: Removing Glass Block Windows

I have three glass block windows (17X33) in my basement that I want to remove. Does anyone have any advice on the easiest way to do this? I am thinking it will just be a prosess of chipping away at the mortar around each block, but if there is a better (easier) way I would love to hear it.

Old 11-17-04, 06:48 AM
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Don't know of an "easy" way to remove them but please wear as much safety equipment as possible. Chipping away at the mortar joint can be dangerous if you hit a glass block. PERSONAL OPINION: I would use a 4" grinder or a Dremel to remove as much mortar as possible. While this is not totally safe either, I think you have more control over staying in the joint as opposed to a hammer and chisel. Just MY opinion. Good luck with your project.
Old 11-18-04, 06:01 AM
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I think that the first thing you should do is establish if you have glass block windows that were erected one block at a time and one row at a time, OR if the glass block window is a one piece panel. Not all glass block windows were erected one block, and one row at a time; some were one piece preassembled panels that fit, sometimes snapping, into a frame. They might even not be glass ... there are alternatives to glass on the market. Spend some time investigating this.

If they are panels ... the modern ones are set in aluminum frames, the older usually in galvanized steel ... there will be a snap-in strip that holds the panel in on the header and both jambs. The frames are usually 4 piece units. The sill a channel; the header, and 2 jambs are L-shaped pieces with a serated track. These all screw or are set into place with powder actuated devices and hold the glass block panel in place; the snap-in fits tightly ... usually driven with a mallet or with a hammer and block of wood ... into that serated track in the head and jambs. That snap-in is one time unreversable assembly ... pulling them off with a wonder bar, crowbar, or cats paw ruins them. That's what you need to do if it's a panel ... pull off the snap-ins. Start at the end and work and wiggle them off.

If they are blocks, laid one at a time and one row at a time ... the only way you're going to get them apart and out is to start at the top row and break one through. But first check to see what kind of condition the window is in ... time and weather and the elements may have loosened the whole thing up and it just might come out in one or two large pieces with a crowbar and some muscle. If it's in there tight you need to bust out a top block. There's more than mortar holding them in. Every row or two a metal strap was laid in the mortar and nailed or screwed to the jamb. You need to do the reverse one block at a time, one row at a time. Hammer, patience and work safely.

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