Aluminum Storm Window Question


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Old 06-15-10, 07:36 AM
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Aluminum Storm Window Question

Hi everyone - I am new to the forum, and I read a number of threads all filled with great information. I didn't find exactly what I am looking for so I thought I would post my own thread to see if anyone can assist.

I have an old home (111 years) with original wood windows covered by aluminum storms. I am seeing some condensation which is freezing in the winter and I want to avoid it to prevent further rot in the frame and sills. I understand that the condensation is coming from the different temperatures inside and outside, and why it forms.

Here is my plan to prevent it and fix it;
1) weatherstrip some of the loose areas inside on the wooden windows to prevent or lessen warm air flowing into the space between windows
2) Remove old broken caulk from the outside storm and recaulk the top and both sides, to make the seal completely tight.
3) I will NOT caulk the bottom on the outside as I want moisture an escape route to prevent it being trapped.
4) I will clear out the weeping holes inside. There seem to be two vertical "slots" at the bottom of each storm, however they don't go all the way through to the outside. I can only assume there must be a drain or something in the bottom of the aluminum so that when the moisture goes into the slots it runs down into a hole which then runs off the sill and outside? Does that make sense?
5) I am also going to need to repair some sills and clean up some moisture/mildew/mold type issues where water already did its damage.
6) I will caulk the bottom of the storm from the inside to prevent airflow and water getting in. I will of course not cover any weeping holes. Once the caulk is in I will do careful cleaning to prep the surface and repaint the sills and frame inside.
7) After all is finished I will paint the caulk and storms to clean them up a bit and have them match the rest of the house.

I am most concerned with the weeping holes, as I am not sure how they work. I was expecting for the small slots to go right through the aluminum frame, but they just don't appear on the outside, which makes me think they are draining somehow downward after moisture gets in the slot.

I think what happened in the past is that the moisture was sealed in by blocking weeping holes and caulking all the way around the window.

Will this approach work and fix my moisture problem?

There some some windows which don't open and won't be opened. They are painted shut inside and the outside storm is caulked and sealed all the way around. I don't seem to see any moisture issues in these at all, as I am guessing moist warm air from inside is just not getting into the space between the panes. Is it OK to leave them like this, or should all storms have some venting or weeping holes as part of the installation.

Thanks for readint his far. I would live some advice on the whole caulking the entire storm outside, versus leaving the bottom open. I have seen others suggest caulking the entire bottom but leaving a 1/4" gap in the caulk to allow moisture out via the weeping holes? Is that a better solution?
 
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Old 06-16-10, 03:39 PM
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The problem is that the storm windows are more energy efficient than the windows. Warm moist air is leaking out of the windows, and condensing/freezing on the storms. There are ways to rehab old windows, which is not inexpensive. Or you can replace with architecturally correct windows, also not inexpensive.

Most of the things you suggest will help. Reglazing, caulking, weatherstriping, etc, can't hurt, and is not expensive if DIY. Storms definitely need bottom vents(weep holes), which is why they are there, to let out moisture.
 
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Old 06-16-10, 04:16 PM
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I didn't see where it was mentioned which surface the condensation and ice is occurring on? Is it on the interior side of the window, or between the window and the storm?

Often times, the old glazing on the exterior side of the sash gets neglected when a storm window is covering it. Then warm air goes right around the glass causing a lot of condensation and ice. That could be one area that needs attention.

I hesitate to ever recommend caulking a storm window on. Depending on the conditions, it can lead to humidity buildup behind the storm window.
 
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Old 06-17-10, 06:54 AM
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Thanks for the replies. The condensation and ice is occuring between the internal window and the storm.

I am looking at the glazing of all internal windows to see if any work is required around the sash with old glazing needing repair. The windows are about 110 years old, and in good shape for the most part. I am certainly not lookingt o replace them, as I would never get a window as high quality without spending huge amounts of money.

Xsleeper, would I still see humidity buildup behind the storm if I have the weeping holes clear and plenty of room under the storm for moisture to vent? I think the current issue is that someone caulked all the way around the storm, and combining that with the leak issues i have from the inside, the condensation was forming and freezing.
 
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Old 06-17-10, 03:59 PM
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Since your ice is occuring between the prime window and the storm, i'd blame it on a very leaky prime window (either the glazing or around the sash itself) AND on the storm window that is caulked on. Putting a 3M window insulator kit over the interior window trim would likely completely solve the problem since the plastic is a vapor barrier, and if the edges are completely sealed it is also a wind barrier.

As to your question, I think you would still have moisture problems even if you did not caulk the sill expander. I don't like to caulk storm windows at all, and if I do, it is only the top.
 
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Old 06-18-10, 07:12 AM
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Thanks again. i think you're right, there is significant leakage from inside. I will work on trying to eliminate these gaps in the inside primary window. I am not too keen on the 3M plastic kits, as I have 2 young kids, two cats and a dog, all of who would probably love to poke holes in a plastic film over the windows! ha ha

I will work with weatherstripping, repairing some glazing and hope that makes a bit of difference.
 
 

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