Curved Plexiglas sun room window

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Old 09-23-19, 03:37 PM
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Curved Plexiglas sun room window

don't know if I should cross-reference with the waterproofing community.

I have a problem the local professional handymen and glass companies don't want to take on. It doesn't seem like a hard project so I come to you for advice.

This is a 1st-floor sunroom with a broken curved Plexiglas display that has a large broken crack.

This is a double-pane Plexiglas display with only the outer Plexi shied/pane damaged. The inside pane is intact and weather tight.

The Plexi pane measures about 29-1/2Ē x ~43Ē at 1/8" thick.

I would like the Plexiglas replaced and sealed.

I donít think this is a hard fix. the house and sunroom were built-in 1983. Don't know if the plexi is original and there is no vendor name anywhere in the sun-room.

Anything that keeps out water infiltration will work. I would have tried to fix myself but didnít have the right equipment handy.

With such thin Plexi, it should tuck into the side openings with a heat gun. The Plexi is available at Home Depot and window putty at Lowe's. I don't know how to essentially make this weathertight and keep the 2 panes separate.

Any advice is appreciated. Questions encouraged,

TIA
 
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Old 09-23-19, 03:51 PM
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I can understand why nobody wants to touch the job. It could turn into a real can of worms. They probably are afraid of how much they would have to charge you.

I'm thinking you might need to move the end frame away to get a new panel in. You would need to figure out how it is held together. If you don't see fasteners on the inside holding the pieces together you might need to pry out the plastic vanity strip and look for fasteners underneath.

The panels could be either UV resistant acrylic or polycarbonate (Lexan). Acrylic is easier to bend to your curve but polycarbonate is stronger and more impact resistant. To get the plastic to that radius I would make a wooden mold of the proper radius. Then head the plastic sheet and allow it to sag over the form/mold. If you don't have it formed by a professional I would get to know a powder coat painter or someone else with a large industrial oven.
 
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Old 09-23-19, 04:05 PM
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I don't think those solarium are supposed to have plexiglass in them, they usually have a 1" thick thermopane in them. I don't even know how they could possibly have done that and got it to seal up. It looks like someone mcgyvered it then gooped up the outside with sealant.

I built Solariums like that for a while, so I'm familiar with how they work. Each of your 3 vertical mull caps has a snap in mull cap cover. (They are aluminum) It's the center portion of each, about 3/4" wide, with a groove on each side. You would need to pry those mull caps off carefully, starting at the bottom. Don't bend them up as you have to reuse them.

Once you get them off, there will be screws every 8" or so, that hold the mull cap to the framing. You would need to remove all the mull cap covers and all the mull caps to expose the top half of the glass.

The horizontal mull caps are the same way. To work on any one pane of glass, you have to remove the mull cap covers, mull caps, and screws from each piece around the glass. In reality, you pretty much have to remove all the exterior trim in order to replace the glass in front / on top.

If you know how wide the windows are, you can usually figure out who made the room. 4 seasons is the most popular one. You could also call them to do the service work. If any of the panes are real glass, they should have a little watermark down in one corner of the glass that might identify the mfg.
 
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Old 09-28-19, 12:20 PM
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Plexi idea poss solution

Thank you very much for the replies. Have an idea. Name:  Plexi detail illustration.jpg
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What are your opinions about this solution?

The existing Plexi is 1/8" thick. You mention acrylic or Lexan. Are both easily available at HD or Lowe's and can create this curve? Any other plexi like plastic that will bend and have UV resistance/tolerance that might work?

What kind of sealing method would weatherproof the attached layer to the bottom layer?

I also like to fix the molding (moulding?) around the window to ensure weather stability. Existing pictures attached. Thoughts and ideas?

Thanks again,
 
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Old 09-28-19, 12:48 PM
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I don't want to offend you or poo poo your idea, (and you are obviously free to do what you want) but there is really only one way to work on this, and I've already described how to do it. So I'm not even going to comment on your idea.

If you measure your "glass area" on the outside, the actual size of the pieces that should go in there will actually be about 2" wider or taller than the size of the glass that is showing, because each piece overlaps about 1" onto the frame below.

The weather proofing is actually done on the interior side, where two faced glazing tape is put on the frame, and the glass sits on top of it, making a weather tight seal. The exterior side is weatherproofed by rubber gaskets, and should not even be caulked up at all, if it is, it's usually only the bottom edges and a couple inches up each side. The frame is designed to channel any water that gets in down the frame and out the weep holes in the sill. If it leaks at any point, it's usually because mud or debris has clogged eitgerca channel or the weep holes in the sill. Solariums usually need occasional maintenance that involves disassembly (what I mentioned in my first reply) so that you can wash out the spaces around the glass and ensure all the channels including the the sill are clear and free of debris. It is not that hard to do.

But like I said, you're free to do what you want. But I'm not about to agree, just so I can tell you what you want to hear. Plexiglass is also not a good product to use since it gets all cloudy from UV degradation and scratched as yours is now.

If you were going to use plexiglass to replace the curved glass, I would still recommend you disassemble it as I mentioned in my first reply, but you should use 2 pieces of plexiglass, separated by a flexible rosin spacer so that both pieces + spacer would = 1" thick (like the original glass was) and I would make it the same size as the original glass was. Your mull caps are what will clamp the edges of the plexiglass down to the frame tightly.
 
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Old 09-30-19, 05:43 AM
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Thank you for your very considered reply.

I'm trying to sell this 30+yo old condo. No estimates from professionals locally are provided except to remove the entire sunroom and replace it with a wall ($14K). I do not have the experience and equipment to tackle this as you recommend. Likely the OEM provided glass which broke in the intervening years and some earlier people used Plexi/plastic material(?) to fix. It worked fine for me during my years there and within the last year this crack opened up. (Bird Crash???).

I'm going to proceed with this as I know how and will look for Acrylic or polycarbonate as the other responder recommended. I very much appreciate your recommendations here but they are beyond me.

Is there a special silicone or clear glue that will adhere to acrylic or polycarbonate to the existing plastic of material I don't exactly know?

Thanks again,
 
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Old 09-30-19, 05:59 AM
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Your best bet would probably be clear OSI Quad, and you will need to tape the edges down with duct tape for 7 days or so while it cures. Then remove the tape and caulk the edges again.
 
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