Interior Storm Windows
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:17 pm    Post subject: Interior Storm Windows Reply with quote

see the extensive discussion with photos on this topic at:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=6

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sldetherage



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Interior storm windows Reply with quote

I was always taught that interior storms are NOT a good alternative for historic windows because of moisture build-up on the inside of the original windows (i.e. between storms and window). A colleague recently assured me that the preservation industry is now accepting this as an alternative. Has some new technology or thought-process decided that interior storms are now okay, and why? I'm especially concerned at this point because we are writing a community maintenance guide, and my colleagues want to recommend interior storms as a good way to go. Should we recommend them?
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interior storms can be good or bad depending on the situation, just like any method or product can be good or bad.

With the typical old house in the temperate climate or northern climate interior storms can be used very effective during the heating season. In a typical household they can limit fog frost and moisture buildup on the primary sashes, frames and sills. They should be removed the rest of the year to allow for any moisture buildup in the wood of the window to dry out. In some cases they also make sense during the summer cooling season. This is based on my own experience over the past two decades.

The use of traditional window technologies such as interior roller shades, curtians and exterior storms and shutters also make a lot of sense.

I am now testing bubble wrap sheets applied directly to primary sash glass, and the interior side of exterior storm windows. It is attached with a mist of ordinary water. It blocks the view but lets in plenty of light. It's not 'traditional', but does contribute very effective to the thermal performance of the glass. The only downside I have found is that it is a petro-chemical product, somewhat ameliorated if you use second-hand bubble wrap.

Feel free to post the windows section of your community maintenance guide here if you would like us to review it and comment.

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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
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Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

in the majority of situations, i suggest my clients consider an exterior storm which will offer increased energy efficiency and protect the primary window from what mother nature dishes out...

interior storms have their place but they also need to have a second place--and that is for storage when they are removed seasonally...

.....jade
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
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Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some windows that won't take an exterior storm window because of how theoutside stop and brick molding doesn't create a rabbit for a storm window to mount readily.

This is the case with many commercial buildings. It seems as though there were not a storm window originally planned.

In this scenario we present a storm that has its own reverse rabbit that fits over a corner of the outside sash stop. It fits closely to the top sash but not all the way against it. Its a good look although its not historically correct, or so I've been told many times. Lots of homewners think this is alright but many Preservation commissions discourage this type of application.

We completed a downtown museum building this fall and the architect didn't want this type of exterior storm window so he stuck to his original specification for an inside removable insulated panel in a wood frame.
He additionally specified three 5/16" vent holes through the top and also the bottom rails. to allow for circulating air from inside. the windows were engineered to be easily removed when needed. (neither him nor I think they will ever be removed)

On this same building there were 25 windows that had previously installed 1/4" single lite glass panels installed on the interior in a simple lock-in aluminum frame. The space betweein these and the primes were vented through two 3/8" holes with a plastic vented plug through the bottom prime sash rail and through the top prime sash rail. I guess thinking was venting with outside air would be benificial.

Not! You wouldn't beleive the amout of mold and rot that was created with this method. I do beleive that in another few years the heat generated in this space would have cooked and rotted the prime sashed into nothingness.

I agree with the general thinking here that an exterior storm is best. An interior insulating panel is quite OK, but needs to be removed periodically.

Or a better wording is to install them only during winter months. I also think that nice sunny winter days gives us an opportunity to open some windows and let the inside of the house breath. At least this is what my mom used to tell me as she turned off the thermostat and began opening windows on sunny days in winter.

Steve S
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
At least this is what my mom used to tell me as she turned off the thermostat and began opening windows on sunny days in winter.


It's usually a good idea to do what our mommies told us to do.

My mom and dad always kept one of their bedroom windows open a little all night long, even in winter. I can recall many times when I was little that I came to jump in bed with them in the morning and there would be a little snow drift all along the interior stool of the window.

They both have lived long and healthy lives. They never had much money, but never landed in the poor house because they were spending too much on heating fuel.

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Last edited by johnleeke on Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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TDL



Joined: 13 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnleeke wrote:
Quote:
At least this is what my mom used to tell me as she turned off the thermostat and began opening windows on sunny days in winter.


It's usually a good idea to do what our mommies told us to do.

My mom and dad always kept one of their bedroom windows open a little all night long, even in winter. I can recall many times when I was little that I came to jump in bed with them in the morning and there would be a little snow drift all along the interior stool of the window.

They both have lived long and healthy lives. They never had much money, but never landed in the poor house because they were spending too much on heating fuel.


I know a guy who does that every day of his life. Him and his wife are now in their 90's and still live on their own. He built the house himself back in the 40's or 50's. Rather then replace the windows they had some spot maintenance and storms fixed up a few years back. He always says he is gaining a lot more then he is loosing by keeping the window cracked every night.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am coming to the conclusion that preventing air from coming in around windows is simply a marketing plot promoted by the building product manufacturers.

Emphizema and other respiratory problems were not nearly as common as they are now, not until the 1970s energy crunch when we stared sealing up windows more tightly, and filling our homes with petro-chemical plastic stuff that gives off poisonous fumes. Indoor air pollution is now a recognized hazard of American life. When we seal up windows so tightly as is now the 'standard' are we part of the solution or part of the problem?

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jlindtner



Joined: 10 Sep 2007
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Location: Wilmington, DE

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:07 am    Post subject: Exterior storm windows baking glazing? Reply with quote

On a potential project the architect or GC has specified interior storm windows because he claims that exterior storms bake the glazing too much and also trap UV rays. Has anyone heard of this? I would think that the damage caused to the exterior of a sash from the elements over time would be far greater.
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WindowWoman



Joined: 14 Jan 2005
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Location: Topsfield, MA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:00 pm    Post subject: Interior storms Reply with quote

Check out the www.magnetite.com interior storms. They are really easy panels to pop on and off so the likelihood of them being left on all year is not as high as some of the others.
We found these at a house museum and they totally changed my view of interior storms. The side steel pieces attach with either small screws or nails that cause very minimal damage. And they come off easily when you need to get the windows out (which we did).
We are going to be installing them at a law office on the fourth floor of a building in the heart of historic Salem. It's a brick building and I'm assuming the HC disallowed exterior storms or they were too difficult to install given the location and building construction.

Alison Hardy
Window Woman of New England
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, Magnatite is pretty good. I installed some back in the 1990s. They are fastened into the window with a magnetic strip around the plastic panel, that sticks to a steel strip that you double-stick tape to the windows. If you ever have to take off the steel strip it damages the finish, and if you stick it to bare wood it can rip out the wood surface. If that future damage is acceptable then this is a reasonable system. It does use a lot of petro-chemical plastic in the thick ridged sheets, that will deteriorate and need to be replaced, so that's on the downside for the environment and some projects seeking "sustainable greenie points."
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Last edited by johnleeke on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
On a potential project the architect or GC has specified interior storm windows because he claims that exterior storms bake the glazing too much and also trap UV rays. Has anyone heard of this? I would think that the damage caused to the exterior of a sash from the elements over time would be far greater.


A lot depends on the micro-climate on each side of the building and even right around each window, but generally you are correct, exterior storms significantly reduce (but does not eliminate) deterioration of sashes. The combination of sunlight's UV and IR plus water and extreme temperature shifts, as with no exterior storm, causes the most damage. Take away any one of those components (UV, IR, water, or temp shifts) and the deterioration of paint, putty and wood drops off significantly, take away any two, and it drops dramatically. Adding ordinary storms with screens in the summer limits water and temp shifts.

There may be some heat buildup between an exterior storm and the primary sash, but this is less of a problem when storms are installed with permanent ventilation to the outdoors, usually by leaving a 1/4" to 3/8" gap all along the bottom. (which is done primarily to vent moisture to the outdoors.)

I doubt that UV (Ultra-Violet) ray are trapped. They are such high energy rays that they are barely defracted or reflected by ordinary glass, the way the visible spectrum of light is.

If he is concerned about UV ray damaging the putty and paint, which is a justifiable concern, he could simply spec an exterior storm with a UV inhibiting film on the interior side of the glass. This would eliminate 3 of the 4 causes of sash deterioration.

From your brief account it sounds like he does not know the science behind this, particularly if he is speaking in generalities. But it could be that there is something about the particular glass or situation that he knows about.

If he specs against exterior storms then the owner can count on a much shorter maintenance cycle for the paint, putty and wood, perhaps every 4 to 6 years instead of 15 to 25 years with exterior storms.

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