3 simple fixes for combination storm screens

September 23, 2015

Combination storm screens play an important role in conserving heat and keeping your home dry and insulated. Check out these simple steps to make sure your screens are in tip-top shape.

3 simple fixes for combination storm screens

Replacing broken parts

Some windows combine three functions in one; that is, they perform as ordinary glazed windows, but they also have permanent storm and screen sections that can be slid into place in season. Typically framed in aluminum, combination windows have three channels running along each side of the frame to hold two glass sashes and one screen sash. The three channels are staggered to make three openings of slightly different sizes; each of the three sashes thus fits in one and only one of the channels.

If a channel guide or slide tab is broken, you may or may not be able to get replacement parts, depending on the manufacturer.

  • If you know the installer, start your search there.
  • If the manufacturer's name appears on the unit, call hardware stores or storm window installers and ask if they have parts and can install them.
  • Otherwise, take the broken part to the store to see if they have a match. They should be able to install the parts at minimal cost or else show you how to put them in yourself.

Unclog the weep holes

Along the bottom of your storm-window unit, you may find two or more small grooves that make for small openings, called weep holes, when the storm is closed.

  • If they are painted over, open them up with the end of a screwdriver.
  • If you are painting, don't seal them; they serve a good purpose. Condensation can cause moisture to build up between the window and the storm window. Weep holes allow the moisture to escape.

Frames and faulty fits

Look at the top of your storm and screen unit, where a sash meets the window frame. Do you see anything that suggests a bad fit? Is the top of the sash not parallel to the top of the frame, for example? Can you feel any air movement on one side, even with the window closed? These are indications that the unit was put in out-of-square and will never effectively keep out the cold.

  • Call the installer to correct the problem, if possible, or hire someone else to reinstall the unit correctly.
  • Slide the sashes up and down, and examine where they meet the channels of the frame.
  • There should be a gasket — often made of a fuzzy material — that seals the sash against the frame. If the gasket is worn or cracked, install stick-on weather-stripping or a new gasket. A poor seal wastes energy.

There you have it -- 3 simple steps to make sure your storm screens are in perfect shape! Not only will this make your house warming by conserving heat, but it will cut down on your energy costs. That's a win-win for any household!

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