Best Replacement Glass Strategies- How to Replace Insulated Glass


Imagine being at home on a chilly day. You are wearing your warmest clothes, but the cold air inside your home hits your skin like needles. Sunlight shines through the single glass window, and yet, the room is still cold.

To ensure that your home is insulated and prepared for winter or summer, you should consider installing double glazed window panes, or rather, insulated glass units right away.

What is Double Insulated Glass?

cross section of insulated glass

Insulated glass prevents the inflow and outflow of heat from your home, office, studio or building. Several pieces of glass are separated by placing separators between them.
Made up of metal, structural foam, or aluminum, these spacers keep the glass panes in place. Most of the time, this empty space might be filled with a noble gas such as krypton or argon. Usually abbreviated as IG, insulated glass provides various benefits to your space.

What is an Insulated Glass Unit?

cross section of insulated glass unit

When multiple components are assembled together, they make up an insulated glass unit that you can install in your home windows. These critical parts include several pieces of glass, spacers and, noble gas. Together, this IGU (Insulating Glass Unit) is set in place to allow your space to maintain the temperature inside.

What are the Benefits of Insulated Glass Units?

From among the various window material and design options available, why should you opt for insulated glass? Let’s learn.

1. Improved insulation

infographic of energy flowing through windows

Initially, double glazing was introduced so it could insulate homes and regulate the temperature inside. Hence, they act as barriers and minimize the heat coming into your space. So, you can keep the humidity out in hot seasons and trap it in during the colder days. With double glazed windows, you can start enjoying cooler summers and warmer winters.

2. Reduction in external noise

infographic of noise reduction through windows

Do you live in a busy neighborhood, let’s say, near the market? Is there a lot of noise, especially when you are trying to enjoy a quiet evening by the window? Double glazed window panes will ensure that your space is protected from all noises, and the environment is peaceful. Similarly, no noise will leave the room either.

3. Better security

Double glazed windows are also effective in keeping the potential burglars at bay since these windows are not easy to break. You can also improve security by getting an IGU that uses toughened or laminated glass. So lay back and enjoy being alone in your home or studio without being afraid of any break-ins.

4. Lower energy bills

infographic of double pane versus triple pane windows cost efficiency

Perhaps the best selling point of insulated glass is that it restricts the heat leaving or entering your space. With heat trapped inside in winters, you can turn down your heater. Similarly, with no heat being allowed to enter, you can keep the air conditioning to a minimal. This allows you to consume less energy and pay bills of smaller amounts.

5. Added property value

Because installing an IGU makes your home more energy conservative and comfortable, potential buyers will be more attracted to it. It will also increase the value of your home.

6. Minimized interior damage

If you have had single-glazed windows, you may have noticed that furniture placed near the windows were probably damaged by sunlight. The UV radiation can cause your belongings to deteriorate and fade over time. However, that is not something that you have to worry about with double glazed windows. Why? Because they act as a shield and prevent most of the sunlight from entering your home or office.

For further protection, you can even add a UV window film to the IGU.

7. Environment-friendly

infographic of visible light solar gain and heat

The fact that double glazed window panes help consume energy and reduce its wastage makes them an Eco-friendly solution. So, they help you to reduce the impact they have on the environment.

8. Reduced condensation

If you previously had a single glazed window open, did you ever see water droplets appearing on it? Did you wonder why they appeared? When the air inside the house is hotter than the windows, these droplets form, which then condenses on the window panes. Though it does not sound like a big deal, condensation can cause harm in the long run. The constant appearance of these droplets can lead to mildew and mold that can consequently lead to health issues.

The humidity may also damage your wooden window frames, causing them to rot. With double glazed windows, you will not have to waste money on repairs as a result of water damage.

9. Easy to maintain

The only maintenance with double glazed windows is to wipe off the few water droplets appearing on them. You do not need to spend hours wiping them down with hardcore cleaning materials.

10. Aesthetically pleasing

With the advancement in technology, you now have a massive variety of glass and colors to choose from, especially for IGU. This will automatically enhance the beauty of your home.

What are the Required Tools and Materials Needed to Replace the Insulated Glass Window?

Like any other piece of furniture made up of glass, your windows can run the risk of breaking. As soon as you notice cracks in your double glass window, replace it right away to retain the optimal temperature.

Before you can begin with glass replacement, you will need a caulk gun, hammer, dust mask, and a cordless drill. For everything to go smoothly, you would also need a putty and utility knife with a 4-in-1 screwdriver and pry bar. For your safety, wear goggles and gloves once you start handling the tools.

Materials necessary for window glass replacement are silicone, glass setting tape, and of course, a brand new insulating glass unit.

How to Replace the Insulated Glass?

There are three main methods that you can use to replace the glass.

1. Gasket seal method

The name is given because the edges of the window panes will be wrapped in a single-molded neoprene or vinyl gasket. You will hold the frame together with the help of a total of four screws, one in each corner. The grooves present in the frame will hold your window in place. The sashes that you assemble using this method can easily be taken apart and reassembled when needed.

Follow the steps below to replace insulated glass using this method.

  • First, you need to remove the screws that are holding two of the diagonally opposite corners. Do not unscrew the other two corners so that you can reassemble with ease later.
  • Next, separate the gasket from the glass with the help of a hammer or a wooden block. Ensure that you do not accidentally end up damaging the frame. It is advised that you use a piece of discarded carpeting if necessary.
  • Now what you need to do is to wrap the old gasket around the edges of your new IGU. Then, using a hammer, tape the pieces of the frame back together.
  • Lastly, to keep water out of the panes, seal the open areas with just a dab of neutral-cure silicone. Voila! You are done with glass replacement using the gasket seal method.

2. Adhesive tape seal

You will often find windows sealed with double-sided adhesive tape. The tape is only 1/8 or 1/16 inches. So, there is enough room for you to slip in your thin-blade knife and slice through it.
The following steps will make your work easy and assist you in applying this method.

  • The first and foremost thing to do is to use a thin pry bar to remove the stops. You may also use a putty knife with a thin blade. Work your way from top to bottom in an orderly fashion.
    Then, as aforementioned, neatly slice through the tape using a thin-blade knife.
  • Next, scrape off all the old adhesive and tape. If some of it is stuck, use a solvent or paint thinner to remove it. Now lay the brand new tape in place.
  • Carefully evaluate the position where you want the glass to be and drop it there. Ensure that it’s placed with great caution because once it touches the adhesive, it cannot be readjusted. To place it accurately, have someone keep the frame steady while you set the bottom and top edges accordingly. Once in the glass, replace the old stops and use the caulk seal to close off any gaps in the corners.

3. Caulk seal method

Caulk seal is basically a fancy word for glue because virtually, the pieces of glass caulked together are actually glued. There is a stop holding the glass in place, so it may be difficult to use a knife to cut. You will probably have to smash the window and then pry the glass out, one piece at a time.

The steps stated below will guide you about what to do.

  • Using a stiff and firm putty knife or a thin pry bar, remove the stops carefully. Ensure that you do not damage the frame in the process.
  • Turn the window over and try to work your way through the caulk with the help of a utility knife. Often, a weak caulk will come free. All the other times, to remove the caulk, you may have to break the glass.
    Flip the window again and fully cover it with cardboard. Hammer in hand, smash it near the frame. Ensure that you are wearing a dust mask, leather gloves and goggles for your safety.
  • Next, one piece of glass at a time, pry it out. If the frame starts to chip or crack, soften the adhesive with a heat gun. Clear the edges and scrape the remaining pieces off of it. Your work station must be padded and cleaned throughout this process so that the surface of the frames remains intact.
  • In the end, before you drop the glass onto the frame, apply a little bit of neutral-cure silicone to it. Blocks must be appropriately positioned before you use a bead of caulk to the back of the stops and fix them. Let the entire caulk dry before you scrape the excess off with a razor-sharp scraper.

How to Remove Window Sashes?

If damage to the windowpane is minimal, you may not have to go through the entire process of glass replacement. Instead, you can simply fix it. Most of the time, you will notice that such glass sashes can be removed with ease. On the other hand, stationary sashes may be a little more difficult to get rid of. They will need to be fixed where they are. Mentioned below are three sashes that can be opened. By following the instructions, you can learn how to repair them.

1. Double-hung windows

Insulated glass windows that slide can do so because of vinyl jamb liners. If you want to take out the sash, push the liners down slightly and take out the uppermost part. To release the counterweighted springs from one side connected to the bottom, twist the sash. To put it back in place, insert the bottom first and repeat the procedure only this time, in reverse.

2. Casement windows

If your windows are hinged on a single side and swing outside, are called casement windows. The release catches on the swing arms need to be taken apart. If you are having a hard time figuring them out, then unscrew the top and bottom arms to separate the sash. Have someone assist you by holding the window in place while you unscrew the entire thing.

3. Slider windows

If the windows installed in your space slide from side to side, then they are called slider windows. They can easily be removed if you just lift the sash and swing the bottom out. If there are already nails in place, use side-cutting pliers to cut or a simple hacksaw to remove them.

If you are handy and experienced, it will not be challenging for you to follow these simple instructions. They will not take too much of your energy or time and assist you with glass replacement or repair.

For more great tips around the home, check out the other blogs on Check This House.

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