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Common complaints when switching radiant heat to baseboard



  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    Your windows Paul

    Windows often define a home--it sounds strange, but they do. That's why window replacement is the prime no-no in historic preservation. Replacements simply don't match and make a big difference in the appearance.

    When I was faced with 47 windows in a historic home, I couldn't believe that "nearly every wood window is repairable." It is true.

    What replacement window companies WON'T tell you is that reasonably fitted, well weatherized old windows with high quality storm windows are just as (or even more) efficent than the replacements.

    Spring bronze weatherstrip in the jambs is extremely effective and long-lived. Pile weatherstrip (like in storm windows) is great when applied to the stop moulding. It helps prevent sticking and (most important I think) provides a little bit of gap when you are painting.

    Interlocking weatherstrip is still available but it tends (my opinion) to be damaged easily and make the windows very difficult to operate.

    It's not always easy and never fast to redo old windows--it took me 2 1/2 years of every spare minute I could muster for the 47. Since there are an incredible number of steps, some of which require lots of time, I found it best to work on about 8-10 sash at a time. Rigid foam fitted into jambs works great while the sash are being repaired. It truly takes "two weeks" to renovate a window fully. The greatest holdup is waiting for glazing to "skin over" before priming.

    One step many neglect when re-glazing is the bedding. The glass is supposed to be "floating" inside of the glazing. For a rattle-free, air-tight, long-lived window you MUST first lay a small amount of glazing on the rabbet, firmly press the glass in place, install your points and finally finish the glazing. A tip that really works: Warm the glazing in your hands and press it into a 3/8" or so thick pancake on a glazed ceramic tile. Use the hook end of a 5-in-one tool to cut narrow strips for the bedding and lay them on the rabbet. Cut wider strips for the angled glazing, use a thin VERY FLEXIBLE knife and bear down GREATLY "sweeping" through the corners. A slightly rounded corner--particularly at the bottom corners--will shed water and not allow it to penetrate. Don't ask my why but sometimes the glazing will tend to stick to the knife and pull away from the sash. If this happens, dip the knife in either ice or room-temp water, whichever helps most.

    A warped, sagging lower meeting rail on the upper sash of wide double-hung windows is nearly pandemic. They CAN be repaired. Disassemble the sash--there is generally a steel pin through the tenon at the corners. Soak the rail in the hottest water you can find and clamp it to a straight rigid surface--like a 6x6 post. Leave it there for a couple weeks at least. As long as this piece is straight-grained (most are) the wood will reassume its natural straight shape. If it doesn't work the first time, repeat once again.

    To prevent this from recurring, ENSURE that the window stays latched except when opened! Especially wide windows should have two latches.

    Weight pockets can be insulated with well-fitted 1" rigid foam pressed against the back side of the pocket. This still leaves room for the weights and you don't have to use expensive tape balances.

  • WWSD

    Warm weather shut down comes to mind. I've used a remote bulb temperature controller (looks like an aquastat) to start the boiler and pump. I mounted it on the wall in the boiler room and set it at around 70, and extended the bulb through the outside wall. The east, or northeast side works best, it anticipates sunny mornings and gets cooled off as sunset happens on the other side of the house. Connect it to the boiler thermostat connections.

  • Frank_3
    Frank_3 Member Posts: 112
    Wirsbo QuikTrak

    Somebody else mentioned the Wirsbo QuikTrak in this thread and then it didn't get brought up again. If you're not already past the stage of considering radiant you should look at this again. The QuikTrak is 1/2" plywood that goes over the existing subfloor. It's not exclusively a wall-radiant product though it was suggested to me that it could be used that way as well. Since you're on the Island, go talk to Glenn Sossin at Tash Sales in Wyandanch. Bring your room-by-room heat loss with you.
  • Paul_6
    Paul_6 Member Posts: 88
    excellent post !

    My father was an old time carpenter and it was always do it right or do it over. I never got to try anything on a customers house before i had practiced it on his home to his satisfaction. when i was about 12 i got to paint the barn. i did a good job. the following summer i got to do it again. then the following summer i got to do the main house and re glaze all the windows. i'm pretty sure i went two coats on that too. by the time i was 16 i was "ready to work for a little money" and he took on a job renovating a victorian mansion that was three stories high with windows that had not seen any care in about a 100 years. I believe we saved them all. so you can see why i am really attached to my wood sash windows. thanks for the post, it brings back a lot of memories. Paul.

    PS the house had fire places in every room that burned coal. ( I washed coal dust off of trim for months) it had hot and cold water to the sinks run in lead pipe with hand wiped joints and gas lights that were fed from a methane generator in the carraige house that used farm waste. I do not remember a central heating plant of any kind, and i'm sure if there had been one it would have fallen to me to bust it up. (ask me how many dump trucks full of brick in a chimney 4 stories high, and then multiply by 17 chimneys.)
  • Boilerpro
    Boilerpro Member Posts: 410
    Been there

    Also used Boiled Linseed oil for wood prep. With weatherstriping my 100 year old winddows are very tight. Just takes alot of time for restoration. I'm nearly at year 10 for our old home.


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