Winter Window Tune Up

This winter is going to be long (and we should all be staying home) so here’s an idea for a cold weather project: storm window inspection and maintenance.Storms are an important part of the window system and existing ones can be maintained very affordably. I’m specifically talking about metal storm windows here. Are yours hard to use? Broken? Incomplete? Here’s what you do:

Missing pieces? Take a good look around your home. Check the basement, attic, crawl space, closets, garage, garage loft, etc. if you’re still missing panels, you can have new ones made locally at Ace, True Value, and the like. If the whole frame is missing, call Corn Belt Aluminum (these recommendations are specifically for those of you in or around Des Moines, IA).

Broken? Remove panels and take them to a local place for glass replacement, screen replacement, new tabs, new brush weatherstripping, new rubber gasket pieces that hold the glass in, etc, etc.

Hard to use? Get an old tooth brush and a vacuum and suck up the dirt, debris, and dead bugs in the tracks. Then spray tracks and tabs with spray lubricant. My favorite is Liquid Wrench Dry Lubricant that I get at Ace Hardware. Don’t be shy with it. It’s worth the $9/can or whatever in the difference it makes in ease of operation.

I’m happy to answer questions! Yes, I restore and maintain original windows for a living but storms are such an important part of the system that I’m happy to dispense free advice about them.

Have fun!!

Don’t Paint Your Window Hardware!

This is related to windows but really about painting. Planning any DIY interior painting projects this winter? Pro tip: (and comment from an irritated window preservationist) REMOVE your window hardware before you paint. Or cabinet hardware or door knobs or whatever. It’s sloppy and lazy not to but it also interferes with the function of that hardware. It stuns me when I see what people slop paint on as if they were badly and aggressively frosting a cupcake.

Is the hardware already painted? Don’t paint it again! Take it off and clean it up (or bring it to me and I’ll do it).

Here are some before and after shots of painted hardware and then cleaned up hardware after I’m done with it. It’s very satisfying but I’d prefer if the stuff never got painted in the first place.

Your locks especially need to work as intended. That’s what keeps your windows tight and closed and that’s what helps keep drafts out. Simple things like this keep your windows lasting and working for you for a long, long time.

Window Restoration in Des Moines Iowa

Hello, I’m Erica Simbro, the owner and sole employee of Knox Plat Windows. For six years I have been spending all of my days (and some of my nights) restoring and repairing historic windows in Des Moines, Iowa. Through my work I get to see some amazing homes in the Des Moines metro area and work with lovely, preservation minded homeowners and property developers.

Please visit my website to learn more about my work, my services and how I can help you!

I can’t wait to hear from you!