Advice on storms needed

besides charging nicely for them, any advice about cleaning/removing them would be appreciated.

Here where I don’t have true triple tracks I remove every piece and clean them on my easel. If they haven’t been removed in several years you could have some stubborn panels that will require some force to remove. Be extremely careful when exerting any pressure on the panel as the pane can break and older storms aren’t usually tempered so you could get seriously hurt. Also if the panel has a crack in it I always let the homeowner know it could very possibly break so they don’t expect me to replace it.

I actually have a waiver for storm window damage. Its never happened to me, but apparently the storms can crack and crumble under the seals where you can’t see the damage.

Yet another thing I learned from my brief stint with Fish lol

Old storm frames tend to come apart when you’re pulling them out so I always test them in the tracks before I fully remove them. NEVER exert more pressure on just one side or try to wiggle them out, you’ll just end up paying to replace them. And if you come across the old fashioned wood frame exterior storms (lots of farmhouses here in VT!) RUN AWAY! And learn to carry wd-40. In the 12 years I’ve been washing windows, I have broken 2 storms and one small pane. Learned my lessons early!

Save yourself the time and decrease your risk of breakage by not taking them out of the tracks. This is how we do it. We remove all screens and make sure both storms are in the upper position.
we start outside.
Clean bottom sash.
Move inside storm down into window sill, leaving top in the track. Clean inner storm.
Move upper storm down into window sill, most of the time you will need to lift the bottom storm up. It takes some practice getting used to holding the bottom storm up while unlocking the upper storm.
Clean top sash.
Clean upper storm.
I’ve posted a much more detailed description somewhere in the past so you could search for that. We clean hundreds of true triple tracks every week so we have plenty of practice. If you don’t have alot of them in your area then you may be better off just taking them out.

Jay - you’re assuming he has true triple tracks. Once you get away from the east coast they become very rare.

Jay- I have tried it that way , and sometimes do it that way when screens/storms won’t come out, but it seems to take way too long and I can do a much more thorough job if I take them out. Plus, we get alot of bugs building nests in tracks so it’s good to have them cleared out. Our method is we all start together pulling windows apart, one person does storms and the other is doing interior first then exterior( we come across alot of old frames that tend leak when we do the interior. this way we avoid dripping on clean glass). Of course, it all depends on the job! I would say about 75% of our storms are triple tracks and the rest are either the old school wood framed or the white Anderson nightmares. And then there are Pellas…trying to phase those out!

No Tony I am not assuming anything. If you read my entire post you would have seen this part of it,

[B]I’ve posted a much more detailed description somewhere in the past so you could search for that. We clean hundreds of [U]true triple tracks [/U]every week so we have plenty of practice. [U]If you don’t have alot of them in your area then you may be better off just taking them out.[/U] [/B]

My mistake. It was late when I read it. I totally spaced that part. Sorry.

It does take a bit longer when you first start out doing it the way we do it. I go through it at the start of every season when we train new guys, most guys will get the hang of it within two weeks. We get the bugs in the tracks as well, we move the storms into the sill so the only part of the storm in the track are the little nubs at the top. We use a leatherman or a small screwdriver to get the debris out of the tracks. One good way to get used to cleaning true triple tracks with the storms in is to leave just the upper storm in. After your used to moving one around from the outside it makes it easier to learn to move both storms from the outside. We come across alot of old frames as well, we don’t drench our soakers when we clean the interior and follow right behind the squeegee with a huck to prevent drip through. I think we are down to two or three houses that still have the wood framed storms.

Thanks for the tips Jay :slight_smile: I’ll give it another shot at my next job. I don’t do much tall ladder work or steep rooftops anymore since I tore my acl skiing this winter so it might be easier trying it your way on the ground level! BTW: what part of Boston are you in? My dad was from Dorchester; spent alot of time there and on the Cape when I was a kid. Whenever I walk down Comm Ave near Fenway I always say what a sweet route that would be!

Try removing a few 1st floor Comm Ave storms, Michele, those things can be huge
6ft by 4 ft each, and probably being held up by a rusty nail and the power of prayer. No fun , believe me

I’m in Dedham just outside of Boston, its under 10 miles from my house to Fenway. I had some relatives that lived in Dorchester till they escaped to Bangor, ME.

maybe it’s just a mental block or ignorance on my part, but I just can’t see myself saving time and matching quality by shuffling. You have to be inside and outside no matter how you do it. Why not take the storms out and work on them on a flat, firm surface while you have someone clean the inside of the double hungs first like most seem to because of the drip-thru issue.
We did a house with 40+ dh w/storms last week and it worked out fine that way.

How long did that house take you to clean? Where they 1 over 1’s with storms or where they cutups? If they were 1 over 1’s w/storms, first and second floor, we would have that done in 3 hours. We run three man crews. If we do get a drip through you can usually get it by just moving the sashes and reaching over. I will at some point in the very near future get this on video. Its hard to explain in writing since I’ve been doing it this way for eleven years its second nature.

Escape is the right word!

On second thought, no thanks! They always look beautiful!

I would be interested in watching that vid, Thanks man

Most were 12/12s, some 6/6s. In addition we did I think 22-12 pane dormers, 8 pella casements-7 with inserts, and about 20 other assorted panels. I had a crew of 4 with my main guy leaving an hour early to finish up a commercial route. All told- about 27 man hours.

Hey Dan,
Homes like that chew up the time and fast. I am still in that category as well. Just can’t bring myself to use sprayway and squeegee these multi million $$ homes. Nuttin against sprayway and it’s results, just that the customer views they are getting what they are paying for. Just me man.

I hear you. Your words carry considerable weight considering some of the mammoth houses you knock off.