We have been trying to get a window restoration company, glazier, carpenter, builder etc to help us repair our steel frame windows. The main issue is that there is rust which is pushing out the old putty and allowing rain water to enter the house.. as well as cracking some of the glass. Due to not having any luck getting a trade in to restore the frames, can anyone advise the best mthod to get the frame suitable so we can then get a glazier in to put new thicker glass in?
I also have concern over the debris thats behind the glass that needs cleaning out too along with the rust... ideally do not want to take glass out to do this as its a long wiating period to get a glazier in to repair...
Any help or recommendation would be great
Location: Melbourne Northern Suburbs
I'm not sure if this is a helpful comment or not... But my recommendation would be that the best outcome for you is to replace the window entirely.. Or at least investigate the cost comparison.
In my opinion, the rust you are experiencing will continue to be a problem, and I don't think you will be able to ever fully overcome it.. Additionally, with old windows, condensation will always be an issue, which is likely the cause of the rust. (To fully restore the metal, you would need to rust-treat every single surface, including down in all the pockets, nooks and crannies... and then properly re-coat the metal)
Even if you eventually find someone to repair the window, it will likely cost more than replacing the window entirely.
From the photos of the cracking, the glass appears to be "float glass" (single pane of glass, likely 3mm thick) - If you do replace the glass only, my suggestion is that you replace the glass with laminated glass - for safety (ie: won't shatter if broken), and also performs better thermally and acoustically. (There are also lots of different types of laminated glass, some perform better than others).
From my own experience, I tried to have older windows serviced and repaired, but in the end I replaced all the windows in my house with new aluminium..
Hope this helps.
Thanks So much for your reply Jaga! really appreciate your insight ...
We had a few quotes on new aluminium window installs for the house which would be about $30k which is well beyond what we can afford unfortunately.. this is really why we are trying to work out a way to keep the frames and get the new glass installed like you mention above.. Its a very challenging aspect of the house maintenance ...
from what you mention above, the current glass would need to be removed to get into every section of the frame, correct?
Yes, I agree that the whole exercise can become very expensive, no matter which way you go about it..!!
Yes, the glass would need to be removed to get to every section of the frame - but please note that getting to every surface means every single square millimetre of metal - otherwise if water can touch any part of the metal, then rust will re-occur.
To properly coat metal, there are certain techniques and products that are used by professionals - such as electrostatic painting - This is a painting technique that uses "magnetic" particles in the paint, to adhere to the metal - effectively it "seeks out" the metal and you get adequate coverage.. - But this is expensive, and I doubt its very very common for refurbishing residential windows... - (here is a short youtube video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_jPSUsiu3o)
Still, my recommendation stands regarding glass replacement - ie: laminated glass, in lieu of float glass.
Thank you for sharing your question about restoring steel frame windows.
It's great that you've received excellent advice from @jaga. Looking at the photos you posted, I agree that repairing it would be quite involved. Unfortunately due to the rust inside the steel frame, the only way to fix it is to remove the old putty in front of the window, slide the glass out and use a Josco 3 Piece Drill Brush Kit to remove all the rust.
However, if the damage is very severe no amount of rust removal will work. Your other option is to do a window by window replacement. Replacing the most damaged windows first will fix the immediate problem. When the budget allows, you can then proceed to fix the next window.
Putting any sealant inside your window will only accelerate the rust as moisture will get trapped between the inside of the frame and the sealant. Please keep us updated.
If you need further assistance, please let us know.