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How to Replace Insulated Glass Windows?

by MyNextHouseProject
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replace insulated glass windows

A Complete Guide to Replace Insulated Glass Windows

Too lazy to call the handyman to get your damaged insulated glass window fixed? Don’t worry. After reading this article, you can perfectly replace the insulated glass window.

Replacing window glass panes had been quite easy a few years ago. 

However, with the advances in technology, there are now many different qualities of glass available. And you may feel overwhelmed while replacing a certain insulted window.  

You might even end up ruining the windowpane permanently if you aren’t good with your hands.

But, the process of replacing insulated glass windows is not a hard nut to crack. With the right procedure, you can easily replace an insulated glass window. And save tons of bucks. 

All you need to do is follow our guide, and you are good to go.

In this article, we will tell you how you can figure out if you can replace insulated glass windows yourself. Or whether you would have to get some help from a pro.

How to Begin? 

First of all, you need to remove the sash which contains the damaged or fogged glass. 

Now that you have successfully removed the frame take it to a window specialist to check the manufacturer. And the type of insulated glass window you have. 

To ensure good advice, make sure the specialist you visit is a credible one and someone who wouldn’t rip you off.

Once you know the manufacturer and the type of glass, you can check whether your glass is still under warranty. 

If you do have a warranty, there is no need to spend money or time on the replacement process. 

Simply claim the warranty for a new window.

Here, I must mention that in some instances, the warranty for any future damages to your window is void if you have opened the whole frame up yourself.

If the glass isn’t under warranty, you can ask the specialist for the price of the repair process. And get a quote on how much it will charge for a professional to come and fix it. 

Usually, pros demand a lot of cash if you ask them for at-home service.

Once you have the cost of repair at your hands, you can make your decision wisely.

Do you want to spend a lot of money getting your insulated glass window replaced? 

Or do you want to try picking up the tools and taking the responsibility yourself?

Manufacturers install glass windows in frames using three basic methods. 

These are as follows.

  1. Gasket seal method
  2. Adhesive tape seal method
  3. Caulk seal method

If you want to DIY replace insulated glass windows, the process will be different for each method. 

Don’t worry; we are here to guide you.

vinyl insulated glass windows

What Tools Do I Need to Replace Insulated Glass Windows?

Make sure that all the main tools required for window replacement are at your disposal. Thus, you do not have to take a break in between to get one of the tools. 

Forgetting tools in the shed while working can be very frustrating. So, take a few minutes to go over everything you need.

The main tools that you’d need to replace an insulated glass window are: 

  • A screwdriver
  • Caulk gun 
  • Drill 
  • Dust mask 
  • Hammer 
  • Pry bar 
  • Utility knife 
  • Gloves 
  • Goggles 
  • Heat gun 
  • Glass setting tape 
  • New insulating glass unit  Silicone 

Now let’s walk through the replacement process. 

1.  Gasket Seal Process to Replace Insulated Glass Windows

The gasket seal process is one of the easiest to work with. The assembling procedure is not very technical. 

However, remember that this process is most vulnerable for glass to get damaged or taken apart. 

The insulated glass edges are placed into a gasket, usually made of neoprene or vinyl with all four corners secured with screws. 

To perform this process, follow the given steps. 

Step 1 

Disassemble the frame by loosening the screws at diagonal corners.

Step 2

Use a small block of wood to remove the glass from the frame by tapping on to the vinyl gasket.

Step 3

Remove the vinyl gasket from the old frame and place it around the new insulating glass window.

Step 4 

Now push the new insulating glass window carefully, leaving no corners out.

Step 5

Fill in the corners with small beads of silicone to avoid the gathering of moisture within the windowpane.

By following these five steps, you can easily replace your existing insulated glass with a new one. 

All you need to do is be careful not to damage the vinyl gasket.

replace insulated glass window

2. Replacing Insulated Glass Windows with Adhesive Tape Seal 

In some instances, you will find that the windows are stuck together using double-sided adhesive tape. 

The frame, usually made of vinyl or aluminum, is easily removable. 

It is because the tape is placed between the frame and the glass, leaving out a small place for you to put in a sharp object. A knife, for example. 

A knife will help cut through the adhesive tape and take the window frame apart.

Step 1 

First, you will have to take out the vinyl stops with the help of a small utility knife. You will need to slice the blade through the edges of all four sides to take out the stops entirely.

Step 2 

Now, flip the window over. You will see a layer of tape on the edges that is visible once you remove the vinyl stops. 

Then, use the utility knife to slice through the tape bond.

Step 3 

Since adhesive tape can sometimes be stubborn to come off, you will have to make sure that no leftover adhesive is stuck to the glass.

Step 4 

Install the new layer of tape around the edge of the frame. 

Be precise and stick the tape in a straight line. Or you will have to do this step over again.

Step 5 

Use setting blocks to place the new insulating glass in place. 

Be careful while placing the glass because once you put it in place, the adhesive will stick to it. 

Correcting it can lead you to do the complete process all over again.

The process of using adhesive tape to repair the insulated glass can be a bit complicated. 

You will have to take care of the glass while removing stops as even a little bit of carelessness can bend or break the stops. 

The double-sided adhesive tape that you use has to be of the exact dimensions for the insulated glass to stick to it like it did when it came out of the box. 

Moreover, if the insulated glass frame is a bit bigger, be sure to ask for a hand.

replace insulated glass windows

3. Replacement Through Caulk Seal 

Frames that are put together with the help of a caulk seal are one of the trickiest to repair. 

The main problem arises when you try to take it apart. 

The insulating glass that you want to remove is glued to the frame. 

The stops at the edges may also have been caulked. 

That is why it is incredibly tricky to cut through the caulked seal using a knife.

Thus, you may end up having to shatter the window and take out the glass bit by bit.

Step 1 

The first step is simple. Try removing the stops using a utility knife or a putty knife.

Try to avoid damaging the glass and swiftly pry out the stops. 

Step 2 

Flip the glass window and use a utility knife to cut through the caulk, holding the fame together. 

In all honesty, it probably won’t budge, but you can still give it a try before having to break the window.

Step 3 

Now, turn over the window again. 

The step is inevitable in the case of a caulked seal. 

Cover the glass with a piece of cardboard and tap it with a hammer. 

You will need to smash the glass but to avoid any injuries, try using a bit less force.

Step 4 

Once the glass is shattered, pick out the glass pieces. 

Be sure that you have removed all of them. Be extra careful with the smaller ones. And also, do not forget to wear gloves while prying out the glass.

Step 5

Using a layer of silicone beads on the corners, put the new insulated glass in place.

Once the glass is in place, layer the backside of the stops with a thin layer of caulk. Gently push the frame together.

Wooden frames usually get cracked when you are trying to pry out the glass pieces.

Therefore, if you can manage, try using a heat gun to soften the adhesive. This way, the glass pieces come out quickly.  

Wrapping It Up

All three processes of how to replace the insulated glass window are simple. They require a bit of effort, but there is nothing too complicated about it. 

If you have the right tools, the process will not be frustrating at all. 

Once you successfully repair your insulated glass window frame, you will realize the amount of money that you have saved. 

However, if you still find the process of replacing glass windowpanes difficult after reading this guide, you are better off calling a professional to do the job. 

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