Do you know how many windows you have in your house? Probably more than you realize, so understanding more about how they're put together and common repairs can be helpful. Window glazing is a confusing because it can refer to different parts of a window, that is physical windows versus the Windows operating system.
What is Window Glazing?
Let's try to clear up the confusion with this word. Here are the different ways it's used to describe objects (think nouns) and actions (like verbs) related to building and/or maintaining a house.
- Window glass is called glazing and energy efficient windows with multiple panes of glass are called glazing “systems”.
- Glazing compounds refer to the putty used to seal the glass against the front of the window frame and some of the putty will also squeeze between the glass and the frame.
- Window glazing also refers to the process of applying the putty or glazing compound to the window. The phrase you’ll hear is re-glazing a window. It starts with removing the old, cracked and missing putty. Once the putty is removed, you clean the glass and apply new putty, wait for it to harden from oxidation and then you can paint the window.
- Replacing window glass always includes re-glazing. You can do this yourself for single pane glass. With double or triple pane glass, you want the glass company to do the glazing to get their warranty in case the seal between the glass gets broken.
Window Glazing Putty, the Traditional Material
Using OldHouseOnline's diagram of a window above (hint: their Window Glazing article shows you what not to do), you can visualize each of the ways to glaze a window. Window glazing can describe part of the window … or the process of replacing the window glazing putty used to seal gaps between the glass and the window frame.
If you're planning to re-glaze any windows, you'll want to read their article on how to Repair a Wood Window in 12 Steps … so yes, this is a time consuming process that many homeowners skip because replacement windows aren't that expensive. When we bought an old beach house, the windows were in great shape. That's because the previous owner took one or 2 windows home each winter, and carefully replaced the glazing and sealed them too.
Window Putty vs Caulk
Building materials are constantly changing so it's fun what I learn when updating my blog posts. It's also true that there is more than one way to do almost any home maintenance or repair project, so here are two different videos sharing very different perspectives.
- Dave Mars shares his energy focused approach with Window Glazing Tips, to keep windows sealed so conditioned air inside your home isn't lost through gaps between the glass and the wood frame. Dave suggested you could replace the glazing with the windows still in place. I've never seen this done before so please be careful, especially if it means standing on a ladder.
- How or Glaze Windows, a video from the folks at the Craftsman Blog, illustrate what feels like a more professional job. They've taken the window out and laid it on a table making the job much easier, although they warn you it takes practice.
It was Dave who suggested you can also use caulking to achieve the same goal. Putty is easier to work with but it takes longer to harden. Silicon isn't as pliable but it dries quickly … so you get to pick which you prefer (read: Caulking Confusion: Too Many Types of Caulk).
Other Window Tips
To check out other articles we have on installing and/or repairing windows:
- Window Parts are Like a Puzzle
- Caulking Windows Inside and Outside
- How to Buy Weatherstripping
- Changing Window Sizes with Open Floor Plans
Or maybe you've got a great view outdoors and wish you had bigger windows so you could enjoy the view? That's when you want to read Changing Window Sizes with Open Floor Plans and Changing Window Sizes with Open Floor Plans.