How to reseal a double-pane window

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How to reseal a double-pane window
Silicone caulk is often used to reseal a double-pane window. (window and lanterns image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com)

Double-paned windows are unique in that they are composed of two separate glass panels set in a single, shared frame. This assembly holds certain advantages over traditional window types. The panels of a double-paned window are less than an inch apart, trapping non-toxic gases that actually improve insulation. As a result, this feature is also effective in filtering street noise. An airtight, waterproof sealant such as silicone caulk will effectively reseal the window and insulate the interior of a structure.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Caulk remover
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Damp cloth
  • Silicone caulk
  • Scissors
  • Wire or nail
  • Caulking gun
  • Smoothing tool

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Treat the existing window seal with a commercial caulk remover. Apply the solvent according to the instructions on the label and allow it to dissolve the sealant for the appropriate waiting period.

  2. 2

    Cut the old seal with a utility knife and allow it to come loose. Pry the remainder from the window frame, using a putty knife until it is completely removed.

  3. 3

    Wipe the seams of the double-paned window frame with a damp cloth to clean off any loose residue or dirt. The target areas must be free of contaminants that could trap air when the new sealant is applied.

  4. 4

    Prepare a cartridge of silicone caulk. Cut the tip from the nozzle with scissors and puncture the seal inside, using a stiff wire or nail, then load the cartridge into a caulking gun.

  5. 5

    Dispense a bead of the caulk no more than 1/4 inch thick directly into a seam between the window frame and the wall. Draw the tip of the gun along the length of the seam and apply an even seal.

  6. 6

    Glide a smooth, flat tool over the caulk for a neater seal, such as a craft stick or plastic spoon. Repeat the same procedure for each side of the window frame and allow the silicone to cure for 24 hours.

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