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Storm Window Removal Guide

To remove a storm window, identify if it’s inside or outside-mounted. Locate and remove retention clips or screws for inside-mounted windows, then gently lift out the window. Find and remove fasteners, release the frame, and lift it out for outside-mounted ones. If there’s a sealant, cut it away. But, always prioritize safety throughout the process and seek helping hands if necessary. 

The purpose of storm windows is to protect the house from bugs, rain, and other adverse weather elements when they occur. But off the seasons, these panels can be a pain. It’s worse when these old storm windows affect the appearance of an otherwise beautiful house. 

I remember buying my first home with poorly maintained panes and wooden storm windows. I was on the fence about restoring or replacing them, and I knew that whatever option I eventually settled for would still require me to take out the storm windows. It dawned on me that taking out storm windows can be tricky, especially if you’ve not done any window-related fixes before. With the help of a professional installer, I took out the storm window successfully.

Removing the frame of these panels will require you to do some work from both the inside and outside of the window. And once you remove them, you can either replace them with modern ones or use a completely different panel design for the house.

In the rest of this article, I will walk you through the step-by-step process of removing storm windows. Meanwhile, the best approach will depend on what type of storm windows you have. 

Types Of Storm Windows And Their Removal Pattern

storm window removal guide

Storm windows are usually in three types: interior storm windows, temporary storm windows, and exterior storm windows. The table below presents a rundown of the main types of storm windows, their design, and the particular steps to removing each. 

This should help if you’re in a hurry. But I encourage you to continue reading for a full guide on the entire process. 

Storm Window TypeMaterial/Design Removal Process
Interior storm windowsCheap, lightweight plastic, acrylic, or glass inserts. Some are simple panels; others are units framed in vinyl or fiberglass. Some attach with magnets; others via compression.Gently pry the interior storm window away from its frame using a putty knife or similar tool. Start at one corner, carefully work around it, and lift it out.
Temporary storm windowsAvailable as single acrylic panels that fit inside a window’s pane. Features insulating films that attach to the window’s interior face with adhesive tape.These are typically adhesive or magnetic. Removal is simple: peel off the adhesive or detach magnets from the window frame. Clean any residue left behind, and they are ready for reuse or storage.
Exterior storm windowsAvailable in various configurations, standard window sizes, and wood, aluminum, or vinyl frames. However, they’re poor insulators because they heat up quickly.It requires removing screws or clips and securing them to the primary window frame. Use a screwdriver to disengage the fasteners, then lift the storm window.
Wooden storm window framesThey are used mostly in older homes. They expand and contract during hot and cold temperatures, influencing how tight they fit. There are newer vinyl- or aluminum-clad wood-frame options. Screws or hinges often secure them. To remove them, carefully unscrew or unhinge each attachment point using a screwdriver or similar tool. Lift the frame out gently to avoid damaging it.
Lightweight vinyl storm widowsThey are constructed with stabilizers that prevent sunlight from adversely affecting their strength.They are usually held in place with clips or fasteners. Detach these clips or fasteners by hand or with a screwdriver. Slowly pull the vinyl storm window away from the frame, being cautious not to damage it during removal.

You can now see that removing a storm window can vary slightly depending on your specific type of storm window. In the rest of this article, I will provide a general step-by-step guide that should cover most scenarios. 

Pro Tip: Safety should be a top priority during this process, so take your time and be cautious.

Tools You Need For Storm Window Removal

Here are the materials you need for the procedure:

  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Safety gloves for grip and protection of your hands
  • Ladder (if necessary)

Storm Window Removal: Step-by-Step Guide

storm window removal guide

The first step is to prepare the area. Clear the area around the storm window inside and outside to ensure easy access. Then, put on safety gloves and goggles to protect yourself.

Remember, you must first determine whether your storm window is inside-mounted or outside-mounted. This will affect the removal process.

Inside-Mounted Storm Window Removal

Step 1: Locate and remove the retention clips

Look for retention clips or screws securing the storm window in place. These are typically located on the sides or top of the window frame. Using a screwdriver or drill, carefully remove the retention clips or screws. Place them in a safe location to avoid losing them.

Step 2: Release the storm window

Gently push or pull the storm window to release it from the frame. It may have a slight spring tension, so be prepared for some resistance.

Step 3: Lift out the storm window. 

Carefully lift the storm window out of the frame. If it’s heavy, you may want someone to help you.

Outside-Mounted Storm Window Removal

Step 1: Inspect the exterior frame.

Examine the outer frame of the storm window for screws, clips, or other fasteners holding it in place.

Step 2: Remove fasteners.

Remove any screws, clips, or fasteners securing the storm window frame to the exterior frame using a screwdriver or drill.

Step 3: Release and lift out the storm window

Once all fasteners are removed, gently push or pull the storm window frame away from the exterior frame. Then, carefully lift the storm window frame and the attached glass or screen from the outer frame.

Step 4: Check for sealants. 

If caulking or sealant is around the storm window, carefully cut it away using a utility knife.

Pro Tips: 

  • If you’re not reinstalling the storm window immediately, secure the window opening with the appropriate cover or sealant to keep out drafts and weather. 
  • If you’re unsure about any step, it’s best to contact a local installer to get it done. 

Old Wooden Storm Windows Removal Guide

In my experience and from what I observed from various homeowner online forums, many people are more inclined to remove old wooden storm windows than other types. If this is your case, remember that these windows are hung by hooks at the top of the window frame. To remove them, 

  • Step 1: You unhook the hook at the bottom of the window sill.
  • Step 2: Push them by the sides of the frame.
  • Step 3: Tilt them out and lift them off the hooks.
  • Step 4: Tilt them sideways to fit diagonally through the window.
  • Step 5: Bring them through.

It’s not always easy removing wooden storm windows from the inside, so it’s best done from the outside. Meanwhile, if it’s not on the ground floor, you need a ladder, which makes it a little more challenging, especially without helping hands. 

Is It Ideal To Remove Storm Windows?

storm window removal guide

Removing storm windows may be ideal depending on your specific needs and the weather circumstances of your location. 

Removal is a reasonable choice if the storm windows are damaged, outdated, or give the house a bad appearance. However, storm windows can provide added insulation and protection from the elements, so if you live in a storm-prone area and want to protect your windows from storm damage, it’s not ideal to remove them.

Can Storm Windows Be Removed From Inside? Recommended Method? 

Yes, you can remove storm windows from inside, especially if they are sliding triple-track aluminum designs. You will need to remove them one pane at a time. Here’s a step-by-step process for doing that:

  • Step 1: Slide the window to open a crack.
  • Step 2: Press on each side of the frame to find the spring-loaded track and remove the piece.
  • Step 3: Remove the screen. You need to be cautious not to drop the upper window.
  • Step 4: If possible, have someone help you hold the top piece in place while you remove the screen.
  • Step 5: Slide the upper half down about an inch and remove it.

If your storm window is the indoor single-pane design, you’ll need a plier or screwdriver to turn the tabs so they seize from holding the window in place.  

If you plan to reinstall the storm window later, store it safely to protect it from damage.

Final Thoughts 

Storm windows can provide added insulation and protection from the elements. Still, if they are damaged, outdated, or hinder the aesthetic appeal of your home, you’ll see reasons to remove them. 

When removing and cleaning storm windows, label them so you will know where each piece goes when replacing them. 

Remember to wear eye protection, long sleeves, and leather gloves. Also, the job will be easier if you have someone help you during the process. 

FAQs

What are the tools needed for safe glass panel removal from storm doors?

To safely remove a glass panel from a storm door, you’ll need a screwdriver to remove screws or clips securing the glass and a putty knife to pry the glass from the frame. It would help if you also had safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself.

How do you remove storm door screens without damage?

To remove screens from storm doors without damage, start by opening the storm door and locking it in place. Locate the retainer clips or screws securing the screen and carefully remove these fasteners with a screwdriver. 

Finally, push or pull the screen out of its frame gently. Remember not to bend or tear the screen material during removal.

Author

  • Jake Alexander

    Jake is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania who enjoys writing about science and sports. When he's not writing for Temperature Master, he can be found watching the NFL or playing basketball with his friends.

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