Printed from the Charlotte Observer -
Posted: Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008

Ask window maker about installation

Do It YourselfPeter Hotton
Published in: Home & Garden

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Q. You mentioned Tru-Channel storm windows recently, and they sound pretty good. Who makes them, and when I buy some, can I install them myself?

Yes, they are quite good, partly because they are simple. Made by Harvey Industries, they are as airtight as a storm can get. Call the company to learn what to do. I have 19 of them and I installed them myself.

Manufacturers are sometimes reluctant to allow installation by an amateur, although installation projects are often farmed out to installers who are less than perfect.

Here is how I was able to install them myself. I took all the proper-size measurements to an independent lumber store, which ordered the windows to be manufactured to my specs. When they arrived, I simply took them home and put them up.

Incidentally, my installation was perfect; for 30 years the windows have remained airtight and easily moved. They will last another 30 to 100 years, and by that time I don't think I will mind a bit.

There are weep holes at the bottom of each window, as required with this type of storm window to allow the release of water vapor and to let rain water drain.

Windows fogging

Q. I had replacement windows installed 15 years ago. Now some are fogging up, and they are out of warranty. How can I have them replaced, not the whole window, but just the sash? I don't know the brand name.

Ah yes, the premature failure of double-glazed windows, and the no-name brand. I don't think they have gotten double-glazing right to this day, except for more practical double-glazing that is made up of two panes that can be separated for cleaning and repair, then resealed.

I suggest a careful look at the windows to see if you can find a manufacturer's name. If so, contact him, if he is still in business. Unable to find a name? Call a window repair firm.

Pantry moths

Q. I have pantry moths in my kitchen, and nothing I do seems to help. Can you help?

There is an old saying, it is not a disgrace to get pantry moths (or roaches), only to keep them. So you are off the hook. It isn't the moths that are trouble, it is their larvae, which make a real mess in pantries. They came in with the groceries.

To get rid of them, destroy all contaminated food and remove uncontaminated boxes, cartons etc. Then clean the shelves within an inch of their lives, and treat with an antiseptic. Also, you can buy pantry pest traps in the Gardens Alive! catalog, 513-354-1482. Ask for the Cupboard Moth Trap or the Pest-Away Trap.

Storm door insert

Q. My storm door glass insert broke. A store man said I should write down the manufacturer's name and number, and ask for a new insert. I can't find any name or number. What can I do? I threw away the frame.

You threw away the most important part of the insert. But anyway, make measurements of the opening, and take them to a hardware store that repairs storms and screens.

The store man should be able to build a new frame to your specs and insert a tempered glass insert.

Malfunctioning light

Q. A new fluorescent tube I put in my fixture does not go on unless I pass my hand close to it or even touch it. How can I fix it?

I think the ballast, if there is one in the tube or in the fixture, is defective and your hand and/or body are adding to the ballast, enough to turn the light on.

Buy a new tube. If that doesn't work, call your favorite electrician.

Peter Hotton: The Boston Globe, 135 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02107; .

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