What Are Glass Block Windows?
As the name implies, glass block windows are transparent squares that combine to form a whole window. The glass block is really just clear rock, pure silica; each one is either 7.75×7.75 inches or 5.75×5.75 inches and can weigh between 3 to 4 pounds. That weight is an important factor when installing your glass block window. The glass can be completely transparent, include an etching or design element, or be opaque to guarantee privacy.
Why Use Glass Block Windows?
There are a number of advantages to glass block windows, particularly when installed in your basement. First, it’s important to know that glass block windows allow for as much natural light in your basement as conventional windows. In addition, because the glass block windows are comprised of solid squares, they cannot be broken, either deliberately or accidentally. Unless they have been installed incorrectly, leaving the possibility that the whole window could be knocked in from its frame, they are virtually burglar-proof. Baseballs, soccer balls, even golf balls can’t shatter them. Ground-level windows in Wisconsin are exposed to significant snow build-up and flooding, and block glass windows are much more durable. They also provide great energy efficiency and insulation. They are soundproof and fireproof. Glass block windows are a terrific choice for your basement.
How to Install Glass Block Basement Windows?
Warning: Remember that glass block windows can only act as a part of your security system if they are correctly installed. Any inappropriately mounted basement windows could still be kicked in, so if you are unsure about the procedure or just want to ensure that it’s done absolutely right, call the experts at Accurate Basement.
Follow these steps:
- Remove existing window frame – Cut the bottom of the frame and pry it out with a crowbar. Next, loosen the sides of the existing window and pry the top of the frame away from the opening.
- Clean and smooth the opening – Including sills and jambs, chisel off all old adhesives, caulk, and mortar. Brush the now cleared window perimeter to prepare for adding the glass block.
- Setting the panel – Screw a wood block to the underside of the sill plate to keep the glass block window panel from tipping inward.
- Install the glass block window – Set the glass panel in place with the bottom resting on two wedges. The bottom of the panel will tend to slide inward, so have a helper inside!
- Level the window – Center the window panel in the opening. Then raise itl until it’s 1/8 to 1/4 in. away from the sill plate by tapping the wedges inward. Level the panel by laying a level across the wedges and adjusting them.
- Mortar in the panel – Pack mortar into the gaps under and alongside the glass block window panel. Pack the bottom and smooth the curb first, staying away from the wedges. Allow time to harden to the touch before you begin on the sides. Remove the wedges after 2 to 5 hours and mortar in the gaps.
- Caulk around the window – Seal the gap between the glass block window panel and sill plate—both inside and out—with caulk. Wait until the surface of the curb has hardened to the touch before you begin to pack the sides.
- Clean away excess – Remove any excess mortar from the glass with a rag or steel wool. Be careful that you don’t scar the mortar since it has not yet fully cured (that takes about 2 weeks). Lastly, use a soft brush to clean the sill and area around the glass block window completely.
Your glass block window is in! Now enjoy it.
Contact the professionals at Accurate Basement Repair (414) 744 6900