Replacing an Improperly Installed Window in a Bathroom Tub Area
Crystal Lake Window Installation
Some homes have windows installed in a bath or shower area. This application requires some special techniques and product upgrades to meet code requirements and to reassure long term usage of the window.
We normally don’t take on one window projects. Not that we don’t like helping these folks out, but the cost of travel and setting up for the job just doesn’t always make financial sense. We usually like to keep our minimum at 3 windows per installation. With that being said, we sometimes do one window installs. In this case, this customer has used us on several other projects so we obliged to install the one window.
This particular window installation brings up a few very important situations that occur when installing a window in a bathroom. Particularly installing a window in a shower or tub area.
The wet surface of a tub or shower can become very slippery. I think everyone at one time or another has slipped in the tub. Unfortunately these slips can be quite serious. Broken bones, back injuries, bruised muscles, and in worst case scenerios, head injuries can occur. When a window is present in the tub area a new danger presents itself. A slip can result in a body part going through the glass, breaking it, resulting in a razor sharp edge that will cut flesh to ribbons.
Most municipalities require tempered glass to be used in all windows found in bath or shower stall areas. If it is not code in your area, it is the moral obligation of your window contractor to install that window with tempered glass.
Wikipedia defines tempered glass as, a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering creates balanced internal stresses which cause the glass, when broken, to crumble into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards. The granular chunks are less likely to cause injury.
The window in this Crystal Lake home should have been made with tempered glass. It had been hit and cracked but luckily for the homeowner hadn’t been hit hard enough to break all the way through. The inside pane of glass had cracked from top to bottom of the sash. This window wasn’t just a safety hazard, when it cracked it released the inert gas in between the glass that works to insulate the inside of the home from outside temperature.
We replaced the old vinyl window with a new vinyl window that specifically had tempered glass in it for the safety of the homeowners family.
Another issue in this case was the casing. Painted wood casing (interior trim) was used when the window was last replaced, whichseemed to be about 5 years prior. The wood casing was rotting due to the moisture it is exposed to in the bath/shower area. Moisture was penetrating the trim through the seams and was getting into the wall cavity. The sill that holds the window wasn’t rotted, but it was moist, which tells us it had probably not been occuring for very long, but if left unfixed it could have lead to a rotted sill, weakened wall integrity, and possible mold growth.
When we replaced the window, we used PVC trim instead of wood. The PVC trim looks like wood but will not rot like wood and is perfect for moist, even wet areas. Our window installers also made sure that the seams, nail holes, and areas where moisture could get behind the trim where caulked well to prevent moisture damage around the new window.
All in all the new vinyl window we installed worked better than the old one. Vinyl windows have a tendency to warp slightly with age due to temperature fluctuations. Most window installation companies won’t tell you this, but we see it every day. This window was only about 5 years old, but you could tell it wasn’t opening and closing as smoothly as it should. Even though vinyl technology is better now than in years past, the truth is, vinyl is plastic and is effected by temperature. This homeowner was told this and decided to go with vinyl windows because they cost a little less. We normally recommend our InnoMaxx Composite Window, but in this case we installed a Certainteed Vinyl Window to save the homeowner a few bucks.
The final issue in a bathroom is privacy. A clear window allows the neighbors and/or passers by to peer in on your private time. Luckily windows can be manufactured with obscure glass. This is glass that has a pattern to it that lets light in but can not be seen through. Good news, folks on the outside can’t see you… bad news, you can’t out unless you open the window. But in the long haul it’s worth it to avoid any neighborhood spectacles that may occur.
Now it’s Your turn! Do you have windows that stick, are cold in the winter and hot in the summer, that don’t lock properly, or are just plane ugly and old?? Give us a call for a Free price Quote and Consultation on New windows for your home…