DIY Series: How to Install Windows

by Cheney Hines

If you live in an older home, the presence of lead in your paint and asbestos in the walls can be a serious problem. These substances were commonly used as recently as the 1970s, before we realized how dangerous they were. Chips from lead paint or airborne fibers from asbestos can lead to blood poisoning, respiratory issues and even cancer. When you replace a window in your home, you need to be careful about exposure to dangerous substances such as these.

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning from paint flakes and chips is a danger to both adults and children. It can create permanent health issues and can result in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders in young children. It can also cause high blood pressure, fertility issues and even kidney damage.
Nearly three quarters of all homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint somewhere in the structure. The older the home, the more likely you are to have problems with lead. If your home was built more than 35 years ago, you should have your home tested for the presence of lead. Consider calling a lead abatement company to help with the process of testing and removal.

When Preparing to Remodel

As you begin your remodeling process, fix any problems that may have caused paint to chip or flake to begin with to prevent future issues. Clear your work area to avoid exposure to lead dust. This means move out all furniture, bookcases, shelving units and the like.
Shut off your air conditioning or furnace. You don’t want lead paint debris blowing around in the air! Cover all ducts and registers to keep lead dust from getting in your air system. Cover and seal your windows and doorways with one-mil poly.

Removing and How to Install Windows

A window consists of five parts: The sill, well, jamb, stops and sash. To remove the window, use a spray bottle to mist the surface of the window. This will help to minimize dust particles in the air. Cut any joints that are painted. This will help to avoid paint chipping. Go step by step to get the sash free, carefully removing any needed parts. Then take out the window sash.
You should now be free to install a new jamb liner and sash. Using aluminum coil stock, which is available at any home improvement or building supply store, cover the blind stop and window well.

Clean Up

Be informed and safe. When your job is done, perform a thorough cleaning with soap, water and a good cleaning agent. Vacuum any areas that may contain dust using a cleaner with a HEPA filter. Always cover your face to avoid breathing in airborne fumes.
Do not uncover windows, doors and vents until the cleaning is completely done. Wash your tools thoroughly to remove lead dust from them, and do not forget to clean yourself! A good shower is essential to get any lead off of your body.
Are you in need of lead abatement services in your older home? If so, give us a call today. We are ready to help!