How to Remove Aluminum Storm Windows

  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-160
What You'll Need
Ladder or stepladder or scaffold
Drill with screwdriver drill bit
Rubber or latex gloves
Utility knife
Removable tape
Paper towels
Window cleaning fluid (you can substitute 2 cups of white vinegar mixed with hot water for the cleaning fluid for greener cleaning)
Bubble wrap or old blankets (for wrapping and storing windows to prevent breakage)

Exterior aluminum storm windows protect against drafts and create a secondary glass barrier between the exterior and interior of your home. They also increase the energy efficiency of your home. By adding this additional protection you can save on your heating expenses and see a return on your investment of buying aluminum storm windows. You will see an energy savings of more than 720,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) annually.

Your exterior aluminum storm windows will need to be removed in the spring due to warmer weather. Ample storage space may be needed to house the removed storm windows depending on how many windows you have. The method of removing your storm windows can be accomplished by following the steps below. It is recommended that you work with a partner who can help you with any of the steps if needed.

Step 1 - Set Up Your Ladder or Stepladder

(If you have a single level home, skip this step.) It is recommended to start your aluminum storm window removal at the top floor windows of your home.

Make sure that your ladder or stepladder is locked into place and sits firmly on a level surface. Be careful with your footing as you climb and do not stand at the very top to work safely.

If you're not particularly coordinated, consider setting up a scaffold instead of a stepladder. You can rent the scaffolding and set it up yourself at a reasonably low cost.

Step 2 – Storm Window Removal

Using your drill with a screwdriver bit, unscrew the storm window from the existing window frame. Save the screws for re-installation in the fall by wrapping tape around the screws and then taping them to the storm window frame.

If you have removed the screws and the storm window is stuck to the existing window frame, run your utility knife around the seam between the windows to loosen the window and gently pull the storm window from the frame.

WARNING: Use care in storm window removal. Do not try to force your storm window from the frame as it can result in window breakage. You can also be injured by the broken glass. Some DIYers recommend putting masking tape in an X shape on window glass before removing it, so that the glass breaks in less pieces if it falls.

TIP: Have at least one helper nearby to catch you or call for medical help in case you fall off the ladder.

Step 3 – Clean the Storm Windows

Before storing your aluminum storm windows, make sure to clean all of the surfaces. Use either a glass cleaner or vinegar solution and wipe clean with paper towel. Allow the windows to dry completely before storing.

Step 4 – Wrap and Store Storm Windows

Wrap the removed storm windows in bubble wrap or old blankets after cleaning. They will need to be stored in a safe and dry place where they will be protected from weathering and breakage.