This Old Erie House
By Linda Martin Community Blogger
Owners of old houses have so much in common that house talk comes easy between us. Please join in the conversation as we try to fix, restore and update our old Erie houses.  Read more about this blog.
Archive for the ‘weatherstripping’ category
Posted: October 15th, 2010

First an update on my house. I went out yesterday and bought some more Peel Away 6 to strip the quarter-round trim that surrounds the baseboards in the dining room.  I can’t put the furniture in the dining room until I finish it all up.  I sure don’t want to move that heavy old oak buffet again.  It weighs a ton. I also bought a coarse sanding sponge.  It would be nice if that took the finish off without having to use any stripper.

It hailed last night pretty good. We only have a couple of weeks before we’ll need to put the storm windows back on.  I can’t remember if they needed some TLC first.  They probably do.  Everything else stops when the seasons change.  You have to make priorities as time is running out on the to-do list for things outdoors that have to be done before winter.

In the Many Glacier Hotel I noticed the old windows in our room, which look to be original, had the ropes and weights replaced with some kind of track system. They worked good for opening and closing the windows and if you can get away with not having those voids in the wall where the weights slide up and down on each side of the window, ie fill them with insulation or foam, you get better weather proofing. It is kind of neat to have the windows with the ropes and weights working nicely but the ropes don’t last all that long and I’m tired of having to take the window trim off and replace those dang ropes. So I’m looking to slowly replace them with that track system in the future. I’m sure it isn’t cheap. But it will be a lot cheaper than replacing the windows which I’ll not do. Who wants some modern window when you can have beautiful antique originals? Not me. But I’d be willing to fudge a little and replace the rope and weight system with the track.

I was first introduced to the Many Glacier Hotel in an article from one of my “old house” magazines.  It may have been Style 1900, not sure.  It featured the lodges of the national park system.  After reading about them, I would like to visit as many as I can.  Some could be gone before too long.  Things happen, money may not be there to restore, and there is always the threat of fire.  In fact, the Many Glacier Hotel came close to burning down once in its history as did the Old Faithful Inn.

It turns out I took more photos  of the inside of the Lake McDonald Lodge (which we didn’t stay in) than I did of the inside of Many Glacier Hotel.  We were so busy going to see the sights while we were at Many Glacier and the scenery was so spectacular that I forgot about the inside.  Even so, I did love the lobby of that hotel.  The fireplace with the hanging acorn weights was pretty grand.  The view through the wall of windows was like that of our balcony, just beautiful.  The rustic and comfortable chairs were perfect to sit and watch the clouds roll by and the wildlife across the lake.

There was a long hallway between the lobby and the hotel rooms that was lined with tables and chairs for playing cards, reading and putting puzzles together.  Remember those things?  When there is no TV you have to find other things to do in the evening.  Everyone was having a good time doing what used to come naturally.  When was the last time you put a puzzle together?  There are also banks of windows on both sides where you can do nothing but look out at the view.


One of my favorite things in the evening was sitting around the fireplace.  It just felt right. Note the acorn weights dangling on the sides.  This hotel, as well as many others in the national park system were built by the railways in the teen years of the 20th century.  They wanted you to take their train to come visit the hotels.  You can see in the photo below some of the windows on the bottom left side.  There is a whole wall of those large windows. You could, and people do, sit there all day and be perfectly happy looking out the windows. The restaurants in the building also had great views.

I took a video of the inside of the lobby and did a movie trace that makes a panorama.  The camcorder software automatically stitches together frames from a video and creates a still photo.  The photos are always a little distorted but they can show a larger portion of a room when you don’t have a wide-angle lens.  See the movie tracer below.


I want to go back.  The weather wasn’t the greatest while we were there and I’d like to hike more trails and spend more time at this wonderful hotel.  Below are a couple of videos I took.  One is a video sweep of the view from our balcony of this hotel and the other is of the moose family we saw across the lake.

Below-moose family frolicking in Swiftcurrent Lake. A baby moose joins them late in the video. The video taken from our room’s balcony.

Posted: October 23rd, 2009

I finished the weatherstripping project I started and woke up the next day with the reddest eye. It would make you turn away it is so horrifying, it looks like I was stabbed in the eyeball. I don’t need a costume for Halloween, I am the costume. I must have broken a blood vessel in my eye by straining to push the button on the can of foam insulation? Like that is really hard. Maybe it was carrying the ladder from the basement. How soft have I gotten in the past couple years that I break a blood vessel just doing a caulking project?

Some thoughts:

  • I just remembered that you never seal the whole storm window.  You need openings on the bottom.  Moisture builds up between the inside windows and the storm windows and the condensation has to drain out or the wood will eventually rot on the bottom of the sill.  You’ll see those holes at the bottom of the frame on the prefab storm windows/screens and they are there for this purpose.  Keep them clear so water and moisture can escape.  I have to go back and take a thin knife and open up a space along the bottom that I sealed. Seal the inside windows all the way around.
  • I looked up what to do with my potted roses I  bought this past summer.  They are full-sized roses in barrel-like containers that I have set out in my garden.  I was debating whether to leave them out or bring them in.  I have never grown them in this climate before and being in pots their roots would be above ground level.  I did a search to see what hardiness zone we are in using my zip code and the results were:  we are in zone 6a.  That would do damage to roses in pots left out.  I decided we will haul them into the unheated, detached garage which will almost be as cold inside as it is outside but they will be out of the drying winds.  We (actually my husband will be doing this) will carry them in after they have “hardened” for the winter.  I found out that roses build up a thicker cell wall as the temperature gradually drops  so you’ll want to leave them out to “harden” and bring them in before we get down to the below freezing temperatures.  According to some forum responses on gardening being inside out of the wind will be all they’ll need (and a little water) if they have had a chance to adapt to the cold.  I hope this works. If anyone has more information about what to do with potted roses, please let me know.
Posted: October 22nd, 2009

I decided to use a foam sealant instead of the caulking when weatherstripping our storm windows. I have worked with the polyurethane foam stuff that expands and stays on your hands for two weeks (Great Stuff.) It is so very messy and not for this use as it is permanent. I tried a latex foam product a few years ago on the storm windows on the sleeping porch I liked it very much. From season to season you can just take a scrubby or a razor blade (carefully) and remove it and reapply when you put them back in. It’s white and it’s like whipped cream and washes off your hands with soap and water when your done. It takes a bit of practice to make it look neat. Paper towels, a bucket of water and barely damp sponge works well for making it look neat. You won’t be able to open the window once done or you’ll wreck the seal. But if you have to open it, it is easy to scrape off the old and add new foam.

The down side is this product is the white “fluff” when you go to remove the windows in the spring. It will brush off with your hand and then you can get the remainder off with water and a scrubby. Have a vacuum handy or you’ll have white fluff like a trail down the hall through the living room and out to the garage. This product is Dap foam latex sealant. I went to Lowes and they didn’t carry it. The worker said they stopped carrying it a year or two ago. Why? Anyway, I went to Home Depot and they had it.

The other “stuff” I’ve used that works pretty well for temporary use for the winter around windows that you don’t use in the winter is the 1/4 inch rope pliable caulking you press around the window. Anyone can use this stuff. You just unpeal a strand of the rope caulk and line it up with the edge of the window and press in down. We don’t use the window in our 1/2 bath and the thin rope is pressed around the whole window for a few years now. You can just peel it off when you want. It looks nice and neat when done properly and it was inexpensive to do, under $10 for 90 feet. I’ve seen it in gray and in brown.


I worked on the patio door with the Dap latex foam sealant yesterday and today I’m going to paint a little around the door’s trim that needs touchup. I’ll also work on the storm windows (squirting in the foam sealant) on our front porch. I think they may need a little touch up of black paint, too. The basement windows look pretty well sealed up still. Hopefully I’ll get a lot done today because the forecast is for rain and colder temps the next several days.

Posted in: weatherstripping