High Windows and Unmovable Storms


OK,I admit it,I’m a potential customer, not a cleaner. I was routed to this site by a search engine, and I’ve enjoyed reading posts. BTW, I agree - don’t sell yourself cheap or let people take advantage of you.

My Question #1 - I’ve been looking at houses with windows that go all the way to the roof. Cleaning them myself would be out of the question, of course. Do you charge a great deal more to clean those? Seems to me you would have to.

Question #2: Our present house was built in 1970. Yeah, aluminum storms. :tired_face: Some lower ones have plastic sliding latches that broke off before we moved here 5 years ago. The tops, however, have NEVER had any latches and appear to have been designed to be unmovable. And the screens (bottom windows only) also have never had any latches. I’ve been able to remove them only because they are somewhat flexible and I can get a putty knife or the like in place to work them out.

Surely someone here has seen this type of storms. Can you tell me how I might remove them? We’re considering replacing some of them, but until that time, I’d like to get the years of grime off them. I know no professional window cleaner is going to touch this.


If you can post pictures, it would help tremendously.

Granted, my experience is in NE, VA and KY so not sure the design, but I’ve yet to run across a storm window that wasn’t designed to come out unless someone made it permanent, ie paint, caulk or screws.

You say the lower storm has latches, if there is a screen directly behind, it could be supporting the upper storm. Also I have run across types where the storm simply fits into a slot in the frame, and you’d neet to push up on it to bring it in.


You can see from the last picture (I hope they uploaded in the order I took them) that there is a thin frame strip that the upper storm rests on. I took the screen out for that picture. The screen fits into that strip by sliding under it, on the outer side, if that makes sense. I can force the screen out, as I said, but I’ve found no way to get that upper storm out, and thus I can’t clean the outside of the inner window. And believe me, they are filthy!

And thank you SO much for replying!


Ok that’s an easy one.

The upper storm is sitting on an aluminum crossbar. It feels ‘permanent’ due to all the accumulated dirt in the upper and lower channel. When we come across this type, I just sort of ‘pinch’ the glass and wiggle it up into the top slot, then pull inward once there is clearance of the middle bar.

Alternatively, if the storm frame hasn’t been painted or caulked shut, the whole thing can be unscrewed from the outside.

It’s a horrible design, not one of my favorites but fortunately pretty rare.


Tried it briefly and there was a tiny bit of movement, but not nearly enough, and I couldnt move it further. I’ll try it again, but I’m going to have to figure out what I can use for a tool, as I couldn’t do much with my bare hands. Maybe just put on rubber gloves??

Thank you so much for the information! I’m going to continue following that track.


You have to shove it up pretty hard, they can be stubborn. Just don’t break it and cut yourself. If you do manage to get it out, clean the channels out with a stiff brush and spray some silicone lube in there so it goes back in easier.


Great! I’m going to pick up some of the WD-40 lube. Regular WD-40 actually helped previously getting the windows themselves unstuck, but I realize the lube would be better.

Thanks again!


That may be a permanent storm, ran across some the other day. The top storm is permanent and the bottom screen and storm come out. I very dumb design, because you can’t full clean the top window. I’ve only ran into these type of storms twice in 25 years.


DCBrock is correct! I put on rubber gloves and used a small putty knife was able to get a tiny bit of movement. I slipped the putty knife, then a screwdriver (carefully) in and was able to move the upper window a bit. However, I think the only way I’m going to be able to remove it safely is to get the screwdriver in there again and have someone hold it while I go outside and work the window up and out. But this will require a ladder (ground floor but just high enough that I need a ladder) and reasonably decent weather, so I haven’t done it yet.


Try using a Skreen Out Screen Tool???
You be able to pull them out easier??


If they’re anything like the ones I’ve come across, they only come out from the INSIDE, so you’ll have to ‘pinch’ the glass from inside and pull them toward you once the center channel is finally cleared.

Horrible design, fortunately we don’t encounter them too often.