What is this stuff on my windows?

graywings123September 7, 2009

I took the leap and removed two of my wooden sash windows to scrape, prime, and repaint while the storm windows are on order. Among the products I purchased was glazing compound, since what was there looked pretty bad, was missing in areas, etc.

As I'm working on the windows, I'm coming across something in some of the joints and in the glazing compound area. It is a soft waxy product, similar in consistency to a bar of soap, but a little softer. What is this stuff? It is light tan in color.

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Is this on the inside or the outside? Maybe someone tried to "repair" this problem previously with the wrong product and it's deteriorated. I thought maybe it could be interior latex caulk that wasn't moisture proof, but hard to tell from your description. At any rate, it sounds like something that shouldn't be there and should be scraped away and removed.

Also, exercise good hygiene working around old putty as it may contains lead: it would be a good idea to use latex gloves and not raise dust that you could breathe in.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 2:15PM
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Thanks Kudzu9! This stuff is on the outside of the sashes, used in place of glazing compound and also as a wood filler on the face of the wood. It's not caulk. I'm guessing it is some kind of hobbyist oil-based modeling clay.

I don't really need to know what the product is. You have answered my question - whatever it is, it's not supposed to be there.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 3:46PM
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Some areas of this stuff have dried rock hard and cannot be removed by scraping. Other areas remained soft over the years, possibly due to being coated with paint. What a mess to deal with.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 6:37PM
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LOL Graywings! Reminds me of when my grands ( there are 4 in that family) were gathering to leave via the back door....one kid says "ewwww! there's poop on the floor!"...the next says "That's not poop! It's chocolate!" another says "I don't know...did you smell it?" and the first says "Eww...I'm not smelling it! you smell it11'
Finally saner heads prevailed, and my daughter stepped in with "Poop or chocolate! It's not supposed to be there! Clean it up!"
So I say....whatever is in the joints of your windows...poop, chocolate, modeling clay or putty....clean it out!
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 6:48PM
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A heat gun can be a big help in removing old, dried out window glazing.

Just be sure that you don't burn the wood or break the glass.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 10:19AM
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Sounds like it could be mastic putty which hasn't cured. It should be left to cure before painting. Before glazing compound, putty was used for windows.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 1:09PM
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