Friday, May 27, 2011

Time for the Frosting

As most DIYer's know, not every quick fix works out.  Here's a project that I thought would be a quick fix of something that's been bothering me since we moved in.

I love keeping the blinds open in our house, but in the bathroom it's not an option.  Here's our view from the bathroom:


Yes, that's our neighbors house, specifically their 6-year-old's bedroom window.  It's safe to say he, (and anyone else), doesn't want to see what goes on in our bathroom.  This is when I thought some frosted window film would be perfect for allowing light to shine through without corrupting a 6-year-old with our bathroom habits.

During a bathroom cleaning episode I also happened to notice how dirty the window was.  I used some cleaner on the inside and realized it wasn't getting any of the dirt off.  Our windows were replaced about a year before we purchased the house and came with the easy-to-clean tilt-in feature, so it was easy to get access to the outside panel.  Unfortunately, that didn't help either.  I then realized the dirt was on the inside of the window panel, effectively out of reach of any cleaning method I could come up with.     


We already knew we have a moisture issue in the bathroom since it was discovered during our inspection that the bathroom fan vents directly into the attic.  Since the discovery we haven't run the fan once.  We usually leave the room open after showers and let it air out, but it would make sense that some of the moisture would have the potential to cause mildew anywhere we aren't able to clean.  The chances are pretty slim that a newer window would also have a leak and allow that moisture to get between the panes, but that's just our luck.

After some research online, I came to the conclusion that our window has a leak and cannot easily be fixed without completely replacing the bottom window.  Since this wasn't in our budget at the moment, (and we need to figure out if the previous owner left us the warranty information on the windows before he left), I was hoping my window film idea would mask the dirty mildew from view of anyone using our bathroom.

So, on his next Home Depot trip, I asked Mike to grab some window film that would cover the small lower window, (about 16" x 22").  The smallest size they had was 2' x 3' strip for $20, but I figured if I messed it up, it would be good to have extra.



I read a few reviews online and read the directions a couple times before I felt comfortable doing it myself.  It turns out it wasn't bad at all.  I measured the window to get exact dimensions, then used an exact knife and ruler to cut it out.  Then, cleaned the window and sprayed it with soapy water and carefully placed the film on the window.  The soapy water helped move it around a little bit so that it was easier to get in the right position.  Once it was in place I dragged a plastic ruler across to remove any left over air bubbles and stepped back to look at finished product.

That's when the hand hit the forehead.  The problem with the view was fixed and the film effectively blocked the view while also letting light in, but the mildew was more prominent than ever.   


I think my little 5 minute project actually made the problem worse!  I still keep the blinds up sometimes since it does let more light in, but the mildew is just too much to deal with long-term.


Looks like a bottom window replacement is in our not-too-far future.  FLUSH.  That's the sound of my quick fix going down the toilet.

3 comments:

  1. we had a few windows with condensation between the glass, so when we were selling our house, we priced out replacing the window. However, they were actually able to replace just the glass, and it wasn't that expensive.

    you might think about adding a vent to the fans, we were able to do it even without having access to the attic, by threading the ductwork through the soffit to the fan.

    http://buckcanuck.blogspot.com/2011/01/bathroom-exhaust-fan-finally.html

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