CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Kat Armstrong spent the bulk of Iowa’s hurricane-strength derecho gripping the storm door of her home in northeast Cedar Rapids, while her children huddled on the couch.
Nearly two years later, after contending with her insurance carrier, her 1925-built home is finally receiving needed repairs after sustaining $150,000 in damage during the devastating windstorm.
Armstrong was among about 20 homeowners who attended a free window workshop on Saturday, July 23, 2022, outside of the J.E. Halvorson House, the headquarters of Save CR Heritage at 606 Fifth Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids.
Some, like Armstrong, were still recovering after Iowa’s August 2020 derecho, while others own homes with wood-frame windows in need of maintenance and repair.
Save CR Heritage, a nonprofit that advocates to save older buildings, hosted the workshop with the Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood Association. The groups partnered in the event to aid in derecho recovery and to help homeowners learn skills to maintain their older homes.
Attendees braved the heat to learn how wood-frame windows were built to be repaired; techniques for removing paint; types of tools and materials used to repair windows and maintenance, such as glazing.
Armstrong had already connected with window rehab expert Terry Philips, of T.K. Enterprises, who led the workshop and is repairing 17 of the windows on her house, but under the insurance settlement, she will have to repair the other 10. Her son, Kyle, joined T.K. Enterprises and was among the crew demonstrating the techniques at the workshop.
“I’d rather take it slow and have it done right than change to vinyl windows and have to replace them in 20 years,” Armstrong said, noting that the repairs will return the windows to their proper fit on her nearly century-old home. “My house is going to be much more energy efficient when it’s done.”
Related: Save CR Heritage to host window workshop with newly revived neighborhood association