How To Temporarily Repair a Broken Window

Written by Posted On Thursday, 12 December 2019 11:36

Broken windows usually result from sudden, unexpected events that may not always occur at a time when you can immediately receive assistance to make permanent repairs. However, there are some steps you can take to temporarily repair your broken window until it can be permanently repaired or replaced. 

1. Take Safety Precautions

Broken glass can cause injuries to you, your family and your pets or damage your property. Before you begin making repairs, protect yourself by wearing a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, sturdy shoes, heavy gloves and safety glasses. Gently press around the broken area to test how loose the glass is in the pane. If the glass seems likely to shatter or fall out of the pane, you may need to remove all of the glass. 

2. Prevent Cracks From Spreading

If the glass is sturdy but cracked, you can stabilize cracks to prevent them from spreading. Cover the cracks on both sides of the glass with clear packing tape. Gently smooth out the tape to remove any air bubbles. 

3. Patch Holes

Inspect the window, paying close attention to areas where cracks intersect. If there are any small holes or pieces of missing glass, you can patch them to help stabilize the crack and prevent drafts and leaks. Apply a thin coat of clear nail polish to the holes. Allow the polish to dry and then apply another layer. Repeat this process until all the holes are filled.

4. Remove Unstable Glass

If the window has areas of missing glass that are too large to patch or the glass feels unstable when you press on it, you will need to remove the glass. Using heavy gloves, carefully lift out the glass shards. 

5. Safely Dispose of Broken Glass

Glass shards thrown in the trash can cause injuries to you or trash collectors. To safely dispose of your broken glass, first, wrap it in cloth and then gently break it into smaller pieces. Place the pieces of glass in a sturdy cardboard box and cover it with more cloth. Securely tape the box shut. Write, "Danger! Broken Glass!" on a piece of paper and tape that paper to the box. Place the box inside your garbage bin on collection day. You may want to make sure your garbage collectors accept broken glass before you do this and check to see if there are any glass recycling facilities in your area. 

6. Cover Large Holes

After you have removed the broken glass, you will need to cover the holes. It may be safer to cover the entire pane, rather than just the area with missing glass. If the broken window is on an upper floor, you can cover it with layers of thick plastic. Plastic made for this purpose can be purchased at most hardware stores. However, sturdy trash bags can also be used. Trim the plastic to fit your window and then secure it with clear packing tape. If your window has a wooden frame, you may be able to use a staple gun. If the window is on the first floor, you may want to cover it with sturdy boards, secured with nails, instead of plastic. This method can be more expensive and time-consuming but will provide you with better protection from potential intruders.

7. Repair or Replace Windows

If your window glass has turned foggy, the muntins are broken or the window frame is damaged or rotted, it may be better to replace your windows than to repair the broken glass. Repairing the glass can sometimes be cheaper, but may be less energy efficient and lead to problems down the road. A window replacement professional can evaluate your damaged windows and recommend the best course of action.

A broken window can be a safety hazard that can lead to injury or property damage. Taking steps to temporarily repair the damage can reduce your chances of injuries, leaks, drafts and other damage while you wait for permanent repairs.  

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