As a homeowner, there is a special fear that accompanies the sound of broken glass. It’s ominous, and it will get your attention. Even if you don’t hear it happen, seeing a broken window will still make you stressed. Some of that comes from horror movies. The rest comes from knowing how important it is to have good windows. If one of your windows has been broken, you’re going to need to fix it until you can have the window replaced. This is your guide to accomplishing that task.
Before you get into fixing the window or plugging a gap, remember you will be dealing with broken glass. Take your time and mind your safety. Wear good gloves for the work, and eye protection is always a good idea. When you dispose of glass, handle large shards first. Sweep the area thoroughly, and use a shop vacuum if you have one to get rid of small chips and glass dust.
The goal is to start with a clean working space. Do not leave shards of glass even if they are securely hanging or standing. They are a hazard and can easily cut you or a repair person who comes to install new windows.
If the glass didn’t fall from the pane and is just chipped, cracked, or spider webbing, then you want to test it to see if it will hold until the window is replaced. Wearing gloves, give it a nudge and see if it gives. If it holds firm, you can treat the glass and make your life easier.
Tape is your best friend. Packing tape, masking tape, or duct tape can be placed over the cracks. This will hold the glass together and keep things from getting worse until you have a new window. Tape both sides of every crack.
If there is too much to tape it all, then you can use cardboard to cover the glass. Tape the cardboard over the glass on both sides of the window. This will prevent it from falling out later, and you can follow up on this step by boarding the window (discussed in a bit).
If you covered broken glass, remember one thing. You need to tell the window expert when they come to replace the window. They should never be surprised by broken glass. That’s dangerous.
Seal the Hole
Now that you have dealt with the glass, you want to ensure that you no longer have a gaping hole in your wall. That’s problematic. Whether you have taped or covered glass in the pane or not, you can consider the following steps to ensure that your window is sealed and protected.
Air and water are things that you want to keep out of the house. To do this, you need something that doesn’t have cracks, pores, or the general ability to leak. The most common weapon of choice is plastic. Heavy-duty garbage bags work great, but any plastic that can take a little abuse is fine.
The plan is to tape the plastic around the frame of the window so that it leaves no gaps. Make it as taut as you reasonably can. This will create an air and water seal, and you won’t have to worry about leaks.
You might be thinking that a garbage bag isn’t going to stand up well to inclement weather. You’re right. The next step deals with weather and other problems that could rip the plastic.
Boarding the Windows
Unless you can get your new windows right away and aren’t worried about the weather or animals, you want to reinforce your plastic with something a little tougher. If you happen to have shutters, they’re usually good enough. Lucky you. If not, this is why windows are boarded up.
The easiest method is to put plywood large enough to cover the window on the outside of the house. You can nail or screw it into place around the frame (don’t be afraid to pilot holes), and then you’re done. The plywood does the heavy lifting, and the plastic stops the leaks.
If the plywood solution isn’t viable for any reason, there are alternatives. You can use hurricane fabric, security window film, storm panels, or security laminate. You can even get vinyl protection that will hold up for a while. Any of these can be found at a hardware store and are designed to strop significant weather forces. They help to protect the seal that you made with your plastic, and any of these options will create a nice temporary barrier.
Get the Window Replaced
Ultimately, you need a proper window, and for that, you need professional window services. Contact Advanced Auto Glass. We have great windows that you can choose from, and we will install them at your convenience. Don’t leave boards over your windows longer than necessary. Let us handle the replacement.