A shattered glass window – perhaps because of your child’s over-enthusiastic baseball practice game or a pebble ricochetting from your lawnmower blade – is a normal part of homeownership. The only solution is to repair broken window glass as early as possible. Or, replace the window completely if the damage is beyond repair. 

It’s advised to repair or replace broken window glass asap. It will restore your home’s safety and energy efficiency. You cannot have a broken window jeopardizing the security of your home and your loved ones.

The correct way to repair the glass breakage will depend on whether you have a single-pane window or a multiple-pane window. Want to know which type of window you have? When it’s dark outside, shine a light on the window from the inside. A double-pane window will show two reflections – one next to the other. A single-pane window is easier to repair than a double-pane window as the cracked or missing pane can be removed and replaced in simple steps.

What does a broken glass window repair involve?

broken window at home

This home improvement project can be a bit challenging with multiple steps. You must make sure that you follow them precisely in order to properly repair the broken window glass. 

Repairing a broken window glass usually means replacing it with new glass. Here, we’ll demonstrate how to replace the glass for a single-pane window.

The work entails removing the broken glass pane along with the existing putty and glazing points, repairing and cleaning the window frame if required, applying new putty, and installing new glass pane, putty, and glazier points.

How to repair broken window glass: The steps

Wear safety gear

A DIY project that involves glass needs complete eye protection with safety glasses and thick gloves.

Remove the broken glass and hardened glazing

Carefully remove the glazing compound from around the broken glass pane with a putty knife, pliers, or a thin flat-head screwdriver. Pull out the glass pieces. Gently scrape the compound that is stuck to the wood. Pry out the glazing points or tiny fasteners (embedded in the wood) that pin the glass into the frame’s recess.

Clean the window frame

Scrape down the L-shaped channel around the wood frame with a chisel or razor scraper – without gouging the wood. Smoothen out the wood with a fine-grit sandpaper. You may seal any bare wood with a clear wood sealer or linseed oil using a paintbrush. Let it dry completely.

Measure the window frame to buy new glass

Take the window measurements (height and width) – measuring to the outside edges of the L-shaped channels. Now, subtract 1/8-inch from each measurement to accommodate the glass size. The reason for the under-sizing is that the window installation is easier and the slight gap provides sufficient room for seasonal expansion and contraction.
Now, visit the local hardware store and buy glass cut to the size. You may cut your own glass from a large sheet of stock glass using a glass cutter

Mount the pane of glass

Make thin ropes measuring 1/8 inch in diameter of the glazing compound. Now, insert the ropes into the channels that surround the window frame. Secure the new piece of glass in place. Use the tip of a putty knife to gently press down around the glass’s edge, slightly compressing the glazing compound and embedding the glass pane.
Drive in the glazing points into the bottom of the frame, into the wood, with the putty knife. Install additional points, two on each side. You can expect to install eight glazing points for a wood frame window pane. Scrape off any extra glazing compound.

Glaze the window

broken glass

Form ropes of the compound – this time about 1/2-inch thick. Apply these to the space where the glass meets the window frame, over the glazing points. Press down the compound against the glass and wood as much as you can with your fingers.
To create a flat, angled wedge along the junction between the glass and the window frame, slide the blade of a putty knife along the glazing compound while holding the knife at a 45-degree angle. Apply a little more compound if you see any gaps in it, then use the putty knife to smooth the joint once more. Keep in mind that a slightly warm glazing compound is easier to mold. The goal of glazing a window is to seal it in place with a compound on all four sides.

Let the glazing cure

Let the soft glazing compound dry and harden over time. The exact drying time will depend on the manufacturer’s recommendation. It could take anywhere from 5 to 7 days.

Paint the window frame

Once the compound hardens and dries completely, paint the window frame and glazing with exterior-grade paint. Clean the glass after the paint job.

Last thoughts

A majority of homeowners have faced cracked window glass at some point or another. In addition to allowing the elements inside your house, broken windows pose a security risk. And therefore, the breakage needs to be addressed quickly. Fortunately, it’s easy to repair broken window glass if you know how. That’s where this easy guide on window glass repair will come in handy.

A step-by-step guide on how to repair broken window glass was last modified: January 12th, 2023 by Ramona Sinha
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