It could be that the neighbourhood kids were playing baseball, perhaps you were moving some heavy furniture, or maybe a big storm put an object in your window that shouldn’t be there – either way, you now have a broken window!
The repair will vary depending on the age of your window, but we’re going to assume that your windows were built and installed within the last 25 years. Of course, if your windows are 60 years old and made from wood, your experience will be much different.
Broken Window Glass is Dangerous
Broken glass may be obvious, but there’s plenty of other damage that can occur that may not be so easy to see. Inspecting a broken window can be very dangerous if the glass has been compromised, so make sure you take the proper precautions to stay safe.
Once glass is broken, especially if it has an actual hole through the glass, it’s important that you don’t move the window around too much. The glass shards may be large and could cause serious damage if they were too fall on you.
Some windows are designed to shatter in place in order to absorb the damage and avoid large shards of glass. These windows are strategically placed throughout your home for safety reasons (example, in a stairway or above a bathtub!). However, depending on the age of your window, this may not be the case.
Determine the Damage
Windows are more than just a piece of glass in a frame. There’s the jamb, frame, sash, trim, counterbalance and window stops to consider. There’s also the mechanism used to remove the window glass from the frame.
When your window is broken, it’s important to determine if the damage is just the glass, or if part of the frame or jamb has also been compromised. Look for signs of cracking or breaking around the entire window. If the window no longer operates smoothly, regardless of the break, there’s obviously a problem.
As you pull the window apart, the damage will become apparent. The best-case scenario is that the glass itself is the only thing broken, and everything else is fine. If the frame and mechanisms are broken it may be more cost effective to buy a new window rather than attempt a repair.
Repairing a Broken Window
If you are just facing some broken glass, there are ways to repair a window without the expense of buying a new one. The glass can be removed from the frame in place, without compromising the window installation what-so-ever, however it’s a little easier said than done!
This is where things can be a little complicated. With double pane glass, it’s usually held in place with an air-tight adhesive that you’ll need to separate from the window and material. Depending on how the frame was built, you may need to remove some screws. You’ll want to look at tutorials for your exact window to ensure you’re not breaking the window even more.
If you’re able to get the glass out, it’s just a matter of ordering a new sealed double pane of glass to fit in place. You’ll need to measure properly, and when re-installing you’ll also want to make sure you’re using the right adhesive to keep the window sealed and in place. If all goes well, you can just put the new sealed unit in the hole, and you’re done!
Of course we always recommend using a professional where you can, as window work – especially custom work – can be complicated. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll help answer your questions in any way we can!