Replacing broken window glass can be overwhelming for homeowners. A pebble thrown by the lawnmower blade or a misdirected bird can easily ruin your window glass.
Broken glass compromises the heating and cooling system efficiency and safety. While finding a replacement window glass shouldn’t be a problem, fixing these issues should be left to a professional. Here’s an overview of how to replace broken window glass:
Remove the Broken Glass
The first step to replacing a broken window glass is to remove the leftover pieces from the frame with the broken panes. Window installation experts start by prying the hardened glazing compound, which comes off in large brittle pieces. A putty knife, chisel, or razor scraper is all you need to remove the glazing compound. Hand gloves and eye protection are required to prevent injury from broken glass pieces.
Measure the Clean Frame
Once you remove the glazing and glass pieces, clean the frame to prepare for measurement and new installation. If the frame is made of wood, you can sand it using fine-grit sandpaper but be careful not to gouge the wood. Seal the bare wood with a clear wood sealer or linseed oil using a paintbrush. Let the sealer dry before measuring the frame. Measure the heights and width to determine the correct replacement window glass dimension.
Buy or Cut Your Glass
You should use the same type of glass from the original piece to replace your window. Use the measurements taken from the step above and subtract 1/8-inch from the height and width for easy installation.
Leaving a bit of space can accommodate seasonal expansion and contraction. You can cut glass from existing stock or purchase a new one from a store. Take the measurements to the hardware store for accurate cuts.
Mount the New Glass
To mount the new glass, roll out the glazing compound into long, thin ropes about 1/8-inch in diameter. Next, push the glazing into the L-channels around the window frame’s perimeter, where the glass pane will rest. Press down the edge using a putty knife to compress the glazing as you bed the glass. Start with two glazing points at the bottom of the frame, then proceed with the other points. You should have a total of eight glazing points per pane.
Glaze the Window
Once the window is set in its groove, roll the glazing compound into long strands about 1/2-inch in diameter. Apply the glazing compound to the L-shaped space where the pane meets the window frame to cover the glazing points. Press the glazing against the wood and glass, then run the putty knife at a 45-degree angle along with the bead. The result should be a flat angled wedge between the window frame and joint. Reapply until you achieve a perfect seal.
Paint Once the Glaze Dries
You should paint the new window once the glazing compound dries. Remove any compound from the replacement glass without touching the glazing bead. Do this when the glazing is still wet. Glazing works well when slightly warm, so you can heat the compound over medium heat before applications. Drying takes 5-7 days, so don’t rush into painting before the caulking is fully dry. When painting, overlap slightly to the glass for the best weather seal.
Quality Replacement Window Glass
Replacing a broken window glass seems like a simple job but requires experience and the right tools and procedures. The process involves measurements, cutting glass, and handling glazing material.
You may also need to repair the existing frame before installing new glass. Attempting a DIY replacement isn’t advisable unless you work at a glass and window company.
The best solution is to hire a reputable local company to handle the job. Working with professionals relieves you from the stress and risks involved. The experts have the tools, safety gear, and skills needed to complete the task in the first attempt.
Hiring a trustworthy team helps you get top-quality replacement window glass and labor. Make sure you choose a local glass and mirror shop with a clean track record and growing reputation in the area.