Repairing or Restoring Old Glass: Tips for Homeowners

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Five Critical Items That Can Help If You Need to Make a Temporary Fix to Your Broken Window

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If you have broken a window, you can make a temporary replacement until the emergency glass repair person comes out to help you. There are a range of ways to ensure the rain and snow stays out while you wait for your emergency glass replacement. Regardless what you decide to do, check out how these five items can help you:

1. Clear Nail Polish

If you only have a small hole or ding in your window, try filling it with clear nail polish. Alternatively, if you have a kit to fix chips in windscreens, you can safely use that on chips in your home's windows.

Either of these techniques will prevent the chip from spreading until the repair person comes to replace your window pane.

2. Packaging or Duct Tape

If you have a crack in your window pane, nail polish or windscreen ding fillers will not be enough to fill it. However, you can hold your glass together and prevent it from cracking further by applying tape to the crack. If possible, apply a large strip of packaging or duct tape to both the inside and outside of the window. To make sure it is tight, smooth it out with your hand to get rid of air bubbles.

3. Heavy Duty Work Gloves

If your entire window has shattered, you need to remove all of the glass before you can even put on a temporary replacement. To ensure your hands and arms don't get scratched and cut by the glass, wear heavy duty work gloves and a long sleeve shirt.

Once you have the appropriate safety gear on, in most cases, you can simply lift the shards out of the window piece by piece.

4. Masking Tape

If you are having trouble removing the broken pane of glass by hand, cover it with masking tape. Then, tap gently in the center of the pane, and the pane with all of its shards should slip out of the window frame, while conveniently held together by the masking tape.

If it doesn't come out automatically and easily, run a chisel around the edge of the frame to loosen the glass from the putty.

5. Tarp

Finally, if you have removed the entire pane of glass, you can make an emergency temporary window with a bit of tarp. Pull the tarp tautly over the missing window pane and use tape or a few small nails or tacks to hold it in place. In lieu of a tarp, you can use a plastic trash bag.