A Step-by-Step Guide to Repairing Window Glass

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From time to time, window panes can become damaged, either from specific incidents or daily use. In some cases, for example, children playing outside inadvertently break windows by throwing balls or other toys. In other situations, however, window glass can start to crack from extreme weather, being slammed shut repeatedly, or expansion and contraction of window frames. As a general rule, it is best to hire a professional contractor to repair damaged or broken window glass. 

If, however, you are curious about the process involved in window glass repair, you are in the right place. As you continue reading, you will find a helpful step-by-step guide that will teach you precisely how to fix windows. Remember, though, trying to repair window glass on your own without prior experience can do more harm than good in the long run. 

      1. Remove the shattered pieces of glass – The very first step to repairing broken windows is to remove any shattered pieces of glass to make the window safe enough to work on. In some cases, the only way to get rid of all of the glass shards is to remove the sash altogether. Once you’ve gotten the biggest pieces of glass, use a wire brush to eliminate small shards and other debris from the frame. 
      2. Apply oil to the window frame – Oiling the frame is an essential part of the window repair process. Linseed oil maintains the flexibility of putty, reducing the frequency with which you will have to re-caulk any given frame in your home. For best results, make sure you allow the linseed oil to soak into the wood for at least a few hours before continuing onto the next step.
      3. Add window putty – After the oil has been given ample time to soak in, it is time to add putty to the frame. It is important to use the palms of your hands to warm-up the putty and make it pliable. Once you’ve done this, use a putty knife to spread a thin layer around the entire frame.
      4. Put the new pane in the frame – The next step in the repair process is to put the new pane in the freshly oiled and puttied frame. The pane should be no more than an inch smaller than the space it needs to fit into. As you carefully press any new window glass into position, it is important for a small amount of putty to squish around the edge to help secure it. Finally, use a chisel to add glazier’s points every four to six inches on the glass.
      5. Add the final strips of putty – Once the pane has been adjusted, add thin strips of window putty on all four sides where the glass and the frame meet. Again, make sure you use your hands to warm the putty prior to applying it. This is the final step in the windowpane installation process.

Although the process of putting in a new window pane might not seem difficult, there are a number of things that can go wrong if a qualified professional doesn’t handle the job. The Hatch Homes team regularly performs window installation jobs throughout the Carolinas. You can trust our skilled crew to do the job right, leaving you and your family safe and comfortable for years into the future. 

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