Broken glass windows pose a serious threat to your home, not only with the weather, but from intruders as well. There are plenty of hazards to window glass: thrown baseball, basketball, golf ball, a hailstorm where applicable, an earthquake, and other incidences. Barring these events, glass windows may last for a considerable number of years without any signs of wear and tear. However, should the unthinkable happens, these are the tips for glass repair and window repair.
Repairing a cracked window glass pane is relatively easy for smaller panes. For larger panes and other high-performance glass however, you would need to measure the exact size and determine the exact type of glass for replacement. It would be best to contact the local glass dealer for these types as well, and to bring in a sample of the broken glass pane that they may determine which type best fits your current specification. If its necessary to work on the window from the outside, make sure to have a ladder at hand for hard to reach panes. Do not forget to wear safety glasses, heavy gloves and other optional personal protective equipment (PPE) during the replacement.
Before removing the broken shards of glass, tape newspaper to the inside of the sash to prevent any fragments from scattering. The Glazier’s Points are what holds the glass in place, and you’ll need to push these points with a putty knife. Measure both ways, from the inside opening to the outside opening, subtracting 1/6 to 1/8 inch in each way. This allows for the glass to contract and expand based on the ambient temperature. Chisel out the old putty, and if necessary, use a heat gun or linseed oil to soften it up. Hold the putty knife to an angle and lip of the frame, for precision cutting evenly along the glass. This method is for wood windows.
For metal or vinyl windows, the sash is held by metal spring clips, rubber seals, and plastic/metal mouldings. These types are simpler to re-glaze, just remove the parts retaining the glass, pulling out the broken one and replace it along with new parts that hold it in place. With rubber seals, simply remove the sash and screws from a vertical end, pull the gasket around the new pane of glass, slide it in and secure the ends of it. Replacing glass with snap-out mouldings involve loosening one end via putty knife, prying it out gently, and repeat the steps for wood windows where applicable.
In preventing cracked window panes from spreading, make a small arc using the glass cutter and curve around it. Brush raw linseed as prescribed above for hard putty, and soak to soften it. Reduce condensation with your new glass panels by increasing ventilation from inside the house. Even a simple electric fan can do the trick.
Finally, consult a professional if all else fails or if it warrants with your needs. You may not have the time or skill for these applications, but a pro will make sure everything is accounted for. From the cost of labour to the specifications of the glass panel, they will make everything easier for your glass and window repairs.