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May 1, 2019

How to Patch or Board Up a Broken Window

At Atlas Glass, we know that life can throw a lot of unexpected surprises at you. Broken windows are one of those nasty surprises, and they can be inconvenient to deal with if you don’t have the time to replace it or have it fixed right away. In order to keep the inside of your home safe from the elements, especially in the colder and rainier months here in New Zealand, you need to either patch or cover the broken pane (depending on the severity of the damage) until you have time to call in a professional.

So, without any further ado, here’s a quick guide on how to patch or cover a broken window from your resident window experts here at Atlas Glass!

Repairing a Chip

If your window has been chipped by a stray piece of gravel or something similar, then you might not necessarily need to replace the entire pane (unless you want to return your window to an entirely seamless appearance). In this case, your main priority should be preventing the chip from spreading into a crack, which can happen when windows flex in New Zealand’s varying temperatures.

Chips can be sorted relatively easily with some clear nail varnish or some clear drying super glue. First, clean the window thoroughly. Next, layer on the varnish or super glue where the chip is located until the gap appears flush with the rest of the window. This fills the gap enough to prevent it from spreading into a crack.

Keep in mind that this is a structural fix more than an aesthetic one, so although your window will remain intact and continue doing its job against the elements, the area where the chip was will still be visible.

Sealing a Crack

The next level of damage from a chipped window is a cracked one which is, unfortunately, a lot more inconvenient to deal with. Modern glass is designed to hold its shape when other sections of the same pane break. However, if your windows are older, then the crack will most likely spread quickly and create more problems for you. Thus, your biggest priority is once again preventing the spread of damage.

Assessing the crack damage

There are a couple of things you want to assess before you decide how you’re going to treat the crack.

Firstly, is there any loose or missing glass?

There might be a crack in the window, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s any missing glass. Ever so gently push on the area where the crack is to make sure it’s not going to fall out and shatter while you work. If there is missing glass, your best bet would be to cover the entire pane with a wooden board while you wait for it to be repaired.

Next, how big is the crack?

Depending on the size of the crack, you’ll be able to patch the window in different ways. Assess the crack size and how much water and draft it is likely to let into your home. Intuitively, a larger break means more cold air and rain, while smaller cracks mean less.

Patching the crack

Once you’ve got a better idea of how severe the damage is, you can approach patching it in a few different ways:

  • Clear packing tape can be used to seal the length of the crack, but only if you are able to access both sides of the window. Taping only the inside of the damage leaves the tape’s adhesive vulnerable to rain and cold, which makes it far more prone to coming off, thereby ruining the seal. If you use this method, make sure to get rid of all the air bubbles by scraping them out, so that the tape forms the best possible seal.

Plastic. If you are unable to reach both sides of the window, or if the damage is more severe, then you should grab a few sheets of clear plastic or a couple of garbage bags. Measure out your window and add about 3 centimetres of length each side, then cut out squares of plastic to place over the opening. Use a staple gun or nails to secure the sides of the plastic over the window. This plastic will act as your protection against the

  • elements until you can get the window replaced.

Boarding Up a Broken Window

The last method for sorting out a cracked or broken window is to cover it with a wooden board, which is the most secure and effective method for keeping the warmth in and the rain out.

First, measure out the width and height of the window pane, and then cut a piece of wood to that size. Then, slot the piece over the frame of your window and nail it into place, making sure that the entire setup is secure before you leave it to withstand the elements. If you’re able to access the outside of the house safely, then it’s a good idea to do this on both sides. However, if that’s an impractical choice then only boarding up the inside is fine as a temporary fix.

The very last step is to call your resident glaziers to come and take a look so that you can have your window back in full working order. They’ll be able to give you advice on the best options for replacing your broken window, as well as an indication of the pricing and timeline for its repair.

Get your broken window sorted today!

With Atlas Glass, your resident Auckland glaziers, you can be sure that the job will be done quickly and painlessly. We’ve been in the business of windows for over 40 years, so we’ll be giving you the best advice and the best price on your window repair. Contact us today for a free quote!

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