How Do You Temporarily Fix a Shattered House Window?

Shattered house windows can come from several sources. From bad weather to the kids (or adults) playing around and hitting them with an object or flat out falling into them. 

Regardless of the cause, it’s crucial you know the steps to a temporary fix. This is especially essential when the weather becomes a factor. Rain, cold air, and other weather issues can all enter your house and cause you to see a spike in your energy bills.

You need to know how to safely incorporate this temporary fix onto the window before calling your local window repair or replacement specialist. 

Step 1: Assess The Damage

Knowing what damage has been done to the window will be vital to understanding your next steps. This will also be true depending on the style of the broken window.

If it is a panel window with only 1 panel that has been shattered, your fix options are much more robust than if multiple panels are broken. 

Depending on the damage, you might create a simple temporary fix we will detail more about below. Still, if the shattered area is too big, you might need to make an emergency call to your window specialist and get them out to your house ASAP. 

Step 2: Keep Safe 

Remember, you are working with broken glass, so your safety needs to be a top priority. If you have them lying around, cut-proof gloves are excellent and can be bought at most hardware stores. If you don’t, try throwing on a pair of winter gloves or something else that can protect your hands from being cut by shards of glass.

Before approaching the window, look for any glass that may have popped out and landed on the ground around the window. Pick up the more significant pieces using your protected hands and clean smaller pieces using a broom or a vacuum. 

Once you have cleared the surrounding area, it’s time to put your temporary fix into action. 

Step 3: Breakout The Tape

Whether it’s covering a small hole or a larger pane of glass, tape is going to be essential in creating your temporary fix. 

You can use any type of tape, packing tape, masking tape, but duct tape has always been a temporary fix’s best friend. 

Put a small amount of pressure on the glass with your gloves on. If you don’t feel any weakness within the rest of the glass around the hole, you can treat the glass with your tape. If you feel it cracking or bending, you might have to get a larger piece of cardboard to go along with your tape if it shatters more before you can get it fixed.

For a small hole or cracked window: 

  • Double or triple layer your tape, creating a row vertically then horizontally across the damage. Be sure to cover any spider cracked, too; that is where the glass is most fragile. You can never have too many layers of tape so be generous.

For a larger hole or an entire broken pane:

  • Secure a piece of cardboard and place it onto the window. Cover the edges of the cardboard using your tape, and make sure the cardboard is flush with the window to avoid any small gaps. 

Once you have secured your tape/cardboard to the broken window, it’s time to move on to sealing your window.

Step 4: Reduce The Airflow

Now that you have covered the hole, it’s time to reduce the air from the outside that can still come in through the tape or cardboard.

The best solution to this is getting a plastic garbage bag. Your basic kitchen or curbside pickup bags will do just fine. 

Tape the plastic around the edges of the window pane so that it covers the entire window. Make sure to add enough tape so the plastic bag creates an airtight seal.

Understand that you won’t make the plastic bag seal 100% airtight (expect the area around your window to feel cooler/warmer until it gets fixed), but this will keep out most of the airflow and reduce your worry about your window possibly leaking if it rains. 

Step 6: Board It Up and Get It Replaced

If you don’t feel confident that the plastic and tape will create a tight and robust enough seel to last until you can get the window replaced, head down to your local hardware store and get a piece of plywood that will cover your window.

Place it on the outside of your house and use nails or screws to tighten it into place. Don’t worry about creating holes; they can be patched and fixed when your window replacement comes.

You have now created an excellent and tight seal that should last until your replacement window is ready or your current window is fixed.

If you need an expert team with extensive knowledge of window replacement and a fast turnaround time, call Simpson Windows & Doors or visit our website. We can help you figure out your next steps and suggest what solutions work with your budget. 

With over 25 years of experience, when your window breaks, you need Simpson Windows & Doors. 

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