Replacing cracked or broken windows doesn’t have to cost the fortune that a repair company would charge. All you need to pay for is the glass and a few installation accessories.
First, remember that when replacing windows you are working with material that can be razor-sharp. Wear heavy gloves with wrist guards. Eye protection is also important. We once watched our father attempt to remove a broken window. He accidently slashed his wrist and was taken to the hospital where he received 15 stitches. Get the point about the gloves?
Once you are adequately protected follow these steps:
1. First, carefully remove all of the broken glass.
If it is only cracked and not shattered, apply a layer of duct tape to the surface. This will hold everything together during removal. Needle-nose pliers can be used to extract pieces that may be wedged in place at the edge of the window frame.
2. Next, have a piece of glass cut to fit. The overall height and width of the glass should be 1/4 of an inch smaller than the opening.
Once the opening is clean and the glass is ready to be installed, apply a 1/8 inch bead of glazier’s putty all the way around the frame. Glazer’s putty comes in a soft claylike form and can easily be molded to fit.
The putty should be applied to the surface of the frame that aligns with the inside face of the glass.
3. Place the pane of glass in the opening and push gently along its edges in order to slightly flatten the putty. This holds the window in place and caulks the inside surface of the glass to the frame of the window.
For wood frame windows install glazier’s points. A glazer’s point is a small, diamond-shaped metal wedge used to secure the window in place. You may have seen them used to hold the backing in place on a picture frame. The points lay against the glass and are carefully driven into the side of the frame (about 6 inches apart all the way around the opening).
4. With the window in place, use another bead of glazier’s putty to seal the outside connection. Use a putty knife to form the putty into a bevel between the frame and the glass.
Although single-pane windows continue to exist, most folks have learned that it is wiser to upgrade to insulated windows. Insulated (double pane) windows are more energy efficient and less apt to allow condensation (mildew food) to occur.
These are good things. However, with insulated windows comes a price, a higher repair cost. Broken double pane windows can be replaced without removing the frame. However, to get a proper installation warranty you may wish to have the glass company perform the repair.
For tips from James and Morris Carey, go to www.onthehouse.com or call the listener hot line, 800-737-2474, ext. 59. The Careys are also on KRKO (1380-AM) from 6 to 10 a.m. every Saturday.