Glass is a staple in every home, but we all know it has one big downside: it can easily be broken, instantly transforming an everyday fixture into a major safety hazard. Unfortunately, a wayward cricket ball or footy smashing your window is a pretty common occurrence in Australia. In more sinister circumstances, windows are often smashed to gain access during a break-in.
Storm season poses yet another hazard to our windows. Blown-away branches and large hail are some of the causes of smashed windows in bad weather, leaving your home at the mercy of the elements.
Yes, it’s a pain to deal with repairing or replacing broken glass – but if you’re in this scenario, don’t panic! This article will shed light on the most frequently asked questions about repairing window glass.
How Do You Fix A Smashed Window?
Minor window cracks can sometimes be repaired with epoxy, but if there is glass missing or the window is smashed, there aren’t any quick fixes. Fixing a broken window involves removing the broken glass and installing a new pane to the existing window frame.
Replacing smashed window panes is a task that should only be performed by professionals. As well as the risk of physical injury associated with glass, it’s easy to accidentally crack the new panel or surrounding windows in the process.
Improperly installed window panes can sabotage your home’s energy efficiency and lead to higher power bills in winter. Incorrect installation or caulking can also cause leaks, moisture retention and mould damage.
But if you’re wondering how to repair a smashed window, these are the steps involved in making your glass look as good as new.
- First, your contractor will determine exactly what type of glass is needed to repair the window. Not all glass is created equal, and it may be a good opportunity to install energy-efficient glass or safety glass.
- Next, it’s time to measure the height and the width of the window opening. Most glaziers will carry standard-sized glass panes ready to insert immediately, but if the dimensions are unusual, it may need to be cut to size. The replacement glass will need some space for the glass to expand or contract during the seasons, so you should always subtract ⅛ to ¼ inch from the measurements.
- The broken glass and old glazing will need to be removed. Safety is critical at this stage – including thick safety gloves and face protection. Typically, a hammer or other tool is used to carefully crack and remove the remaining glass. The frame may also need to be sealed or primed at this stage. Any existing nails or glazing points will need to be taken out.
- Once the old glass and moulding are removed, it’s time for the new pane of glass to go in. Glazing points are used to keep the glass against the pane but are invisible once the replacement glass is installed.
- Finally, a silicone sealant or window glazing putty is applied. Using a putty knife, the wet sealant is smoothed at a 45-degree angle away from the glass. This forms a slope and allows water to slide off the window. Let the putty dry.
Your glazier or glass repair professional will thoroughly clean up the area – eliminating any dangerous shards – and dispose of the broken glass safely.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair Window Glass?
There many factors that influence the cost of window repair. This includes the extent of the damage, the size of the window, and the type of glass that needs to be replaced.
Replacing window glass costs between $35 to $350 per m2, depending on the type of glass required. Glaziers usually charge between $60 and $100 per hour, plus the cost of materials. More experienced professionals tend to charge higher rates.
Simple single-pane window replacements can be completed in under an hour, whereas multiple windows or glass sliding doors will take longer to repair. These prices are rough estimates, and your local professional can provide an exact quote for you based on the scale of the repairs needed.
For emergency window repairs, labour costs can be between $100 and $150 per hour. Glass repair professionals are available on-call 24 hours a day, but if you can’t get someone out to fix your window urgently, you may be able to temporarily cover the broken window until your appointment.
Is It Cheaper To Replace Glass Or The Whole Window?
It’s often a misconception that the entire window needs to be replaced if there’s a crack, hole, or signs of damage. But the truth is that complete window replacement is rarely required.
Instead, you can save money by replacing the glass and keeping the existing frame. It’s generally cheaper (and quicker) to replace the pane of glass rather than the entire window.
Small cracks can potentially be sealed with epoxy, though the window’s performance may not be up to scratch. However, most commonly, window repairs involve replacing the pane of glass rather than the entire window frame.
If the window frame itself is damaged, though, a total window replacement may be necessary.
How Do You Cover A Smashed Window?
Replacing the glass in a smashed window is the best option, but it can be impractical to get a professional out immediately. Don’t worry – there’s a quick fix to patch your window until you can sort out a permanent replacement.
- Don a pair of heavy-duty work gloves, then feel the broken area carefully to test its stability. You can press the cracked glass gently to make sure it doesn’t fall out.
- If the glass is still whole, carefully place strips of clear packing tape over the crack. You can smooth the tape with your fingernail to remove air bubbles.
- For very tiny hairline cracks, you can patch the cracks using clear nail polish. Layer the nail polish in small amounts, giving time for it to dry between coats.
- If the broken area has missing pieces of glass, remove the shards carefully. Then measure the hole or crack that you need to cover.
- Cut out several layers of clear plastic using your measurements. Tape the plastic layers over the hole or crack with clear packaging tape.
It’s a good idea to keep pets and children away from a damaged window until the glass can be replaced, since it’s often unstable and can easily shatter further. Avoid touching or bumping the glass as much as possible, and have a glazier install a new pane as soon as possible.
Does insurance cover broken window glass?
Most home insurance providers cover broken window glass, but it all depends on your policy’s specific terms and conditions. For example, most insurers only cover accidental breakage, including sporting accidents or storm damage.
In most cases, you should be covered for the costs of glass repair or replacement under your homeowner’s insurance. If the glass cannot be replaced without installing a new frame, the entire window replacement will be covered, though you may need to pay an excess.
Glass fixtures covered by home insurance can include windows, doors, skylights, shower screens, and fixed mirrors.
Need a damaged window repaired at your home or business?
Jim’s Glass is the reliable choice for glass repair and replacement across Australia. Our expert glaziers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When you call Jim’s Glass, you know you’ll get the highest standard of work – with a lifetime guarantee on glazing, you can feel confident that every window we install is up to scratch. If you need your broken glass fixed ASAP, call 131 546.
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