Replace or Repair? How to Decide What to Do With That Broken Window

July 23rd, 2020
What to Do With That Broken Window

Whether it’s a game of catch gone awry, someone practicing golf, or just a strong wind, some unforeseen event has left you with a broken window! Now you’re left to decide: repair, or replace? The answer is both; all broken windows should eventually be replaced, but you should also take some steps to mitigate further damage.

Short Term Repair

If the window is still intact and you’ve got a small hole or crack, it’s good to apply a piece of tape over the damage on both sides of the window, or coat it with clear nail polish; this step will help stop cracks from spreading. If it’s a larger hole or break, you can use some heavy plastic or a garbage bag to cover the hole and protect the interior space against the elements. 

These are just temporary fixes; it won’t be pretty, but then, neither is a cracked/broken window. You’ll have to decide for yourself when it’s time to replace the window, and the severity of the damage will be a factor. A small crack neatly contained with clear nail polish could be tolerable for years. On the other end, having a massive hole where the windowpane used to be is a more urgent matter—judge based on your situation. 

There’s also a difference between residential and commercial windows. A cracked window in an upstairs bathroom at home is less urgent than a cracked window at your retail store.

Window 101

Windows are made up of a frame and some glass. If your glass is broken, then you will be replacing just the glass. You don’t have to replace the frame—the whole window—unless the frame is broken or you need to replace the window anyway.

Otherwise window glass can be ordered to fit any size window. Older windows may need single-thickness panes to be replaced. Newer windows have sealed units of more than one layer of glass. Even if just one layer is broken, the whole unit has to be replaced.

If You Were Going to Replace Anyway

If you wanted to eventually install new windows regardless, then why not take advantage of the situation and do it now? Think of that unforeseen event as a motivation to get the project moving! However, most commonly one just replaces the broken glass.

Are you a DIYer?

Between YouTube videos and instructional articles, there are plenty of resources to learn just about anything off the internet, including replacing a windowpane. If you feel you’ve got the tools and know-how, you may choose to go this route and save on costs. However, an improperly done job can cost more in the long run as leaks, gaps, and drafts can lead to the job having to be redone altogether. You will probably get it done faster and more efficiently, if you let a professional do it. Handling glass is typically not a good project for amateurs.

604FixDoor operates throughout the Lower Mainland in Greater Vancouver providing emergency door and window installation and repairs. We also do non-damaging boarding up of businesses for COVID-19.

If you have any questions about this article or need some help with your doors or windows, please call us at (604) 349-3667.


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