Temporary Fixes For A Broken Window In Winter

Posted on: 12 December 2015

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A broken window in winter can lead to climate control problems as well as frost on the inside of the pane. Getting glass replacement as quickly as possible is important, but help can't arrive instantaneously. Assuming that you have to wait for any amount of time, it's a good idea to fall back on one of these temporary fixes. 

Cracked Glass

Temporarily fixing cracked glass is easy because all you'll have to do is seal the crack to keep out the cold air. To do this, you'll need masking tape and scissors, and something to wipe down the window. The procedure goes like this:

  1. Wipe down the window with a microfiber cloth, so the masking tape will have a clean surface to adhere to. Don't push hard on the glass as you clean, because you don't want to break the glass further. Clean the glass inside and out.
  2. Cover each leg of the crack with masking tape. Use scissors to cut each length of the tape.
  3. Push down on each section of tape just enough so that the tape is firmly in place on the glass.
  4. Go to the other side of the window and repeat steps 1 through 3.

Shattered Glass

If the glass is shattered, you'll have to remove the broken pane to prevent it from becoming a hazard. Then you'll use heavy-duty double-layered plastic to keep out the worst of the cold. You'll need:

  • Work gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Tarp
  • Hammer
  • Trash can
  • Heavy-duty garbage bag
  • Staple gun or packaging tape

Here's the procedure:

  1. Put on heavy-duty leather work gloves and eye protection.
  2. Place the tarp beneath the window to catch any falling shards.
  3. Wearing the work gloves, pull out the broken shards. You may need to use a hammer to gently knock out one or two shards first. After this, use your gloved hands to pull out the largest shards and place them in a trash can.
  4. Fold the heavy-duty garbage bag over once or twice until it fits into the window pane.
  5. Use the staple gun or the tape to secure the garbage bag to the window pane.

For extra protection from winter weather, cover the entire window in weather-proofing shrinkable plastic, or wrap the garbage bag around a layer of bubble wrap before attaching it to the window pane. This will help create insulation from the cold air as you wait for the window repair person to arrive.

With this done, your home will remain protected from the elements while you wait for help from your glass replacement professional (such as one from Jesse's Tri-City Glass & Mirror Inc).