How To Replace A Broken Window: A Comprehensive Guide

Last updated: May 3, 2023


To ensure the security of your home, it is vital you secure the entrances, which include the windows. Replacing a broken window can be a daunting task for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. However, with the right tools and a step-by-step approach, you can successfully replace a broken window with ease. 

In this guide, we will walk you through the entire process of how to replace a broken window, including assessing the damage, choosing the right replacement glass, and ensuring a proper installation.

Assessing The Damage

Before diving into the process of how to replace a broken window, it’s crucial to assess the damage to your window. This will help you determine the severity of the issue and whether a full replacement or a simple repair is necessary.

  • Inspect The Frame And Surrounding Area: Check for rot, cracks, or warping in the window frame. If the frame is severely damaged, you may need to replace it as well.

  • Examine The Glass: Look for cracks, chips, or shattered pieces. If the damage is limited to a small area, you might be able to repair it. However, if the glass is shattered or the cracks are extensive, a full replacement will be necessary.

Choosing The Right Replacement Glass

Selecting the appropriate replacement glass is vital to ensure your new window is securely installed. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  • Type Of Glass: There are various types of glass available, including single-pane, double-pane, and even triple-pane options. Double-pane and triple-pane windows offer better insulation and energy efficiency.

  • Safety Features: For added safety, consider installing tempered or laminated glass. These types of glass are designed to withstand impacts and will not shatter into dangerous shards if broken.

  • Energy Efficiency: Low-emissivity (Low-E) glass can help reduce heat transfer and lower your energy bills. This type of glass has a special coating that reflects heat while allowing light to pass through.

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Materials

Before you begin the window replacement process, gather the necessary tools and materials. You will need the following:

  • Replacement glass (cut to size)

  • Glass cutter (if trimming the glass)

  • Putty knife

  • Glazing points

  • Glazing compound

  • Window caulking

  • Tape measure

  • Gloves

  • Safety goggles

  • Hammer or pry bar (for removing old glass)

Removing The Old Glass

Once you have assessed the damage and gathered the necessary tools and materials, follow these steps to remove the old glass:

  1. Put On Safety Gear: Wear gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes from broken glass.

  2. Remove Glazing Points: Use a putty knife to carefully pry out any glazing points holding the broken glass in place.

  3. Remove The Broken Glass: Carefully remove the broken glass from the window frame, using a hammer or pry bar if necessary.

  4. Clean The Window Frame: Use a putty knife to remove any remaining glazing compound or debris from the window frame. Make sure the frame is clean and free of any obstacles.

Installing the New Glass

With the old glass removed, follow these steps to install the new glass:

  1. Apply Glazing Compound: Apply a thin layer of glazing compound around the perimeter of the window frame using a putty knife.

  2. Place The New Glass: Carefully place the new glass into the frame, ensuring it sits evenly within the frame.

  3. Insert Glazing Points: Use a putty knife to press glazing points into the frame around the glass, spacing them approximately 8-12 inches apart. These will hold the glass in place while the glazing compound dries.

  4. Apply More Glazing Compound: After inserting the glazing points, apply a second layer of glazing compound around the edge of the glass, smoothing it with the putty knife to create a neat, clean seal. Ensure that there are no gaps or air pockets in the compound.

  1. Clean The Glass: Use a clean cloth to remove any excess glazing compound or fingerprints from the glass.

  2. Caulk The Window: Apply a bead of window caulking around the perimeter of the glass where it meets the frame. This will help create a watertight seal and improve energy efficiency.

  3. Allow Time For Drying: Allow the glazing compound and caulking to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the product used.

Finishing Touches And Maintenance

After the glazing compound and caulking have dried, follow these steps to complete your window replacement project:

  1. Inspect The Window: Ensure that the glass is securely in place and there are no gaps or air pockets in the glazing compound or caulking.

  2. Paint The Window Frame: If desired, you can paint the window frame to match the surrounding trim or to provide additional protection against the elements. Be sure to use paint that is specifically designed for use on windows and trim.

  3. Clean The Glass: Give the glass a final cleaning to remove any dust, debris, or fingerprints.

  4. Maintain Your Window: Regularly inspect your window for signs of damage or wear, and address any issues as they arise. This will help prolong the life of your window and ensure optimal performance.

Understanding How To Replace A Broken Window

If you are looking to work on your home security yourself, it is vital to know how to replace a broken window. Replacing a broken window can be a challenging but rewarding project. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can effectively assess the damage, choose the right replacement glass, and install the new glass with precision and confidence. With the proper tools, materials, and attention to detail, your window replacement project will result in a beautiful, functional, and energy-efficient addition to your home.

Learn more about the importance of Installing an outdoor home security camera today to keep your home and family safe. Visit Security Forward to learn more today.

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