How to Repair and Replace your Cracked Window Glass Pane

How to Repair and Replace your Cracked Window Glass Pane

By Richard Jennings

When you have a cracked or broken window, it could be an open invite for thieves to break in. So, if you have the budget, your best option for repairing and replacing your window glass pane would be to call for an emergency glass repair service. Most of these companies operate 24/7 so you can have a broken window in the middle of the night and still call for assistance.

On the other hand, if the damage is not that serious and you prefer repairing the window glass pane yourself, then it is best that you have a guide that you can use for your project. Follow our steps below so you can efficiently repair and replace your cracked window glass pane.

What to do before repairing the glass

Before you even start the repair process, you should check the cracks and see if you can repair it yourself. If the glass has been significantly damaged, then the repair process will be more complicated and should be left in the hands of professionals.

If you gauged that you can do the repair and replacement yourself, then you should get a glass repair kit. Auto parts stores typically sell this kit. If you can’t find one, then just go to your local hardware store and prepare the following supplies:

  • Work gloves
  • Glass cutter
  • Paint
  • Window scraper
  • Razorblade scraper
  • Putty
  • Putty knife
  • Window scraper
  • Linseed oil
  • Paintbrush
  • Hand cleaner
  • Chisel
  • Metal shield
  • Appropriately measured glass
  • Glazier’s point
  • Pliers
  • Soldering tool

1)    Remove the putty

The first thing you have to do is remove the putty so you can remove the pane of glass off the frame.  Using a putty knife or a wood chisel, remove the putty. Make sure that there is no putty left on the frame.

There may be areas with stubborn putty and in this case, what you have to do is apply heat on them. Heat the stubborn area with a blow dryer while using your chisel to remove the putty off the wood frame.

Putties in Glazier’s points are also extremely difficult to remove. Glazier’s points are made up of small metal triangles that are driven beneath the putty and into the frame to hold the glass in place. What you have to do is remove the Glazier’s points so that you can also remove the putty.

2) Remove the cracked glass off the window frame

Before removing the frame, wear a pair of protective gloves first because using them will protect you from getting cuts. After removing the glass from the frame, place it on a flat surface. Pluck each broken piece of glass from the window pane.

3.)  Apply linseed oil if the frame is made of wood

If you have an old window and you need to replace the glass, make sure that you paint all wooden areas of the frame with a heavy coat of linseed oil. Do not skip this step as the product helps prolong the life of the putty, holding the glass in place for a longer period of time.

Glaziers use linseed oil to prevent the oil from the putty from drying or evaporating too quickly. Saturate the wood with linseed oil before you apply new putty. Doing so will make the putty remain pliable and have a longer lifespan. Before you proceed to the next step, make sure that the oil has completely soaked in.

4) Apply fresh putty on the frame

The next thing you have to do is apply a thin layer of putty on the areas of the frame where you will place the glass. Be careful when you apply the first layer as it should not be thick. The base layer of putty should be thin enough to act as a cushion for the glass replacement. This putty cushion buffers the glass and wood and it prevents the air from seeping around the glass.

When you apply the incorrect amount of putty, it will swell. It will then look like a smudge on the sides of the window pane, affecting the clarity and aesthetics of the glass.

5) Attach the replacement glass

There are two steps to attaching the new glass. First of all, you have to cut it to the right size. Once it has been cut appropriately, follow the steps we will share in placing the glass.

Cutting the glass

Using a glass cutter, make sure that the new glass is cut to the right size. In general, the glass should be smaller by less than an inch as compared to the area it will fill.

Attaching the glass

Place the new glass into the frame and firmly press it. At this point, you should have a friend help you in securing the glass pane into the frame. You will have to drive Glazier’s points with the help of another person. It is less risky and easier if you have another set of steady hands to help you.

Place the Glazier’s point flat against the glass. Use a putty knife’s point to start the Glazier’s points into the wood. Then, drive them into the wood using a glazing tool. You can avoid breaking the glass if you slide the glazing tool along it.

6) Prepare the putty

Think of a thick and dry dough when you are trying to achieve the right consistency of your putty. Some putty may be too stiff but you can still thin it using the method illustrated in the packaging. You can knead the putty on an old piece of glass until you achieve the right consistency and shape.

Make sure that the putty doesn’t have lumps and that it is completely pliable. The next thing you have to do is roll it into strips about the same size as a pencil. Apply a roll of putty on every corner of the frame. Once you have applied the putty, use a putty knife to smooth it out using long, even strokes.

7) Optional step: Paint the putty

If you want to paint the putty, you can do so at the recommended time mentioned in the packaging. Apply two coats of paint on the putty. Do not worry if you paint over the glass. You can simply remove the excess paint off the glass using a razor blade.

As you can see, the process can be quite complicated and tricky. So, if you do not think you can fix your cracked window glass pane yourself, then it is best that you call for an emergency glass repair service. Doing so will save you time and even money in the long run. Remember, if you make mistakes, you may damage the glass and replace it again.

On the other hand, if you have steady hands and you have the right tools, then go ahead and fix your broken window glass. Just make sure that you carefully follow the steps we shared so you can save yourself from unnecessary expenses.

Author: Richard Jennings

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