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Home Window Repair Basics

Dec 27

Home window repair can be a DIY project for homeowners with a little experience and the right tools. However, if the broken windows is more than a crack or small hole, or if the frames have significant damage, it may be best to consult a professional or replace the entire window glass. It is also important to determine the cause of the break, as that will help you choose between a repair and a replacement option.

Preparing for window glass replacement

Before starting, clear the work area by removing any curtains or blinds and laying a sheet of plastic or cloth over your floors to protect them from any spills or shards of glass. Then, make sure you have the proper equipment by putting on thick gloves and a pair of eye protection. Remove the sash, or the part of the window that holds the pane, and lay it flat to work on.

Using a putty knife, pliers, or a thin flat-head screwdriver, pry out the old glazing points. These tiny fasteners pin the glass into the frame's recess and have sharp points that can gouge the wood if you're not careful. Once the points are removed, you can start removing the glazing compound and the pane itself.

Some windows use hooks and other metal pieces to hold the glass, so be sure to pull those out if they are present before you start working. Once the old pane is out, you'll need to clean the work area and then sand down the wood to remove any loose varnish or paint. After you sand, wipe down the wood with a damp cloth and apply linseed oil or a clear wood sealer.

If the frame of your window has significant rot, you may need to use epoxy wood filler to treat it. Apply the filler according to its label instructions, then let it dry completely before reattaching the sash.

While you're at it, sand down any other areas of the frame where you see signs of rot. This will also help prevent rot from spreading to other areas of the frame later on.

Replacing the Glass

Once your wood sash has been sanded and cleaned, you're ready to install a new glass pane. Ensure that your measurements are accurate and purchase the proper size glass from a hardware store or window company. Then, bring your new pane to the frame opening and place it in it. Be careful not to push too hard; doing so could break the glass or cause it to become distorted and cloudy.

Now, you'll need to secure the glass pane with glazier's points. These are like small nails that go into the sides of the frame to hold the new pane in place. If you put too many or too few glazier's points, the new pane may fall off the frame or let drafts into your home. Be patient when laying the glazier's points; it can be difficult to get them right without an extra set of hands.