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How to Replace a Broken Window

By: Danny Lipford

removing broken window pane

Often homeowners want to know if they can replace a broken window themselves. If it’s a newer Insulated Glass Unit, or IGU, it will have to be replaced by a professional because there is a vacuum between the two layers of glass. Older single-pane windows, however, can be easily repaired by a do-it-yourself-er.

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Often homeowners want to know if they can replace a broken window themselves. If it’s a newer Insulated Glass Unit, or IGU, it will have to be replaced by a professional because there is a vacuum between the two layers of glass. The installer will measure the pane and have a new one of identical size created before he removes the old unit and installs the new one, making sure that it seals out both air and moisture.

Older single-pane windows, however, can be easily repaired by a do-it-yourself-er. Wear gloves and work slowly to avoid cuts when you remove what’s left of the old glass. Scrape out the old glazing with a putty knife and measure the opening so you can buy the correct size piece of glass. The new pane should be slightly smaller than the opening. Use your putty knife again to press glazier’s points into the frame about every six inches, so they hold the glass firmly in place. Then apply glazier’s putty all around the seam where the glass meets the frame. Finally, use the putty knife to create a smooth finished surface on the window.



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