Whether it was by the neighbor kid’s home run, a falling tree branch, or a hail storm, window glass sometimes breaks. There’s nothing worse—or more dangerous—than broken window glass that hasn’t been properly cleaned up, so make sure you do it right the first time, every time.
Steps to Removing and Cleaning Broken Window Glass
- Put safety first: Safety is your main priority when cleaning broken window glass, so you’re going to want to wear close-toed shoes, heavy-duty gloves, long sleeves, and, depending how high the break is, protective eyewear. You can even choose to wear a medical mask along with your goggles, because even the tiniest piece of glass can be dangerous if it is inhaled or ingested.
- Prepare the rest of the window pane: Put a towel or sheet plastic under the break, and apply strips of masking tape vertically on the broken pane so the entire surface of glass is completely covered—this will help keep tiny shards from dropping on the floor. If there are shards of glass on the windowsill, use a paintbrush to sweep them into a trash can. Make sure you sweep them directly into a trash can because pieces can fall onto the floor if transferred later.
- Loosen the remaining glass: Using the butt of a hammer, gently tap the outside of the pane so the remaining pieces become loosened. The goal is not to break the glass any more, just loosen it enough that it can be removed easily.
- Remove the large pieces first: Remove the masking tape, bringing the loosened pieces with it. Carefully pick out the remaining shards, largest to smallest, disposing of them safely.
- Remove the stubborn pieces: To remove stubborn pieces of glass stuck in the putty and cracks, chip away at the edges with a putty knife or old chisel. Without the proper gloves and eyewear, this part can be extremely dangerous.
- Wipe away remaining shards: Once you have chipped all the edges away and brushed all the visible pieces into the trash can, use a wet rag, paper towel, or sponge and dab along the surface of the window. The damp cloth will pick up any remaining dust or tiny pieces. Once you’re finished, vacuum the area thoroughly.
*Remember—after you clean up the broken glass you need to call a window repair or replacement expert like Shanco to install a new window or repair your existing one!
Repair or Replace a Broken Window?
Depending on how old your window is, the condition it’s in, and the material it’s made of, it may be more cost effective to replace it instead of getting it repaired. Vinyl windows are typically more inexpensive to replace than other materials, but you should call for window repair if you have multi-pane windows.
Whether you need window repairs or a full window replacement, contact Shanco for window services in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding Maryland and Virginia areas.