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How to fix a broken window and its screen

broken window pane

Having broken windows is no joke (unlike breaking a window). Either a random naughty boy has thrown a stone or kicked the ball at your window and shattered the glass pane or your old and worn-out wooden windows require restoration, you shouldn’t postpone window repair. Broken glass or flimsy frames, torn screens and deteriorated seal or insulation may suddenly ‘surprise’ you at the worst possible moment. So, it’s better to solve the problem right away and breathe freely once everything is fixed rather than rush and search for urgent repair services. You don’t want cold wind, rain or snow get into the house through the broken glass or the smallest cracks in seal and insulation. Plastic wrap is not the best fix for shattered window pane. Unless, you’re feeling sorry for unfortunate thieves and want to help them out.

Obviously, the easiest and the most pain-free way to get everything done is to address the window repair services and ask a professional window repairer to replace a glass in the window or insulate it before winter. Also, there’s no need to purchase completely new window screens when you may easily ask either a handyman or a window repairer install new piece of grid into the existing frame. As living with thoroughly perforated screens in summer, when you tend to keep the windows opened 24/7, is just impossible. Again, unless you feel extremely sorry for those hungry and homeless bugs and mosquitoes and you want to provide them with some food, your own blood and shelter.broken glass in window

Moreover, when you don’t have time to figure out the right way to tackle this or that window problem or when it has to be done ASAP, you just can’t avoid asking for professional’s assistance. Besides, not everyone is able to deal with similar handyman’s tasks. And it is not something to be ashamed of. Also, such tasks like preserving and renovating old window panes or saving vintage wooden frames require delicate professional approach. Hiring a person who knows how to seal windows and insulate them properly is also one of the necessities. It is related to prolonging the ‘life’ of windows and preventing heat loss during winter.

Check out window services

So, if your current window situation reminds you of any of those scenarios, you may easily go to HireRush.com and hire a qualified window repairer by calling him directly from the site. But, if you’re determined to learn how to troubleshoot those problems on your own, keep on reading. As I’m going to attempt to explain you how to perform window glass replacement and how to replace window screen. Those are the most common issues you may face and deal with on your own. So, let’s get started, shall we?

Broken window repair steps

This step-by-step window glass replacement method works whether you have to install a new glass into a large picture window or into a section of the divided (cut-up) one.

  1. Gather instruments and materials. You won’t need many. But, you’ll definitely have to find a utility and/or putty knife, a scraper, a five in one painter tool, a wire brush, push points, putty, paint and obviously glass. Don’t forget to buy a pair of gloves to protect your hands during the old glass removal.
  2. Get rid of all pieces of broken glass. This is probably the most dangerous part of window glass replacement, as you can easily cut yourself during the process. So, be extremely careful while doing that and don’t forget to put the work gloves on. Then, take your painter’s instrument to break off the glass pieces and lift them up from the window’s frame. Don’t rush and extract one piece of shattered glass at a time. If the pane is just cracked, window repair contractors recommend removing the old putty first and then trying to pull out the cracked parts.person removing shattered glass from the window
  3. Take a utility knife and a scraper to get rid of the old putty and glaze around the broken pane, as well as fasteners. Those are little metal triangular points that are usually knocked directly into the wood before putty application to support the glass in the frame.
    If you have trouble removing the putty, you should find the way to heat it up to soften the texture and get rid of it without any problems. Soldering tool will be great for that matter. Also, make sure to scrape off quite small putty pieces not to damage the wooden frame. It’s good to get rid of all putty around the pane. This will help you reach the actual frame of the window, easily extract all pieces of shattered glass to prepare the frame for the new glass installation.man scraping the window before window pane replacement
  4. Measure the pane precisely. Purchase a new glass and ask the shop’s workers to cut it according to your measurements. Bear in mind that you should make it just by 1-2 millimeters smaller on the sides, so that the pane is able to fit into the frame. If the shop’s people can’t do the cutting for you, just stop by the handyman’s and ask him to do that. Don’t try to cut the glass at home. It should be done by professional, who’s good at repairing or installing windows. First of all, he has a necessary instrument with diamond cutter. Secondly, he’ll measure the glass correctly and won’t break it while cutting.
  5. Clean out the wooden frame and replace a window pane. Keep holding the glass while inserting the glazing points and securing them in place to retain the pane.
  6. Take a putty gun and knife to apply some putty into the space between the glass and window’s frame. To do that, experienced window repairers just press out a string of quite thick, but not too stiff putty onto one side of the frame at a time and spread it with a putty knife till it’s smooth and even.
  7. Let the putty dry for one or two days before cleaning up any mismatches on the glass and painting the frame. When that’s done, the window glass replacement is complete.

How to replace window screen

This process is much easier than repairing a broken window. It takes a window repairer several minutes to do the job. So, you can figure it out as well. And you’ll only need a piece of new screening material, a screwdriver with a flat head, already familiar utility knife, ordinary scissors and spline rolling tool. The total cost of this DIY project won’t exceed $15.

Hire a local window repairer

  1. Take the screen off the window. It shouldn’t be too difficult, as its frame will either just pop out or you’ll have to undo the securing clips at first.
  2. Place the screen on a table or other flat working area and detach the spline from the frame. For those of you, who don’t know what spline is, it’s just a thin black rubber or plastic string that keeps the mesh inside the frame. Be careful not to damage or break it with a screwdriver, as we’re going to reuse it later. Remove your old torn mesh.
  3. Measure the sides of the screening frame to cut a new piece of mesh. Make sure to keep it straight while cutting, so that it doesn’t turn out askew. You may also just place a piece of mesh onto the frame and cut it along the outer edge of the screen’s frame not to measure anything. Cut out small squares in each corner of the replacement mesh, so that they correspond to the frame’s width. This way new mesh will fit inside the frame much better.man showing how to replace window screen
  4. Use the pointy side of the rolling tool to push new screening material into the frame’s channel. Start at the corner of the frame and work your way up its side. Insert the spline before proceeding to the remaining sides. Use the same tool for that matter. Adjust the spine at the screen’s corners with the help of a screwdriver.
  5. Trim the excess mesh that ticks out of the frame if you need to, and you’re done!

Comments (14)

  1. John Carston

    I haven’t repaired a broken window before, so this guide should be helpful for a first-timer like myself. The tips you gave seem to be pretty easy to follow and I like that you included pictures showing the more detailed parts of window repair. I won’t have a need to repair a screen but this post has been useful.

  2. April Cook

    We had a ball go through our window the other day. I was looking into ways to replace it,s and after reading this I think we will call a professional instead of trying to do it ourselves! I want it to be done right the first time, and I don’t trust myself to do that! Thanks or this information!

  3. emily bennette

    This is some really good information about how to replace windows. I like what you said about how you should clean and measure the window pane before you remove it. This seems like it would be really difficult to do this yourself correctly. It seems like it would be something a professional should do. https://www.hirerush.com/blog/how-to-fix-a-broken-window-and-its-screen/

  4. Brooke McAvoy

    I thought that this might be something that I could figure out on my own, but I think I would rather get professional help. Your instructions were clear and easy to follow, but a lot of these simple steps I have never done before. A professional fix will probably be worth the money if it will last longer anyway, do you agree? Thank you for the helpful article, I will be asking people about this soon!

  5. Kendall Everett

    I love the idea of hiring a glass repair company to help replace just what needs to be fixed on the window. I’m not very good with tools so I think it would take me too long to try to replace it myself. A professional will also know where to get the best deal on replacement glass which could save me money.

  6. Stephen Cabral

    Thank you so much for giving great techniques to fix glass.

    I read this posting also which is really very informative,

    Have Nice Day

    Nice to meet you…

    1. Elena Sheplyakova (Post author)

      Nice to meet you too, Stephen! I’m so glad you found our tips helpful. Have you checked out the rest of our posts and tutorials? We try to do our best to give clear guidelines to various home improvement and organization projects, as well as beauty, cooking, pet care and parenting tips. You might like them as well.

  7. Marie Watson

    Thanks for sharing some tips for fixing a broken window. Thanks for mentioning that the best solution is to contact a window repair service. It makes sense that a professional would have access to the right tools and equipment and quickly repair your window. One of my windows got cracked a few days ago, so I will have to find a good contractor to help me.

  8. Luke Yancey

    Thank you for the tips. However, I think using the utility knife to scrape the glass from the wood would just stress me out. I think I will just take your other words of advice and just get it fixed by a professional.

  9. Linda Bowman


    Hope you are having an awesome day!

    Thank you fix broken window repair for reminding me of the broken glass repair concept.

    Have Nice Day

    I am waiting for next posting.

    Keep Smiling!!!

  10. Harper Campbell

    One of our windows was broken during a storm, and we would like to get it fixed as soon as possible. It’s good to know that when it comes to this hiring a handyman to come do the job, that there are different benefits to it. I like how you pointed out that we won’t have to have them replace the screen, or maybe the whole frame for that matter.

  11. alena

    These are awesome tips on how to repair a broken window. I’m single and I’m not really handy, so I don’t know if I could do it. I’d feel better getting a professional come out so that I know it’s done the right way. I definitely will pick up the broken glass though, so no one cuts themselves.

  12. Patricia Wilson

    It really helped when you said that when repairing windows, we should let the putty sit dry for two days. I thought that giving it a few hours would suffice. My hose is situated in the vicinity of a playground and getting broken windows have been all too often. I’d be sure to get grilles next time to get them protected. For now, I’ll have a professional work on it since I don’t really have the time to do it myself. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Yulia Poltavets

      You’re mostly welcome!


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