Easy fixes for window cracks and scratches

A broken window will always need to be replaced, but there are a couple of ways you can fix a window with minor damage can be repaired, saving you the cost of a new pane.

Easy fixes for window cracks and scratches

Dealing with minor damage and scratches

  • Temporarily seal the crack and prevent it from spreading further with a strip of waterproof tape on the outside of the window.
  • For a more durable and almost invisible repair, brush a thin layer of clear nail polish onto the crack; allow it to dry and repeat the process until the polish is level with the window glass.
  • Surface scratches in a window can be buffed away using a bit of non-gel toothpaste, a lint-free cloth and a little elbow grease.
  • "Whitening" toothpastes that include baking soda in their formula are the most effective.

Temporarily fix a broken window

If any glass is missing, remove the whole pane to make it safe.

  • Lay newspaper on the ground on both sides of the window to catch the pieces of old glass. Put on gloves and safety glasses and wear thick shoes to protect your feet.
  • Pull out any loose pieces of glass by hand. For glass that can't be easily removed, cover the edge with a sheet of newspaper and then gently but firmly grab the fragment with a pair of pliers, wiggling the glass back and forth until it comes away from the frame.
  • Remove the putty and any small pieces of glass around the rebate (inside of the frame) with a hammer and an old chisel. Use long-nose pliers to pull out any holding pins or spring clips.
  • Dispose of the large glass pieces carefully, then vacuum the inside of the frame and the floor to pick up any stray fragments.
  • When the rebate is clean, measure the space and cut a piece of plywood to size.
  • Insert the plywood in the hole and tape it in place with weatherproof tape all the way around the rebate.

Windows can be an expensive purchase for a home owner so try one of these fixes for a minor issue or for a safe, temporary fix until you have to replace a broken pane.

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