September 7, 2020

How to Replace a Broken Window Pane and Other Helpful Tips

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Window panes are responsible for 80 percent of the protection your home gets from your windows. While the frame and the sill function as a window’s backbone, it’s the glass panes that prevent the elements from wreaking havoc in your house. You may be able to endure a wobbly window frame for a certain period but not a broken window pane. Not only does it look homely, but it may also be a safety and security hazard.

Signs that You Need a New Window Pane

Replacing an entire window is sometimes more cost-efficient than trying to salvage it by replacing only the broken component. After all, it’s almost impossible to fix a bent frame or a stuck panel and get it to work the same way again. Only professional window replacement in Chicago can fix the problem for good. However, it’s a different story when only the windowpane is damaged, and the rest are still intact. You can install a new window pane. But how do you know if a windowpane is due for replacement?

  • Cracks
  • This damage occurs when something hits your window hard or during an earthquake when the frame is shaking violently. Even though you can use a glass nano repair fluid to fix the cracks, there’s no guarantee of how long the results will last. The best option is to replace the cracked window pane altogether.
  • Fog
  • When the seal around the glass plane breaks, cold air begins to seep through tiny openings. Moisture forms as the cold air touches the warm glass pane surface. This moisture starts as a misty white blemish. Over time, it turns into a permanent stain. If you want your windows to look clean and clear, replace any foggy glass pane.
  • Condensate
  • If small droplets of water form on the surface of your windowpane when you’re heating your house, which means the windowpane isn’t insulating your home enough. Replace it with a double- or triple-glazed window pane.

How to Replace a Broken Window Pane

Replacing a windowpane is perhaps the easiest among the various window repairs you should learn. While you can always call experts like Muller Exteriors to fix your broken window pane, it pays to experience doing it on your own from time to time. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Step 1:
  • Clean the window frame. Remove the shards of broken glass and clean off all the residue on the frame. Make sure to wear a pair of gloves to avoid cutting your hands. Measure the frame and write down the accurate dimensions. The replacement window pane must be slightly smaller and thinner than the frame’s opening.
  • Step 2:
  • Go to the hardware store and give them the measurement you wrote. They will custom cut the new window pane based on that, which is why you have to be precise. In case the piece they give you is slightly off the mark, you can adjust its dimension yourself by subtracting up to 1/8 inches from both edges of the new glass pane. Install clips around the pane to protect its sides during delivery and placement.
  • Step 3:
  • After securing the glass pane into the empty frame, it’s time to seal around its perimeter with putty to prevent air and moisture from leaking through and causing fogging. Be careful when applying putty around the frame. While this substance is easy to wipe off when it’s still wet, it can be stubborn when dry. Use a putty knife to smear the putty evenly at the right angle and with a little excess.
  • Step 4:
  • When the putty is finally dry, paint it. Use the same color of paint you used on the rest of the window. If you can’t find the right mix, consider painting the entire window with the available color, but this means you will have to paint all other windows.

Choosing a Glass Type

When replacing old window panes, you have to take into account strength and energy efficiency, not just appearance. Any residential home window installed before the year 2000 lacks the necessary features to keep homes comfortable and energy-efficient. That’s mainly because their glass panes are either not thick enough or made of low-quality glass.

Some window panes are double or triple glazed, and they require thicker or customized window frames. Unless you decide to replace your windows altogether, you can’t use these types of window panes because they won’t fit into the window frame. Consider the fact that your windows are not thick enough as one of the apparent signs your window needs replacement.

The rule of thumb when choosing a replacement window is to find one with an Energy Star, a status given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy to products and brands that meet or exceed their energy efficiency standards.

Energy star windows typically have at least a double-pane structure consisting of low-emissivity (low-E) glass with vacuum-sealed argon fill. Apart from having low emissivity, the glass of an energy star window is distinguished for its low U-value and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). With these features, they can provide homes with more insulation than single-pane windows.

If you can’t decide whether to replace your window or just the glass panes, consult with window experts such as Muller Exteriors. They can visit your place, examine your existing windows, and recommend the best course of action. If you hire them to install your new windows, you’ll have access to superior craftsmanship as well.

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