Whether you want to learn how to fix cracked glass or how to replace window glass, this article is for you. We explain what you need to repair glass, and how to do it.
It takes some discernment to decide whether to fix or replace cracked glass. In many cases, it’s best to just replace the pane. But if the crack or break is small, it can be glued together. However, you’ll still need to remove the pane from the window – here's the basic procedure for removing and replacing broken glass. It isn’t as hard as it looks!
- Always wear gloves and safety eyewear when working with glass.
- Carefully remove the entire broken pane of glass. Depending on the window, you might need to gently pry away the trim holding the glass in place or remove the glazing putty that’s holding it in. If the window is held by glazing, it’ll also have glazing points. These are small, metal pieces with sharp points pushed into the wood to hold the window in place. You can carefully remove these with a screwdriver.
- Make sure to remove any glass chips, dirt, or other debris from the now empty sash so that the new piece of glass fits in correctly.
- For old-fashioned windows, put the new pane of glass in place and insert several glazing points in place to hold the glass.
- Install new glazing around the outside of the window. You can paint the windowsill when it’s dry.
- For newer windows, put a bead of silicone around the edge of the trim from the outside. Be careful to put the silicone as far from the edge of the sash as possible so that it doesn’t ooze out onto the new or repaired glass once it’s installed.
- Place the new pane of glass in position and re-install the trim pieces.
If you’re wondering how to fix cracked glass without replacing it, here’s how:
- Follow the directions above to remove the old glass and prepare the sash to reinstall it.
- Instead of discarding the old glass, lay it out on a table or clean work surface.
- Pre-fit the glass back together (checking that it can be repaired). Make sure both surfaces are clean and dry. We recommend replacing the glass if the damage is extensive.
- Use a suitable glass glue to glue the pieces together. Clamp or tape the glass so that it dries in place.
- Once the glue has fully cured, carefully reinstall the pane of glass into the window sash. Avoid flexing the glass as you’re moving it.
- Reinstall the trim pieces that hold the glass in place.
Did some adhesive ooze out onto the surface as you were making the repair? Use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits or acetone to wipe it away.
If you want to repair cracked glass, you’ll need to use an adhesive that’s specially designed for glass. Our choice is Loctite Super Glue Glass. This high-tech adhesive is formulated to work on all types of glass, whether it’s tinted, blown, crystal and more. The glue bonds glass to glass and glass to metal in seconds and dries crystal clear. It’s also dishwasher safe!