Fixing A Broken Window

broken glass
If the boys of summer have been practicing in your neighborhood, you may have experienced a broken window or two. This week's Rent-A-Husband, Kaile Warren, demonstrates how quickly you can replace those panes, on The Saturday Early Show.

"I have a 30-year-old home built in the 1970s -- a center-hall Colonial...where the windows are single-paned windows throughout, which is our big to-do here today," says homeowner Michelle Howell as she shows her home exteriors to Warren. "I have never replaced a window myself so I thought best leave it to the professionals."

The window, she tells Warren, is about 30 years old. "We haven't replaced them since I was here," she adds.

Glass can break for a number of reasons, Warren explains, even from just plain fatigue. "When you get glass that's 20 to 30 years or older, if it's in the sun a lot, it'll break down in composition and break down very easily," he says.

If you find yourself in a situation like Howell's, here is what you need to complete this project:

  • A piece of glass cut to size,
  • A screwdriver,
  • A paintbrush,
  • A pair of pliers,
  • Measuring tape,
  • Glazier points,
  • Caulk gun with a tube of glazing,
  • A sweeping brush,
  • Sandpaper,
  • Duct tape,
  • A putty knife,
  • A utility knife
  • And, of course, gloves and safety glasses.

    Warren puts on the safety equipment since he is going to cut the glazing and the glass has a chance of splintering. He then proceeds to remove the existing glazing around the window by cutting it with a utility knife. Whatever glazing remains can be pried away with a putty knife.

    He gets some duct tape and tapes the back of the window. As the pane is removed, the tape will help hold it together, Warren explains.

    Howell helps by removing any residue on the window frame with sandpaper. And then she brushes it free of dust.

    To protect the wood, they apply a coat of oil-based paint. If you have wood that is natural or stained, you'll want to treat it with linseed oil.

    Once the paint is dry, they apply a thin layer of glazing around the frame using a caulk gun. You can smooth out the rough spots with a putty knife.

    Now that they have the bed of glazing in place, they are ready to set the glass. They grab it by the sides and set it carefully.

    "Measure the width and the length of the opening and subtract a quarter inch from each dimension that way you make sure you have a perfect fit of glass," Warren says.

    Howell's old window did not have glazier points, which go into the wood and hold the glass. Warren says they are a must for anyone replacing glass.

    The glazier points are installed by pushing them into the wood with the aid of a screwdriver. To protect the glass, wrap the end of the screwdriver with a band-aid. Once the glazier points are in, you are ready for a bead of glazing around the perimeter.

    As Howell finishes a section of the window, Warren smoothes out the glazing by using a finger that has been dipped in water.

    If you'd like to paint the window frame, Warren suggests allowing the glaze a day to dry before doing so.