Sometimes life just doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d like. My home backs onto a baseball field and I love to listen to the kids playing ball on the weekends in the park behind my house. This one day, it wasn’t so nice. I heard the crack of the ball on the bat and the next thing I knew, that ball flew straight through the bedroom window.
In this blog, I’ll share with you what I did to temporarily block the window and protect the room until the window contractor could fix it.
Start out by getting yourself a pair of heavy duty gloves and take a good look at the broken window. Is it broken right through or is it cracked? If it’s cracked, put a piece of clear packing tape across the cracks being careful not to press the glass inward. Do this on as many cracks as there are trying to hold any loose pieces in place and prevent any more from falling out. If you can, put the tape on both sides of the window. This should hold until the contractor gets there.
Take a look around for chunks that may have fallen out. They may be laying on the sill, on the ground below the window, inside the double pane, or inside the house. Try to find as many pieces as you can. These can show up later in a cut foot or finger so it’s important to try to find them knowing their approximate size and shape. It would be helpful to use a wet/dry shop vacuum to suck up any pieces on the ground, that may be hiding in the grass.
If the window is broken right through, you’ll want to do the same thing as above – without hurting yourself on loose glass or pieces that are ready to fall out – these pieces should be carefully removed.
Now you’ll have to find something to temporarily block the broken window area. If you’re going to fix the window yourself you can use something that’s not as sturdy because we’re assuming that you;ll be heading off to the hardware store for glass panes or a wood panel tout suite. In the meantime, use plastic, cardboard from a paper box or a cereal box depending on the size of the hole.
It’s best to cover several inches beyond the hole on all sides. You can attach the plastic or cardboard with duct tape or the clear packing tape on all sides to prevent the elements and little critters getting in while you go to the hardware store.
If you’ll be waiting for an insurance adjuster to show up or a contractor to fix it you may want to use something more sturdy because you’ll want to maintain the security of your home. In that case, measure off the size of the window from the inside frame width and height, and jot that down.
Most hardware stores will have someone on staff who will cut wood to size for you and charge by the cut. So get them to cut you a piece of quarter to half in plywood in the size of your window. Then ask them for some wood strapping – about 1 – 1 1/2 inch by the length and width of your window. You’ll use this strapping as an exterior frame to hold in the large piece of ply. Have them cut the strapping shorter by a couple of inches on all sides. You should have four pieces (2 for width 2 for height) that are shorter than the actual measuremends by an inch or two.
You’ll need to get yourself enough one and a half inch wood or drywall screws, to put a screw every 8 or ten inches around the perimeter or wider. If you don’t have an electric screwdriver you should get one – driving in these screws without one will be too much for most people.
Once you get home, have your screwdriver and screws handy. Place the plywood sheet that was cut to fit the window area over the broken window. Place the wood strapping (cut for the width) on the bottom and screw it into the existing window frame placing the screws 8 – 10 inches apart or wider. You may not want to add too many screws because you don’t want to puncture your window frame with too many screw holes. All you want to do it to hold the board in place – that’s why it doesn’t matter if the wood bars fit the whole length of the window.
Move onto the sides and the top with the next pieces of strapping until you’re finished. This will hold until you can get it properly fixed. Now you can call the insurance company and your window contractor.