If you have a cracked or broken window at your home, you may be wondering if it is possible to fix it yourself. Whilst it may be tempting to attempt a DIY job to save money, you should be aware that there is a lot of ill-informed advice on the internet and if not done correctly, can cause more harm than good. Broken or cracked glass is extremely dangerous, not only that, it makes your home vulnerable to the elements as well as potential break ins. Throughout this article we will highlight why you should leave your glass repairs to the professionals.
Removal of broken glass
A quick google search will reveal numerous methods on how to remove broken glass “safely”. However, broken panes of glass can be extremely hazardous if removed incorrectly. A common DIY technique is using a towel or piece of clothing to hold onto the broken glass whilst smashing the glass with a hammer. It doesn’t take a genius to recognise the potential risks involved with this, if you don’t cut yourself on the glass, the shattered glass can stick to clothing and mingle with other clothes once washed or fall onto the ground and into a unsuspecting persons foot.
Using epoxy or caulk to fix wooden frame
Its not always the glass that is damaged but sometimes it’s the frame surrounding it that needs repairing. The most common window framing found in residential homes is made of wood. Over time, the timber can split, swell and break down. You’ll find that a lot of unreliable DIY advice will tell you it’s a simple and inexpensive job that can be completed at home and that you can use caulk or epoxy to fill gaps or holes caused by rot, breaks or splinters. If the wood has started to rot this is a temporary “Band-Aid” solution and whilst it may make the window look more cosmetically appealing, the moisture underneath will continue to rot the wood and it will eventually need replacing anyway. If it’s not applied correctly, it can make the window look worse than it did before you attempted to “fix” it.
Additionally, epoxy is notorious for its toxic fumes and it can be extremely dangerous if inhaled. The time it takes to apply it is enough time for the fumes to have a hazardous effect. Early symptoms of epoxy fume poisoning include nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Longer periods spent around or near the epoxy can lead to potentially fatal incidents such as inflamed lungs and asthma attacks. A professional would not use this technique to repair your window. They would replace it properly and ensure it is done so safely.
DIY Glass Repair Kits
You may have come across DIY glass repair kits online or in DIY shops. The kits claim to provide you with the necessary tools needed to fix cracks or chips on your own without having to hire a qualified glazier. However, if you have zero experience handling glass, and the technique is flawed, these kits can exacerbate the damage to your window or even worse, cause serious harm. To fix a crack or chip in a glass window, bridges need to be used and they require a considerable amount of pressure to be placed on the crack and if this isn’t done adequately the glass can break and cause injury.
Nail Polish window repair
The nail polish repair is one of the many unconventional DIY repair “hacks” we’ve come across. If you haven’t heard of it, let us explain. This method involves using layers upon layers of nail polish in your window chip to disguise it. Whilst it may hide the damage superficially it isn’t anywhere near as strong as resin and its more than likely that little chip will end up being a big crack and it will need to be replaced eventually anyway.
The dangers that come with cleaning damaged glass
Cleaning cracked or broken glass is highly dangerous. If the glass needs replacing precaution will need to be taken by wearing thick gloves to prevent getting cut.
An additional reason to not repairing your windows yourself is, that unless you work with glass, it is unlikely that your will have all the equipment needed to fix your window to a professional standard. Repair kits are usually low quality and the products used are generally not long lasting.
Minimise the risk of the window shattering
If you attempt to repair your window yourself and it is improperly done, there is an increased risk of something going wrong. It is going to be more vulnerable to wind, heat and even the slightest impact can cause it to shatter entirely which can put your family’s safety at risk.
Before venturing on a DIY glass project it’s important to be aware of the dangers that are involved if something goes wrong. Hiring a professional for your window repairs ensures that high quality products are used, and it has been fitted to a superior and safe level. Here at True Blue Glass we specialise in all areas of glass and can help to repair or replace any compromised glass that may need attention in your home. If you have any questions about glass, or if you’d like to book one of our qualified glaziers, get in touch and our friendly team today.