How to Fix Cracked Glass
Sometimes you know exactly how it happened, and sometimes you notice it while looking out the window one day, but either way, cracked glass is a problem that can’t be ignored forever. Anyone in commercial glass repair can tell you there are temporary and permanent fixes to deal with the situation. Here are some safety measures and glass repair tips straight from Simi Valley, Ventura, and Thousand Oaks here in California.
Why Repair Cracked Glass?
What’s the big deal about a few cracks? Often when a windowpane or windshield is completely broken, it’s obvious reasons that a glass repair or replacement is necessary. But cracked glass can cause many problems too, ultimately because it will sooner or later spread. Not only does a crack compromise the constitution and safety of the glass panel, but it’s also costly because it lets heat or AC out and outside weather in. This can lead to water damage, and in the case of a vehicle windshield, it can lead to accidents or fines. Plus, it’s entirely possible to cut yourself on cracked glass, so the sooner you make a few repairs and look for a broken glass company, the better.
Inspect the Glass
When looking at the damage, make sure not to actually touch the glass. For close inspection, it’s also a good idea to wear safety glasses, just in case some shards could fall or blow into your eyes. Look at how far the glass crack extends and determine whether the glass is cracked or whether it’s completely broken but held precariously in place.
Remove Loose Glass from the Crack
If you noticed any loose glass shards, grab some safety gloves and remove them. One good way to do this is to use a utility knife to pick carefully at the loose shards while holding cardboard beneath the crack as you work to collect any pieces that fall. Sweep the floor below the cracked glass immediately after removing or handling shards. If the crack is in a window panel, try to remove the entire thing carefully. Then, once you have your pieces, try to see if you can assemble them. If the pane and shards still have a hole even after reassembly, it probably needs to be replaced entirely.
Clean the Glass With Acetone or Denatured Alcohol
Before just gluing things back in place, it’s important to get your surface clean so that the adhesive you use will stick to the glass instead of dust particles or oil. Use something like acetone or denatured alcohol—nail polish remover, for example—to wet a clean cloth and then wipe the surface and edges of your glass and glass pieces. This is where having gloves on gets critical! Use a new cloth to wipe the glass; next, wait until it’s completely dry before continuing with the glass glue.
Apply Glass Glue or Epoxy to the Cracked Surface
Epoxy is a kind of adhesive that has both resin and a hardener. Follow the epoxy directions very carefully to properly mix the two ingredients before applying it. You can use a piece of cardboard again or grab a paper plate to squirt out the product and prepare the mixture. Don’t mix the epoxy until you’re ready to use it—this stuff hardens extremely quickly! To apply the epoxy resin to the glass panel, try using a putty knife to wipe the glue into and over the crack and shards. The important thing is to make sure the damaged area is completely covered and then left to dry for at least five minutes before the next step.
Remove Excess Glue or Epoxy
Using that utility knife again, remove the excess glass glue by gently cutting away at it. It’s smart to do this at a lower angle and away from your body for safety. Ensure you’re only cutting away the excess. When the blade is pressed level to the surface of the glass, it will be easier to make the epoxy’s surface even, too. You can use a glue remover to get rid of any smears on the glass itself.
Clean the Glass with Glass Cleaner
Once your glass is fully repaired and dry, go ahead and spiff it up! Use a glass cleaner with one more clean cloth and eliminate any smears or prints that you caused while repairing your glass. Of course, it won’t look quite as good as new—but it will certainly look like a job well done!
Let the Pros Help
Considering the time, skill, and equipment you’ll need for your glass repair, it’s good to understand all your options. There are situations where DIY glass repair isn’t the best plan, and a professional will better solve your problems. For instance, if the damage of the glass is likely to cause harm to you or anyone else, or if there are legal repercussions for not having it replaced, it’s time to consult a glass repair professional. In some cases, you can lose a lot of money trying to heat or cool your house due to the loss of insulation from a cracked windowpane. Not to mention, cracked glass is a distracting eyesore. In any of these situations, finding local commercial glass repair may be in your best interest.
No matter where you live, glass repair is an important skill to have. In Ventura, Thousand Oaks, or Simi Valley, glass is an important part of protection from outside heat and other weather. When you see a crack in your windowpane or windshield, you have a few options—but the worst thing you can do is ignore it. For temporary fixes, you can make repairs with only a few supplies. But in the long term, rely on a broken glass company to help with significant repairs!