How To Repair Damaged Windows

Visual inspection

It’s important to inspect both sides of the window for damage, paying particular attention to spotting signs of rot for timber windows, or damage to hinges and jambs. Check the sealant and the glass itself for chips.

If the frames of your windows are damaged, and you choose to try and replace them alone, you run the risk of losing value in your home. For character properties, you are better of choosing an expert company who can offer a replacement that retains the value and prestige of your home without compromising on quality. If, however, you simply need to replace a single cracked window pane, there are some relatively simple steps to try.

Cracked versus smashed

One of the most common forms of window damage is cracked glass. When this happens, you face two choices – weatherproof with polythene or plastic sheeting and risk compromising security or use a board. When the weather is bad, you should leave the broken glass in place, then cover it with a board and use silicone sealant to weatherproof it. This provides a more secure solution compared to using panel pins.

To actually repair the glass, you will need to remove the broken pane entirely. To dispose of broken glass, make sure you’re wearing thick gloves. Then cover the area with newspaper or a dust sheet, and ensure you’re wearing suitable footwear. Use a glass cuter to score around the glass and then use adhesive tape on the lines of the crack itself. Tap them free with a hammer and the adhesive should hold the glass together.

If the glass has smashed entirely, you’ll have to grip the jagged pieces in your gloved hand and work it free. Use a hammer to gently tap free any glass stuck in the frame. Use a chisel and clear any sealant or adhesive left on the window frames.

Once the glass it out, you’ll need to source a window replacement. For character properties, this can be more difficult than it sounds. Not only do you need a replacement that respects the original character of the building – it should also offer security and modern energy efficiency.

Feature glass

If your building is listed or has a particularly beautiful piece of glasswork in the damaged pane, you should not try and replace it alone. Not only will you run the risk of damaging the feature, you may also fall foul of local planning officers.

Instead, you should contact a window specialist who can perform ‘encapsulation’ – which essentially preserves the feature of the glass whilst replacing the window with a more secure, durable alternative.


Once you’ve protected the window from the weather and assessed damage, it’s time to source replacements. At The Heritage Window Company, we are specialists in replacing timber, stone and steel windows in heritage properties. Our aluminium windows will be designed specifically for your project and be installed by our own operatives – taking the complexity and risk out of window repair. Better still, we offer a 10 year guarantee on all our work for future peace of mind. Contact us today to get started.