5 Steps to Take after a Window Breaks
Knowing what to do in this situation is vital. The choices you make right after a window breaks will determine the extent of the damage, whether or not injuries are sustained, and in some cases how easy and cost-effective the replacement is to handle.
Here are the first five steps to take when a window breaks in your home.
- Determine the Cause
You can often easily identify what broke your window, but determining the cause of the breakage is also an essential first step. Many situations that shatter windows can also come with other hazards.
For example, if the window broke due to storm debris, your belongings in the same room may be at risk of damage from precipitation or wind. However, if children at play broke the window, the incident is likely isolated and won’t have other risks.
While you determine the cause of the breakage, be careful not to walk in the immediate area around the window frame as there will likely be both visible and hidden pieces of glass.
- Block Off the Affected Area
Once you know the cause of the break, do your best to block off the affected area. If possible, have everyone leave the room with that window and close the door behind you. If there’s no door to easily cordon off the area, let all the adults in the house know to stay away and confine children and pets to other areas.
As you move everyone out of the area, remember that glass that shatters due to impact can spread over a large amount of space and may bounce when it lands. Wear sturdy shoes while doing anything near the broken window and put on heavy duty gloves before picking up anything that may have glass on it.
- Reach Out to the Right Professionals
An empty window frame creates the risk of pest infestation, weather-related issues, and theft. Your first call should be to a reputable window glass supplier. Have the technician come to replace the broken window as soon as possible.
You should also call your insurance company to begin the claims process. Your homeowners insurance policy may cover some or all of the costs of window replacement.
If you suspect that your window was broken due to vandalism or burglary, you will also need to call the police. Your local station will likely send a law enforcement official to view the damage, write a report, and begin the process of recovering any items that were stolen during the incident.
- Clean Up the Glass
Once you know when to expect a repairman and have begun the claims and police report processes, you can clean up the area around the broken window. Before you begin, put on long pants as well as appropriate shoes and gloves as discussed in section two.
You also should gather what you’ll use to transport the glass for disposal. Wrap all shards in paper before putting them into plastic trash bags. This step ensures that the debris stays securely bagged and also reduces the risk of injury to you or to the people who pick up your trash.
When you’re ready to begin cleaning, start by picking up the biggest pieces. You should also check if there’s any glass left in the frame. If there is hanging glass, carefully test whether it comes out easily. If so, put the pieces with the other shards.
If the glass doesn’t move, cover the glass with a towel and leave it in the frame for your repairman to remove later so that you reduce risk of injury.
Once you clear out the largest pieces of glass, use a broom to move the smaller pieces closer together. This step may be less effective if you have thick carpet, but the sweeping can dislodge pieces that would otherwise stick to the carpet fibers.
Vacuum the area thoroughly. Then use a damp paper towel to check for tiny particles still left on the floor. The paper towel can also be used to surface clean the window sill and any items that may have broken glass on them.
- Consider a Temporary Window Covering
Ideally, your repair company would be able to come to your home soon after the window breaks, but you may have to live with an empty frame for a period of time. To keep out rain, pests, and potential intruders, put up a temporary covering.
You can use tarp, plastic sheeting, or heavy duty garbage bags for this covering until a repair specialist can fix the window.
Follow these guidelines as well as any instructions given by your glass supplier to ensure that your home returns to safety, security, and comfort as quickly as possible.
If you need replacement windows, whether to optimize your home or replace a broken pane, trust Central Glass Company.