Shards of glass glint up at you from the pavement. In front of you is a large gaping hole where once stood a solid glass pane.
A broken window is at best a frustrating occurrence and at worst, a truly distressing event.
If you find yourself with a broken window, here are the steps you should take to fix the problem and secure your property.
Call the police
Depending on the nature of the damage, your first step may be to call the police. If you believe you have been the victim of a burglary or vandalism, call 101, or 999 if there is an existing risk that requires an emergency response.
If the damage is accidental, due to bad weather conditions (such as storms) or a simple mishap, you don’t need to inform the police. Damage to windows can even be caused by what is known as thermal stress.
Thermal stress is where changes in temperature can cause glass to expand, putting pressure on the window and causing it to fracture. If, for example, part of your window is in a shaded spot, the part on which the sun shines will be hotter and may put pressure on the shaded portion of the glass, causing it to crack. The thicker the glass, the more likely this is.
Contact your insurer
You should always make sure your property is properly insured. For houses and flats, this will be your home insurance. For commercial premises, this will be your building insurance.
You will need to let your insurer know about the damage, especially if you are planning on claiming for the cost of fixing or replacing the window. Whether your insurer will pay out will depend on your policy and whether it covers the type of damage that has taken place.
Check your policy documents for your policy number and your insurer’s claims helpline number. It might be helpful to take some pictures of the damage to send as part of your claim. Your insurer may want to send out an investigator to confirm the loss or damage.
Secure the window
To prevent further damage to your property, you’ll want to secure the broken window as quickly as possible. The best way to secure a broken window is to board it up using plywood. Often, the easiest way to achieve this is by calling someone who specialises in emergency boarding up.
If there is only a slight crack, you can secure the pane by placing duct tape on both sides of the crack until a professional can come to fix the problem. This will help keep the wind and rain out and stop heat escaping.
A broken window can pose a big security risk. So, it’s important to get it sorted sooner rather than later.
24 hour emergency boarding up
Find a local glazier who offers a 24 hour emergency boarding up service. That way, if the breakage has occurred during the night, you won’t have to wait until morning to get it sorted. By choosing a local glazier, they’ll be able to get to you faster and can advise you on the next steps of getting the damaged window fixed.
The glazier will carefully remove the remaining glass from the frame, ensuring inhabitants and passers by are protected. We do not recommend you trying this yourself without proper protective equipment such as gloves and eye wear.
As a trained professional, they’ll be able to assess the damage to your window and offer guidance on the best solution. They will take the proper safety precautions, efficiently securing and boarding up your window. Allowing you to get on with your day (or night) without worry.
Getting the window fixed
Depending on the extent of the damage, the glazier might advise installing replacement glass or a new frame entirely. If the damage included the frame, a whole new unit may be necessary, including handles and locks. In most cases however, replacing the glass pane should be sufficient.
The glazier can take measurements and have glass specially cut to size, before installing it in the window frame. Many glazing companies offer a same day glass cutting service. So, you shouldn’t have to wait long for your new window. If special glass is needed however, you may need to wait while this is ordered. Your glazier will advise you on the type of glass needed for your window.
Remember to keep any receipts to show your insurance company.
If you own or manage a business and your window has been broken, it is important to get it boarded up and fixed as soon as possible. Not only is it a bad look for your business, but it also puts your valuable merchandise or equipment at risk of burglary. Call in an emergency glazier to help board up the damage and give you a quote for a replacement pane as quickly as possible.
At Dunstable Glass, we offer a 24/7 emergency boarding up service, serving domestic and commercial clients throughout Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. If your window is broken, we can get to you quickly to secure your property and advise you on what to do next. Call us on 01582 477 767 for fast emergency glazing and boarding up.
Katy Carter is the content writer for Dunstable Glass and updates our blog regularly with helpful advice and new information.