If your home's windows have recently sustained hail damage, you have unfortunately joined the statistic of $1 billion spent annually in the US because of these destructive storms. You may not have the immediate time or funds to replace your windows right away. If so, use the following three-step guide for temporarily repairing your hail-damaged house windows.
Step 1: Remove And Clean Up Any Loose Glass
Before you start repairing the glass and covering up any holes, any loose glass needs to be removed from the window pane and the frame. This must be done carefully while wearing thick gloves to keep from cutting yourself. Also, safety goggles should be worn in case a piece of glass flies off and tries to hit you in the eyes.
The method with which you should remove the glass depends on the size of the piece you are working with. If the piece is a large shard that is very loose, use your gloved hand to gently pull it off. However, if the glass shard is stuck on, a pair of adjustable pliers is recommended so you can keep your hand and body further away from the glass as it breaks off.
If you see very small pieces of glass that are stuck in the frame or windowsill, tweezers can be used. This allows you to get into tight spaces that your hands or pliers cannot go.
For tiny splinters or pieces that you are unable to see, use a firm, one-inch paintbrush around the edges of the holes and cracks. Make sure to brush away from you to avoid having any glass pushed towards your body.
Step 2: Reinforce Small Cracks With Clear Nail Polish And Plastic Tape
Once you are confident that you have removed all of the loose glass, it is time to start your repair work. This starts by reinforcing any small cracks in the glass, especially around any gaping holes. Not only is this important for keeping the glass from cracking further, but it also gives you a stable work area for step three.
The reinforcement of the cracks involves filling them with clear nail polish and covering them with tape. The nail polish keeps the two sides of the crack together, while the plastic tape adds a layer of protection and a barrier from rain or wind.
Starting one-inch from one of the crack's ends, use the nail polish brush to apply a thin layer to the crack until you reach the other end. Do not apply too much pressure because it could make the glass shatter. After allowing the first layer to dry for 15 minutes, apply a second coat.
After the second coat of polish has dried for a half an hour, cover it and the crack with two-inch wide plastic packaging tape. Once you are finished with all of the cracks, go on to the next step.
Step 3: Cover The Entire Window Pane With Bubble Wrap
Once the cracks have been filled in, bubble wrap is used to cover the entire window pane. This wrap not only covers the larger holes and cracks, but its bubbled surface adds an insulator to the glass.
Before you put the bubble wrap on the window pane, spray a light mist of water over the glass. This adheres to the plastic and helps keep the wrap in place while you are positioning and taping it down.
Place the bubble wrap against the window with the bubble side down. Once you have it in position, tape all of the sides to the frame using two-inch wide packaging tape.
Although the above repair steps will keep rain and air from passing through your windows, they are only meant as a temporary measure. You will want contact a window glass replacement contractor from a company like Central Glass as soon as possible to discuss more permanent options.