Cleaning Up After Your Window Is Broken

The sound of glass shattering and crashing to the floor can cause a bit of panic, such as "Is anyone hurt? How did this happen?" What can be done? Once you find that everyone is OK, it's time to get to work cleaning up all of those little shards of glass to keep anyone from getting cut immediately and days after the incident. Here, you will learn how to do just that.

Supply List

  • Thick soled shoes
  • Paint brush
  • Duct tape
  • Screwdriver – flathead
  • Rubber mallet
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Shop vacuum
  • Heat gun or hair dryer
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Newspapers
  • Sturdy box
  • Sheet of blue board
  • Knife

Interior Clean-Up

Put on your shoes, gloves and safety goggles and carefully begin picking up the large pieces of glass and placing them in the box. Pieces that are too large to fit in the box should be wrapped with a few sheets of newspaper and then tapped with the mallet to break it into smaller pieces. 

Now that the large pieces are out of the way, get the broom and dustpan and begin sweeping the smaller pieces into a pile. Try to sweep in the direction of the window so that you don't send any shards further out into your living space.

Get the duct tape and cover the glass that is left in the frame with a few layers. This will help to decrease the chances of getting cut as you work to remove the pointy pieces left behind. After you have it covered, try gripping it with your hands and giving it a good tug. If it doesn't come out easily, use the heat gun or hair dryer to heat the adhesive inside the frame and then try again.

Now, with the shop vacuum hose in one hand and the screwdriver in another, begin working to get the smaller pieces of glass stuck in the frame out. Hold the hose aside the screwdriver so that it sucks the pieces up immediately as they come loose.

Thoroughly sweep the floor with the shop vacuum – never use a vacuum with rotating brushes or you will shoot the glass across the floor instead of sucking it up.

Exterior Clean-Up

Exterior clean-up can be tedious, especially if you have gravel or mulch in the area just below the window. Put on your shoes, goggles and gloves and take a sturdy box with you. Begin picking up the pieces. If you cannot grip the smaller pieces, use the wet-dry vacuum to suck it up. You might lose some gravel or mulch into the machine, but it will help you get the shards that will cut you down the road.

Close the Hole

An easy temporary fix is to get a sheet of blue board insulation to place over the window. You can easily cut the blue board with a kitchen knife to fit the hole exactly. Not only is it an easy fix, but it will keep you from losing the heat or cool air from inside the home until a permanent fix can be made.

After all is said and done, contact your local window expert (such as one from Allied Glass & Mirror) to find out what needs to be done next. You may be able to get glass cut to fit the window or they may suggest that you invest in a whole new window.