How to Clean Up After a Broken Window
When you discover a broken window, it’s important to make a determination as to how the damage likely occurred. If there is a chance that the damage is the result of a break-in, do not touch anything and immediately leave the premises and get to a safe place (i.e. a neighbor’s home or a locked car) and call the police to investigate. Do not clean up after a break-in, as this can destroy important evidence. It’s vital that you leave the home or business right away, as the suspect may still be inside.
In other cases where the damage appears to be accidental, begin by placing children and pets in a different area of the home so they don’t come into contact with the broken glass.
Next, you may wish to remove any loose chunks of glass that are still in the window frame (i.e. pieces that are on the verge of falling out.) To do this, you must don a heavy pair of work gloves, ideally leather work gloves. If you do not have the appropriate gloves, you may opt to use an object, such as a broom handle, to dislodge the loose chunks of glass.
Once all of the loose glass has been removed from the window, use a broom and dustpan to sweep up the glass. In the case of hardwood floors, sweeping the glass can cause scratches to the floor’s finish. So in these cases, it’s best to sweep the glass into a dustpan as you go, rather than sweeping it into a single pile. This will limit the amount of distance the glass shards will need to travel over the floor.
Discard the broken glass in an outdoor trash barrel. If you discard the glass indoors, it could tear through the bag and cause injury. If you absolutely must dispose of the glass indoors, place the shards in a cardboard box and tape it closed before discarding.
How to Secure the Broken Window
Once you clean up from a broken window, you’ll need to secure the property. You’ll want to prevent the heat/cold or insects from entering the home or business.
In cases where just one pane has been damaged and the rest of the door or window remains intact, a small piece of cardboard can be taped over the damaged area. In the case of a door, it’s wise to tape a piece of cardboard over both sides to prevent contact with any sharp pieces of glass that are still lodged in the pane. Using a piece of cardboard and tape is ideal because it will temporarily seal the hole, without damaging the window frame or surrounding area.
Of course, cardboard is a very temporary fix and it does nothing to secure the home or building from intrusion, so it’s important to schedule your window repair services straight away.
In the case of a larger window or in cases where security is a concern and glass repair services are not immediately available, the best option typically entails performing a “board up” whereby a plywood panel is secured over the window using screws. The primary downside of a board-up surrounds the usage of screws, which will leave some damage in the surrounding area.
For those who do not have the knowledge or tools on-hand, many glass companies offer board-ups or emergency glass repair services.
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