Affiliate Disclaimer: All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
You may be surprised to learn that you can fix a cracked window on your own. Even if you’re not experienced with window repair, most homeowners can do the job themselves with the proper knowledge and materials.
Time is of the essence when you have a cracked window. This guide outlines temporary and long-term fixes so you can take care of window cracks before they spread.
When to Fix Cracked Windows
A bad storm, a ball thrown by your neighbor’s kid, or a rock from your mower can leave you with a project you didn’t expect. However, learning how to fix a window crack isn’t as tricky as it sounds. The key is to address the crack before it gets larger. Once a crack spreads or runs in so many directions that pressing your palm against it would cause the glass to bend or shatter, you’re beyond a do-it-yourself (DIY) fix.
Note that if the damaged window is single-pane, the fixes we outline will work temporarily but you’ll likely need full window replacement later on. Single-pane windows are considered inefficient and are slowly becoming obsolete as technology advances within the windows industry. You may be better off replacing a single-pane window entirely rather than attempting a short-lived repair.
Double- and triple-pane windows have gas fills for improved energy efficiency. These gases are better at insulating than just air and help to keep heat inside during winter and out in summer. When one of the panes of glass is broken, that gas escapes, eliminating an important aspect of the window’s efficiency. This is another reason it’s important to address cracks promptly.
How to Fix Cracked Windows
There are two routes you can take to fix a cracked window: a temporary solution that takes care of the immediate problem or a long-term fix that is more intensive but provides a better result. We outline both options below.
Temporary Window Fixes
Temporary fixes will eventually need further attention. Still, they can keep the crack from spreading and help maintain the structural integrity of the window glass until you decide on a more permanent route. These cost-effective options won’t win you any points for curb appeal, but they’ll help you avoid further cracking.
- Glass adhesive: Glass adhesive is intended to repair vehicle windows, but it will work the same for your home. You can purchase glass adhesive online or at most auto maintenance stores. Simply follow the instructions provided.
- Nail polish or super glue: Filling the crack with a few layers of clear nail polish or clear super glue can fix the issue. Wipe away any excess polish after each application for a cleaner finish. Let each layer dry before applying another.
- Plastic brace: This option is more temporary and less attractive. If you’re in a pinch and need to secure cracked window glass quickly, you can take a piece of plastic, such as a thick notebook cover, and securely tape it on both sides of the crack. Ideally, the plastic piece should be larger than the crack, but try to cover at least the most fragile part. This will keep the window together until you can get a better solution. It will also prevent a gust of wind or rogue objects from leaving shards of glass inside your home.
- Strong-hold tape: Heavy-duty tapes, such as masking or packing tape, will hold a crack for a while. One strip of masking tape on both sides of the window should be enough to keep superficial cracks, such as stress cracks, from worsening. Stress cracks result when low temperatures cause your glass to expand and contract. Deeper cracks, such as impact cracks resulting from flying objects, may require doubling up the tape on both sides. Either way, extend the tape a few inches beyond the crack on both ends.
Upsides and Downsides of Temporary Window Fixes
A Permanent Window Fix
Epoxy repair is a better option if you’re willing to take the more labor-intensive route. It will result in a longer-lasting and more attractive finish. When done properly, epoxy can make it look like the crack never existed.
You’ll need the following:
- Cotton rag
- Glass cleaner
- Liquid dishwashing soap
- Microfiber cloth
- Putty knife
Here are step-by-step instructions for fixing a cracked window with epoxy:
- First, gently clean over and around the window crack with soap and water. Be careful not to apply too much pressure to the glass. Use a clean cotton rag and remove any dirt or debris from the area, then let it dry completely.
- Next, mix the epoxy according to its directions and carefully apply it to the crack from end to end with a putty knife. Leave it to dry.
- Remove any excess mixture by using a razor blade. You can dab a few drops of acetone on the area to help it come off easier.
Lastly, use glass cleaner and a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess epoxy. Polish the area until the glass shines.
Upsides and Downsides of Epoxy
Professional vs. DIY Window Fixes
You can manage any of these fixes on your own as long as you’re willing to put in the work and use the right materials. If you’re not confident you can repair the crack without making it worse or don’t want to deal with it yourself, you can reach out to a professional window repair company. For certain types of glass, such as delicate glass found in historic homes, it may be safer to leave the job to the professionals. This glass will be easier to break and harder to replace.
A broken glass window is a big inconvenience. If the damage isn’t too severe, you can likely repair it yourself in a couple of hours. However, for large cracks and more fragile breaks, you may be better off consulting a professional or investing in a full window replacement.
Whichever route you take, you should figure out what caused the crack in the first place if it isn’t already obvious. You don’t want the same issue to happen again.
Window Fixing FAQ
Can cracked glass be fixed?
Small glass cracks can typically be fixed using epoxy or a glass adhesive. Larger, more delicate cracks will likely require professional glass repair.
How do you fix cracked glass at home?
If you only need a temporary fix, you can fix cracked glass at home by securing the glass with heavy-duty tape, glass adhesive, clear nail polish, super glue, or plastic bracing. For a longer-term solution and a cleaner finish, an epoxy mixture is recommended.
Can you fix a broken window without replacing it?
As long as the damage isn’t too severe, you can likely fix a broken window on your own and avoid buying a new window.
How can I cover a crack in my window?
You can cover a crack in your window with masking or duct tape, glass adhesives, super glue, or epoxy. These DIY methods allow you to cover small cracks in your window.