The dreaded broken window—more than simply an inconvenience, a broken window can compromise your home’s security, comfort, and energy efficiency. Whether your window is cracked or the glass has been shattered, there are simple steps you can take to give yourself peace of mind that your home remains safe and efficient.

 Step 1: Clear up the mess

If you’re dealing with shattered glass, you definitely do not want to leave it lying around. Put on some protective gloves and prepare to clear the area. Use your gloved hands to carefully pick up the biggest pieces and place them in either a paper or double-layered plastic bag. Then vacuum the tiniest pieces so that you’re in no danger of accidentally stepping on the smaller shards.

Is some of the glass still hanging onto the window frame? You may choose to remove it yourself. Place a protective drop cloth under the window to catch the broken glass as you loosen it by tapping it with the butt of a hammer.

Step 2: Secure the window opening

If your local window repair service cannot come immediately, the next step is to temporarily cover the hole. To keep your property secure, stop your heat or AC from escaping, and prevent any critters from making themselves at home, you’ll want to seal the opening. You can temporarily fix a broken window pane until a professional repair team arrives.

If your window is cracked, use clear packing tape or masking tape to keep the air from coming in or out. Be sure to very carefully clean the inside and outside of the window first.

If the window is shattered, you should start by clearing the window pane to avoid any further accidents (see step 1 above). You can then use heavy duty, double-layered plastic to cover the opening (trash bags work well). Fold the plastic to the size you need and tape or staple it for a temporary fix.

Step 3: File an insurance claim

Find out whether your broken window is covered by your homeowners insurance, especially if it was a result of an act of nature or a break-in. Your insurance provider may have certain requirements for what you need in order to file a claim, and which repair companies you are able to work with.

You may also need the assistance of your window repair professional in order to meet the requirements of your insurer. Before you try to repair the damage, contact your insurance rep to find out more about their policies.

Step 4: Call a window repair and replacement professional

Finally, make an appointment with a window contractor to help you assess and repair the damage. Using a professional company is the best way to ensure that your job is not only done neatly, but correctly. They will also be able to recommend the right replacement for your home.

A broken window brings all of your home’s windows and doors top of mind. Now might be the time to consider upgrading to more energy-efficient and/or durable replacement windows for your entire home. A professional will be able to size and install these replacement windows correctly.

Dealing with a broken window isn’t fun, but following these four steps will provide the peace of mind you need to get on with your life.

Need help repairing a broken window in your home? Contact Acme Glass to get it done right.

The Homeowners Complete Guide to window Replacement