House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Temporarily Fix a Broken Window (4 Ideas)

crack on window glass

Every home has at least one window in it, and windows can get old and crack or break. Accidents can also happen, especially if you have children, which can result in a broken window. Unfortunately, many accidents happen at inopportune times, and it might not always be possible to replace a broken window immediately. If you are looking for a quick and temporary fix, you’ve come to the right place.

divider 4

Temporarily Fixing a Broken Window (Preparation)

Safety Equipment

Since you are probably dealing with cracked or broken glass, there is a high risk of personal injury. Even if the window is still in good condition, a crack means that it’s compromised and can shatter at any moment, so we highly recommend wearing the proper protective equipment before beginning any repairs. Heavy-duty work gloves are a must, and we also recommend safety goggles. Protective footwear and thick clothing are ideal when you’re working with broken glass.

Other Items

Besides safety equipment, you may find that you need a few other items. Here is a shortlist of what might be helpful:

  • Clear packing tape
  • Nail polish
  • Krazy Glue or superglue
  • Plastic sheets
  • Masking tape
  • Garbage can
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Vacuum
measuring broken window
Image Credit: Photographee.eu, Shutterstock

Investigate and Diagnose

While wearing the proper protective equipment, move closer to the glass to diagnose the problem. If the glass is cracked but not broken, gently press on the glass around the crack to see if it’s still stable. If some pieces are loose, you’ll need to remove them. Otherwise, you can repair it as is. If you are dealing with broken glass, you’ll need to collect all the pieces and put them in the trash. Use a vacuum to clean up the area, as shattered glass can create tiny shards that can be hard to see but are still dangerous.

divider 1

Repairing a Broken Window (4 Ideas)

Repairing a Crack

1. Clear Packing Tape

If the window has a crack, carefully apply clear packing tape to both sides of the glass over the damaged glass. Applying the tape will help prevent the crack from getting larger, and it should last long enough for you to get it repaired correctly. Masking tape also works well on cracked glass and is easier to use, but it’s more unsightly when you use it in visible locations.


2. Nail Polish

A great way to prevent the glass from cracking more, giving you time before you need to repair it properly, is to use nail polish. It’s inexpensive and easy to find, and many of us already have more than enough to complete a window repair. Any kind will work fine, but clear is the least noticeable if you need to use it in a visible location. One nice thing about nail polish is that you can apply several coats, creating a thick, protective barrier over the track that is hard and durable.


3. Krazy Glue

You can apply Krazy Glue or superglue to the window crack for an effective way to reduce the likelihood that the crack will get larger and to create a hard protective barrier that protects it. We prefer to use Krazy Glue over Super Glue in this situation because it’s water-resistant, which will help it last until you can fix the window properly.

man glueing the window
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

Repairing a Break

4. Cardboard and Plastic Sheet

If the glass in your window shatters and breaks, you will need to cover it completely. We recommend getting two heavy-duty sheets of plastic. Thicker plastic is better because it will provide more protection. We also recommend getting two pieces of heavy-duty cardboard the same size as your broken window. Place the cardboard over the broken glass to create a seal on each side and tape or staple it in place. Now cover the cardboard with thick plastic, and tape it in place to create a tight seal on each side. The cardboard will act as a windbreak, so the plastic doesn’t rattle around as much, and it’s more likely to stay in place until you can get the window fixed properly.

divider 7

Summary: How to Temporarily Fix a Broken Window

As you can see, there are several ways to fix both cracked and broken glass to buy you the time to get it repaired. In most cases, these repairs will be enough to get you through the winter season unless you have a great deal of wind or rain in your area. We like the clear nail polish idea because it’s inexpensive and readily available, and it enables you to create a thick, hard barrier over a crack that’s resistant to moisture. We found that the cardboard and plastic sheet idea also work well to temporarily fix a broken window, but it’s important to keep the seal tight around the plastic, or the cardboard will absorb moisture and freeze in the winter.


Featured Image Credit: Lina Mo, Shutterstock

Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools

woodworking

Garden

Automotive