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Articles / Expert tips

Emergency Glass Repair: 6 Things You Should Do When Glass Breaks

3 August 2022

Emergency Glass Repair: 6 Things You Should Do When Glass Breaks

Glass is all around our homes and commercial properties of today.

However, as much as glass is an attractive addition, an unexpected breakage can be quite a stressful and dangerous situation.

Whether you’re dealing with a shattered piece of glass or just a crack, it’s essential to have a plan to act as quickly and safely as possible.

So to help, our expert O’Brien Glass® experts, have outlined the six things you should do when glass breaks and when to call for emergency glass repair.

What can cause glass to break?

  • Impact damage

This is the most common cause of glass breakage, whether accidental, deliberate or weather-related. For example, intruders and vandals can throw debris that can break glass, or children (and adults) can accidentally shatter a window or break glass furniture when running around or playing with hard objects. The wind can also carry solid things that hit glass too.

  • Poor edge quality

Glass edge damage can occur when glass is installed incorrectly or via cutting and processing flaws. A slight edge imperfection, impact or chip can lead to the entire pane breaking after its original installation.

  • Thermal stress

Heat or cold-induced stress in glass is caused by a temperature difference between the centre and edge of the glass pane. If the thermally induced stress exceeds the strength of the glass, it can break, usually not in a straight line.

To learn more about the different types of glass and how they break, read here.


What should you do if glass breaks?

Glass is a versatile yet fragile material.

No matter what type of glass and where it’s installed, glass can crack, break or shatter altogether for many reasons.

Knowing what to do, if this happens, is important, so you can protect yourself and those around you.

So, here are six things you should do when glass breaks:

1. Determine the cause of breakage.

While there are numerous causes of broken glass, it’s essential to get to the bottom of what has caused the incident as soon as you can.

Begin by carefully inspecting the area to make sure there is no further damage to other parts of your home or business and that you understand what has happened so that you can act accordingly.

2. Block access to the area.

Broken shards of glass can pose a serious risk. So it’s important to secure the area immediately, let everyone close by know and keep children and pets away.

3. Clean around the site on horizontal surfaces (avoiding any glass still in the frame) as soon as possible.

Always protect yourself from any glass shards while you clean up the area. Put on closed shoes and thick gloves before doing anything else. Glasses would be good, too, as glass flicks up in unpredictable ways when sweeping up. This will reduce the risk of cutting yourself.

First, look for larger glass pieces and discard them before cleaning up the smaller shards. Then, sweep up any fragments and vacuum the immediate and wider area to ensure you’ve picked up any remaining pieces or granules.

Do not attempt to remove even small pieces of ordinary annealed glass that are still present within the frame, as moving one small amount could cause the collapse of any remaining portions (and cause injury)

4. Apply a temporary covering (if possible or needed).

The next step is to temporarily cover the window or door opening with cardboard and tape (if possible). This is important for safety reasons and to secure your home or business. This can serve as a temporary fix until a professional O’Brien® glazier organises an emergency glass replacement for you.

If the glass is toughened, it will have either shattered into small pieces with some or all remaining in the frame. Use a cardboard sheet or other solid material sheet and affix it to the frame edge, not the glass. This same process applies to broken annealed glass still within the frame. If the glass is laminated because it’s held together, it would usually only require some wide tape to secure a small hole breakthrough or large crack.

5. Contact your insurance provider.

Find out whether your emergency glass replacement is covered by your home insurance policy, such as a break-in. Your insurance provider will then verify if you are eligible for having the costs of window glass replacement covered (and usually arrange for a glazier to assist).

6. Contact a qualified local glazing expert.

If you don’t have insurance, you’ll need to contact a qualified glazier, like O’Brien Glass®, who will be able to provide an emergency glass replacement for you. Your local expert glazier will be able to provide recommendations on the most suitable type of glass for your home or business.

If a window, pane or panel was ever to shatter, follow the above steps to handle the broken glass and get it fixed. This will help protect you and your family or your colleagues and help reduce the stress of the whole situation!


When glass breaks, think of O’Brien® – your local glass experts

At O’Brien®, our local glazing team can provide you with quality glass products and glazing services – from emergency replacement and new glass installation to shower screens, window tinting, pet doors in windows and glass doors and more.

Contact us today, and we’ll help you choose the right type of glass for every application in either your home or office.

For more information about our quality glazing services, call us on 1800 719 737 or send us a message to speak with one of our friendly staff.

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