What You Need to Know About Broken Glass

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Sooner or later, everyone experiences breaking a piece of glass. Whether it’s a glass jar, a broken window, or even a mirror, it’s common to make the mistake of shattering glass. When the glass is destroyed and you’re left with a mess, you’ll probably be asking yourself, how do I clean this up? How can I get my broken glass repaired? This article will discuss why glass breaks, how you can clean it up, and how to get it fixed.

Why Does Glass Break?

Although glass is a strong substance, it can be prone to breaking under the right circumstances. Here are a few reasons why glass can break:

Temperature fluctuations

In general, glass does not handle temperature changes very well, and sudden temperature fluctuations can leave it prone to breaking. Glass is a poor thermal conductor. Any sudden temperature changes can create stress fractures in the glass, leading to cracking. When the glass is warmed, it expands, causing stress forces to develop, leading to fractures. Alternatively, when glass is cooled quickly, it contracts, which also causes stress fractures. Any sudden temperature changes can make the glass break, and excessive heat, such as temperatures between 300-400 F°, can also cause the glass to break.

Can glass break spontaneously?

Spontaneous glass breakage happens when glass, specifically tempered glass, appears to shatter without any apparent reason. It only happens to tempered glass because of the manufacturing process. To make the tempered glass, it’s is superheated and then quickly cooled. If done correctly, the glass transformed into a strong glass that’s four times as strong as untempered glass.

Because tempered glass is so solid, spontaneous breakage only occurs when there is a flaw in the glass. Defects lead to quick deterioration of the glass and eventually to breaking. Imperfections in the production process, such as tempering glass, different chemical compounds, or tiny nicks in the glass, weaken the glass. As the tempered glass slowly deteriorates with use and temperature changes, the chip slowly spreads on a microscopic level. Over time, the glass is weakened enough to shatter. While it may seem that there is no cause for the break, there is always a reason why glass breaks spontaneously.

Old weathered glass

Broken glass windows are a common sight in old, dilapidated houses. As with many other elements in a home, glass can wear down throughout the years and eventually will need to be replaced. Temperature changes, wind, storms, and sun can all take a toll on glass windows, leading to brittle glass.

If you have older windows inside your house, you may want to consider replacing them. Most experts agree that quality, well-maintained windows should last about 20 years. Some manufacturers have a 20-25 year warranty, which is the expected lifetime of the windows. Because older glass is more likely to break, you’ll want to stay on top of window replacement so your house remains secure and efficient.


Precautions for Handling or Cleaning Up Broken Glass

Broken glass can be frustrating, messy, and even dangerous if not handled carefully. If you find yourself with shattered glass, such as a broken glass window or a broken glass mirror, it’s essential to handle and dispose of the pieces properly.


How to Dispose of Broken Glass

Broken glass or mirror pieces can be extremely sharp, so taking extra precautions to clean up the mess is necessary. When dealing with these pieces, wear some puncture-proof gloves and close-toed shoes. Taking these extra precautions will help prevent an accidental cut. Slowly gather the pieces and place them in an empty cardboard box. Scan the ground with a flashlight for smaller pieces you might have missed. Once you’ve gathered all the pieces, tape the box shut. Label the box to ensure that anyone who comes across the box later knows what’s inside. Place the container in a bag and then set it carefully inside your garbage can for pickup.

Can You Throw Broken Glass in the Trash?

Yes, you can place broken glass in the trash. As mentioned above, take the necessary steps to prevent the glass from accidentally injuring someone else. It is not recommended to place the glass directly in a garbage pin or plastic bag, as it further risks yourself and others.

Can You Recycle Broken Glass?

It’s possible to recycle broken glass, but it will not be recycled into its previous state. Some municipalities do not recycle broken glass, so check with any recycling companies to determine where you can take any broken glass to be recycled.

How to Remove Broken Glass From a Window

If the glass in your windows is broken, you may want to remove it from the windowpane. You may also be wondering about removing broken glass from a double pane window. The process remains similar whether the broken glass is tempered, regular window glass, or double-paned. Follow these steps to remove broken glass:

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Protect Yourself

Any time you are handling glass, the first step is to take the proper precautions so you don’t injure yourself. Wear protective gear such as heavy gloves, thick boots, long sleeves and pants, and safety glasses.

Tape Over the Broken Glass

Apply masking tape over the entire window, including the broken area. The tape holds the broken pieces together and prevents them from scattering. Avoid using heavy-duty tape because you’ll want to be able to remove the tape later on.

Gently Loosen Glass Using Tools

Using a heavy hand tool such as the butt of a hammer or a pry bar, loosen any glass pieces with soft taps. Remove large pieces and make sure they’re disposed of properly.

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Clear Away Any Pieces Remaining in the Frame

You’ll probably find that some smaller pieces are still in the frame. In this case, use a small putty knife or even a chisel to remove any glazing holding the pieces in place. Gently remove the bits and dispose of them properly.

Should You Replace a Broken Window With Regular Glass or Tempered Glass?

Replacing the glass in a broken glass window may seem daunting. You may be wondering, how to fix my broken glass window, and what type of glass should I put in the frame? The type of glass you should use will depend on the window, its use, and its location. For example, windows with more use or even sliding glass doors would be beneficial to use tempered glass. The tempered glass would be safer if the window or door breaks again, and people are less likely to get injured.

On the other hand, replacing a unique window, like a stained glass window, would be a different story. If you’re uncertain which type of glass would work best in a broken window, consult a window or glass company such as Sawyer Glass. We can advise you on the best route to take that will benefit you in the future.

Cost to Repair a Broken Glass Window

If you don’t want to repair a broken window yourself and are wondering, how much is it to repair or replace a broken glass window? Broken glass window replacement costs can vary depending on the size of the window, the type of glass, and a few other factors. The average cost of window repair across the country is $350. More complicated repairs can cost upwards of $2,000. For a more accurate estimate, it’s best to contact a glass company such as Sawyer Glass.

Replacing a Broken Glass Mirror

Unfortunately, broken mirrors can be just as common as broken windows or other types of glass. After all, mirrors are made by spraying a thin layer of aluminum or silver onto the back of a solid sheet of glass. When a mirror is broken, it will need to be replaced. Luckily, replacing the broken glass mirror is easy when you call a Salt Lake broken glass replacement company like Sawyer Glass.

Trust Sawyer Glass as Your Broken Glass Window Repair Company

When an accident happens, and you need fast glass repair or replacement, trust Sawyer Glass. Serving Utah since 1976, we are a third-generation family-owned company. From broken shower glass to broken tempered glass windows, we get the job done quickly and efficiently. Our team is highly trained and we provide the highest quality materials available. If you need glass repair, contact Sawyer Glass today.