How to Board Up a Broken Window

Whether it was an accident, a case of burglary or a natural disaster, knowing how to board up a window is a useful skill you should possess. It can be used as a long term solution however, it is more likely to be a short term solution for fixing an area with a smashed window.

how to board up

Why you should board a smashed window

If you are putting off boarding up your smashed windows consider these risks:

  1. Point of entry – Even if the window wasn’t broken by a burglar in the first place it still acts as a gateway for burglars. Burglars look for easy to access buildings with no physical barrier stopping them from entering your home. A house with a smashed window becomes an easy target for thieves.
  2. Risk of hurting others – While you think it is obvious that people will avoid an area that has exposed sharp glass, that’s not always the case. Children might look to explore the area or household pets might try to travel through broken windows, especially if it is on the ground floor. Boarded up windows heavily reduce the chance of anyone or anything getting injured on the exposed glass
  3. Open to the elements – The UK weather can be unpredictable. Therefore a sunny clear sky can be pouring down rain within an hour. By having an entry point for the elements, you risk water damage and are allowing unwanted things from outside your home to enter your property. Boarding up your windows isn’t always an emergency but it could save you a fortune when the weather is severe.

How to get your windows boarded up

First of all, you will need some tools so you can get your windows boarded up. All these tools should be available at your nearest DIY store, for purchase or hire. Optionally you can find these items online too:

  • Circular saw 
  • Drill bit set (it is important to  purchase drill bits that can go into the materials you need. We recommend finding something that can go through wood and masonry.)
  • Power drill (hammer drill for masonry use)
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure

If you have these tools, then you will want to buy these materials:

  • Hardwood plywood (thicker the piece the more protection it will provide, ⅝ inches minimum)
  • Lag screws (these screws should go at least 1 ¾ inches deep for small windows and 2 ¼ for larger windows)
  • Washers 
  • Water repellent sealer for wood and a brush (optional)

The process shouldn’t be too hard. but we recommend taking a day off to secure your house. The more damaged windows you have the longer it will take to cover them. However, once your windows are boarded up you will have significantly decreased the chances of personal injury, water damage or theft.

Step by step guide to boarding up smashed windows

Boarding up smashed windows is a relatively simple process. If in any doubt contact an experienced glazier. However, if you want to try it yourself here are six steps to boarding up.

  1. Measure the length of your windows, their width and height.
  2. Use those measurements to cut the hardwood to length with the circular saw, but add 8 inches so you go onto the frame.
  3. Drill holes in the plywood with your power drill, use the right drill bit for the right material.
  4. Mark where each hole goes on the window frame and use your spirit level. If it is a larger window mark a hole for each corner and at the centre of each side.
  5. Drill in your lag screws, and make sure to place a washer between the screw and the hardwood.
  6. If you plan on having the windows boarded for a long time finish by applying multiple layers of your water repellent sealer on the plywood that’s facing the outside.

Boarding up windows in an emergency

If you lack the time to collect the materials and equipment you need to carry out these steps, you should contact an emergency boarding up service. Our emergency board up service can secure your windows within an hour. It is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Boarding up a smashed window is often only a short term solution. Our emergency glazing service provides a long term solution to your issue.

If you feel unsure about what service you need, then call us on 0203 305 7161. Our team of glazing experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.