Module 4 – Securing Windows &amp Other Openings

Chapter 11: Reglazing, Replacement, Security Screening & Security Film

Alternative methods must be used to secure a property when windows and other openings cannot be locked with their existing hardware.  The following services are a critical part of securing a property from unlawful entry and protecting the asset from the elements. Proper completion of these services should not cause more damage to the home.


Reglazing window panes offers a viable alternative to boarding for areas in which boarding may not be permitted or may bring undue attention to the property.  The type of window and pane present will dictate whether or not reglazing is possible.  Reglazing is recommended for single pane windows with wooden sashes.  Aluminum and vinyl windows will not support this type of repair.  There are several tools/supplies that will be required to reglaze a window pane:

  •  Clean 1 ½-inch putty knife
  •  Heat gun
  •  1-inch paintbrush
  •  Glass
  •  Aluminum foil or heat resistant cloth
  •  Glazier’s points
  •  Glazing putty/compound
  •  Exterior primer
  •  Razor blade
  •  Paint thinner
  •  Needle nosed pliers
  •  Work gloves


  1.  Remove the window to be reglazed from the frame.  Although removal is not absolutely necessary, it will make the process much easier.
  2.  Scrape away existing glazing around the edges of the pane.  If the existing glazing is difficult to remove, use a heat gun to soften it.  Be sure to protect undamaged glass from heat using aluminum foil or heat resistant cloth.
  3.  If necessary, remove existing glazing points or bend them back using needle nosed pliers until existing glass can be removed, then remove remaining points.
  4.  Seal any exposed wood with primer.
  5.  After allowing primer to dry, work the glazing putty into a small snake and place it into the sash as a bed for the new glass.
  6.  Replace the broken pane of glass.  To ensure that the replacement pane will fit, measure the length and width of the opening and subtract 1/8 inch from each measurement.  Plexi-glass should never be used as a replacement for the broken or missing glass.
  7.  Install glazing points into the wood around the new pane spaced a few inches apart.
  8.  Spread glazing compound/putty around the new pane using the putty knife or by making a larger snake and pushing it in place with the putty knife.  All glazing points should be completely covered.  A putty knife dipped in paint thinner can be used to even out the compound.  Follow product instructions regarding dry time prior to reinstallation of the window.
  9.  Remove excess glazing compound and primer using a razor blade, clean and reinstall the window.

Reglazing is often referred to as an art and may take some practice to master.  If you are uncomfortable with this process it is highly recommended that you attend a workshop or enlist the aid of a professional in completing your first few jobs.



For properties in high end neighborhoods, communities with ordinances prohibiting boarding, or broker sales plans that do not support boarding window replacement may be necessary.  Many clients will also require that bids for replacement be provided along with bids for reglazing and boarding (if applicable).  Replacement bids should be for windows and doors that match that of the existing structure.  For example, if a property has wooden windows, a bid for replacement should be for a wooden window.  Installation instructions will vary depending upon the product utilized.  As with reglazing, if you are not comfortable with installation of these products a professional should be consulted.

Security Screening & Sheeting

Several communities throughout the country require the use of security screens rather than boarding to prevent access to properties.  Security screens may also be advisable in high vandal areas where break-ins are common or windows are regularly broken.  Security screens consist of metal grating that covers openings acting as a deterrent to unauthorized entrants.  These screens fit tightly over windows and doors and are attached to the building using a bolting system.  Effective screens leave no opening, preventing removal via prying, but allowing air and light to penetrate the structure.

Metal sheeting may also be acceptable in certain municipalities and would consist of solid sheets of metal installed on openings of the property.  This option will not permit air and light to enter the property making service and real estate showings difficult without a light source.

These products are typically installed and maintained by security companies that specialize in security screening.  If suggesting the use of these materials or if requested to provide this service, be sure to check with the client to determine their procedures for working with a third-party.


Security Film

Security film is an alternative to security screens.  This film provides clients with a more cost effective, visually appealing and less logistically challenging option for the determent of vandals and vagrants.  When installed correctly, security film helps prevent shatter and breakage of glass.

The basic procedure for installing security film is as follows:

  1.  Measure the window to be covered.
  2.  Add 2 inches to the width and 1 inch to the length, cut the film
  3.  Clean the window with glass cleaner
  4.  Peel the backing off of the film
  5.  Spray the window and film with the mounting solution provided with the security film
  6.  Line the top edge of the film up with the top of the window and center allowing excess film to hang over the sides and bottom
  7.  Press adhesive side of the film to the glass
  8.  Spray the film with mounting solution and use squeegee (often provided with film) to remove bubbles
  9.  Cut excess film with utility knife
  10.  If bubbles remain, spray the film again with the mounting solution and use the squeegee to remove excess air

DIY Window Security Film |

Final Notes
The work order and/or client handbook is the ultimate source for securing expectations at any property being serviced. The goal is to secure the property from the elements and from unlawful entry without causing unnecessary damage or value loss to the property.

  •  If the property is in a high vandalism area, a quote should still be provided for reglazing, replacement and bolt boarding services since the decision is ultimately the client’s. In either case be sure to communicate concerns regarding the area to the client. Also note that you may be required to bid on the removal of broken glass separately.
  •  All windows should be locked; If the window lock is damaged or missing, report this to the client and bid to remedy the situation unless instructions state otherwise (Nails should never be driven into frame or sill to secure an opening)
  •  If a window is broken, refer to the client’s instructions or the loan type to determine if bids should be provided or if emergency boarding is permitted.