5 Things to Consider When Placing a Temporary Cover Over a Broken Window

If your window has been broken, it may be several days before you can order and install a replacement window. Until then, it is important to keep your home secure and the residents of your house comfortable by covering the hole where your window was. You can use several items from around your home, such as trash bags, cardboard, or wood, to achieve the necessary results.

Your best option is to replace it as soon as possible when your window is broken. However, while you are waiting for your replacement window, you should keep the above five issues in mind. 

Removing Broken Glass

Before you cover a broken window, you should remove the glass broken from the window pane. This will ensure that no one gets cut on the remaining glass shards and the shards do not rip through your window covering. However, if your glass is merely cracked and there are no missing pieces, adding duct tape or packing tape along the length of the glass can keep it safely in place until a professional can be called to remove the glass. 

If you are unable to safely remove the broken glass, you will need to select a thicker window covering that is not easily torn. Cardboard, particle board, and wood are good options. If you have curious animals at home, such as a cat, you may want to cover both sides of the broken window so they do not get caught as they explore the new window covering. 


Modern double and triple pane windows offer quite a bit of insulation compared to single pane windows. Once your window is broken, you may be surprised by how much heat you lose to the exterior of your home when you have a temporary covering installed. Thicker items such as cardboard and particle board offer higher levels of insulation than plastic sheeting or a trash bag. However, you can increase the insulation value of any covering by adding a layer on each side of the window. The small air pocket caught between the two layers will act as an insulating layer. 

If you are missing a window during the cold season, you may need more insulation than a double layer can offer. If so, consider hanging a thick blanket on the inside of the window to give your residents even more warmth. 


While you may only need a temporary covering for a few days, you do not want it to break in the middle of the night or to replace it every day. Removing the broken glass from your window is a good way to extend the life of a temporary cover. Also, keep in mind that plastic covers need to be stretched tightly to avoid tearing by high winds and cardboard can get soggy and tear easily when it is wet. 

If you live in a particularly stormy area, you may want to combine cardboard with a waterproof plastic layer for greater durability. 


If your window is located in a room that is used often and depends on natural light, then you will need to select a window covering that allows light into the room. Generally, this limits your options to clear or translucent plastic sheeting or trash bags. However, you can also add a blanket with a loose knit in front of the plastic to increase insulation. 


If you live in an area with moderate or high crime rates, a broken window, especially on the ground floor, can be seen as an excellent place to enter a home. To prevent this, you will want to select a sturdier covering, such as particle board or wood. This will deter criminals from entering your home.