How to Board Up Windows:

A Step-by-Step Guide

How to board up a broken window is one of the random emergency skills everyone should know (but hopefully will never need!).

If your windows break during a natural disaster such as an earthquake, for example, you’d need to board them. Otherwise, intruders or looters could easily get into your home – especially if you need to evacuate and aren’t sure when you will be back.

Remove Broken Glass

While wearing gloves, wiggle out the pieces of broken glass. If it doesn’t come out easily, you can put duct tape on the glass in a grid pattern. Then use a scraper to remove the putty or molding holding the glass pane in place. The duct tape grid lets you pull the entire pane out in one piece.

Cut Plywood and 2×4 Board

– Measure the window or door     opening. – Cut plywood so it is larger than     the window opening. – Cut a 2×4 board that is 12 inches     longer than the window opening.     For doors or large windows, you     will need two 2×4 boards.

Drill Holes in the Plywood and 2×4

– Line up the plywood and 2×4. The     2×4 should extend over both sides     of the plywood board. – Drill 3/8” holes (at least two) in     the plywood and ½” holes in the     2×4.

Install Carriage Bolts

– Put a large washer onto 3/8”     carriage bolts. – Put the bolts through the holes in     the plywood.

Hang Plywood

– While inside the building, grasp     the end of the carriage bolt     sticking out of the plywood board.     Maneuver the plywood out of the     window. – Still grasping the carriage bolts,     hold the plywood against the     exterior of the window or door.

Attach 2×4

– From the interior of the building,     attach the 2×4 to the plywood. Do     this by sliding the holes in the 2×4     over the carriage bolts. – Put a nut on the bolts and make     sure it is very tight.