How to Replace Garage Door Window Inserts with Solid Panels

What You'll Need
Hand Gloves
Safety Goggles
Needle Nose Pliers
Screw driver
Wood chisel
Utility Knife
Foldable stair or Step Ladder
Latex Glazing Compound in Silicone
Caulk Made of Silicone Material
New Glass, Plastic, or Wood Panels

If your garage door window inserts made of glass are showing degradation or that you simply want to upgrade on style, it may be time to replace them. Replacing your window inserts can be a bit tricky but if you are patient and you love to work with your hands, you can do the job well. To replace your garage door window inserts, here is what you should do.

Step 1 – Get the Area Ready

Wear the necessary protective equipment such as hand gloves and safety goggles before you start working on glass materials. Get all the materials and tools you need ready and then free up the area surrounding you garage from any obstructions. If you have furniture inside your garage, move it outside for the time being to avoid accidents. Once the garage is clear from obstructions, release the door and let it settle to the ground. Unplug the automatic opener to keep the door from opening accidentally.

Step 2 – Detach Glass Panels

Gently remove a sample of the glass panel. Take the inner dimensions of the freed up panel frame in terms of height and width. Buy the glass panel at 1/8-inch smaller than the glass pane. This measurement can be easily checked with the glass panel sample.

Break the remaining glass panels using a hammer. Just be sure you wear the necessary safety goggles. Remove the glass litters and set aside for safe disposal. Use a wood chisel to scrape off the glazer’s putty around the edges and at the opposite side of the door. Ensure the whole frame is freed up from remains of the putty and broken glass debris to have a clean surface to install the new panels.

Use needle nose pliers to pull out the metal points from the frame. These are small metal triangles that originally fix the glass panels in place. Set these metal points aside for re-use.

Step 3 – Install New Panels

Install the new glass pane and gently tap the metal points back into the frame. Be careful not to let the glass slip from the groove. Put in two pieces on each edge of the glass. This will hold the pane in place up to the time the glazing compound will harden. Fix the points firmly using the flat edge of screwdriver and hammer.

Use the utility knife to open the tube tip of latex glazing compound in silicone. Make a thick bead application of the glazing compound along all four sides of the panel. Smooth it with a damp finger for better results.

Apply on the inside of the new pane with a 100-percent bead silicone caulk around to complete the seal. Let the door rest for 24 hours in its down position. This will allow the glaze enough time to harden. Put a sign around to remind everyone on the safety risk until the glass panels are firmly fixed by the caulk.

 Step 4 – Finishing Up

Set aside any used tubes of the caulking materials for safe disposal. Clean up the area and make sure that there are no glass flints on the floor.