Why do we board up the windows of abandoned or currently renovating buildings instead of leaving the glass?

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A small apartment building near my house is being renovated and they’ve removed all the windows and doors and covered them with plywood. Presumably there wasn’t a problem with EVERY window, so why take them all out and board them up? I imagine they were intending to replace them, but why take them out as the very first step in the reno?

In: 313

25 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Squatters can easily smash a window, move in, and board it up from there.

Yes they could also tear down the boards and then smash the windows still but people tend to follow the path of least resistance. Someone homeless and doing drugs probably doesn’t have ready access to tools.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I can only really think of two reasons. One being it is easier to pass materials/furniture/appliances through windows that would or might not otherwise fit in doorways/hallways etc. The other would be the fear of vandalism as people know the house is empty so *think* it’s fun to smash windows.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Doing so prevents injury risk if they break during other renovations on site. It also mitigates against vandalism, as well as break-ins. And, as you noted, all windows would likely be replaced anyhow.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

A few reasons: first is that some people just like to break things. Windows in an empty building is a big target. So rather than have to deal with the mess of cleaning up a ton of broken windows, removing them and boarding them up is cheaper and easier.

Second, if they are renovating, then newer windows are much more energy efficient and can pay for themselves in reduced energy costs.

Third, the city may require upgrades like that on renovation projects due to better building codes.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Windows don’t do very well in unheated, unairconditioned buildings. Excessive cold (below freezing) or heat (above 100 degrees) both cause the glass to weaken over time. After a few years, the windows will begin to shatter on their own.

This isn’t a problem if you’re heating or cooling the building, since the windows will never get cold/hot enough to begin weakening. But it is a problem when no one is paying to run that stuff.

Cold poses another problem for windows – if the temperature inside of the building drops below the dew point, then condensation will form on the windows and drip down onto the interior of the structure, causing mold or rot.

Then there’s the fact that human beings exist. Teenagers and college kids like breaking windows in buildings they know are abandoned. Squatters and thieves can also take advantage of the ease of entry/repair to gain access to the interior of the building. Getting through plywood is a lot more difficult and pretty clearly indicates to the police that anyone who is inside of the building is not supposed to be in there.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Windows break easily with little or no tools. Boards take more effort to remove to gain entry. Replace the windows with boards to keep squatters out when the building won’t be visited regularly or monitored for break-ins.

You don’t want people stripping the property of valuables like copper wire or damaging the building.
People that break into buildings to squat there don’t generally take care of the place.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If glass gets broken and not repaired, critters and the elements will destroy the inside; thieves break in to steal anything of value like appliances, copper wire and pipes.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Windows will get broken immediately, then rain / weather / rodents and squatters will move in. A boarded window is harder to open without more effort or tools.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Probably something to do with tweakers seeing a job site and thinking there’s going to be copper that they can steal by smashing a window