Glass has come a long way since the Romans first used it. What used to be fragile is now one of the most durable materials available. It’s also one of the most versatile objects and is most often used for windows.
It’s great for both commercial and industrial, as well as residential purposes. Despite this, glass still has its flaw; it can still get cracked and break. While innovative window glasses are safer when damaged, window cracks are still a cause of concern.
It’s something you shouldn’t ignore since a small crack now can lead to a major mishap later. That said, you shouldn’t “patch up” a cracked window with DIY solutions. You might think that a temporary and amateur fix is enough, but can you rely on it?
If you notice the first signs of window cracks, here’s what you need to do.
Types of Window Cracks and How to Repair Them
Modern window glasses are scientifically developed to suit our changing world and society. Some examples are earthquake-proof glass and those that are better for the environment. The ergonomics and technology of glass are a continuous development.
This is why, when modern-day glass gets damaged or broken, the only real solution is to replace it. Trying to bring back or “repair” a cracked window to its original state is impossible. More so, we can agree that all window cracks are an eyesore.
However, not all window cracks are the same. Understanding the type of window crack helps you understand how to deal with them. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to determine the kind of window crack you’re dealing with.
As well as what to do and interim ways to repair it while you wait for a replacement.
1. Impact Crack
One of the most common types of window cracks is impact cracks. As the name suggests, it happens when something hits your windows with force. Sometimes, even tiny debris flung by a weed whacker can cause these cracks.
It can also result from a potential break-in (please call the cops if this happens), a stray baseball, or a baffled bird. Impact cracks are also quite easy to identify with their unique pattern. You’ll most likely see central damage where the impact point happened.
Around it is an extensive crack pattern, depending on the force of the hit. You might also notice shattered glass around the area, so be careful when handling it. If there are some glass pieces left on your windowpane or window sill, then make sure you take them out, too.
Use sturdy boots and leather gloves when cleaning it up. Cover the area with a thick plastic tarp. This prevents your home insulation from overworking and the bugs from getting in. It’s also a good temporary water barrier in case it rains.
If the crack is small and almost unnoticeable (less than 3 inches), using tape will do. You can use tape as a temporary measure to seal window cracks. Do this for both the inside and outside of the crack to prevent further damage.
Don’t forget to schedule an immediate replacement. Keep in mind that even the smallest cracks aren’t good for you and your family’s safety.
2. Thermal Stress Crack
Older homes with outdated windows are more at risk for this type of window crack. Since most dated homes have annealed windows or float glass, they’re less durable. Thermal stress cracks usually happen due to sudden and intense changes in temperature.
A good example is during a cold winter day, and you turn up indoor heating or vice versa. They often occur at a perpendicular angle close to the window edges.
Cracked lines spread out toward the borders to the center of the glass panels. If you have this crack, take it as a sign to have your windows updated.
If you catch it early, then you’re lucky. There have been cases where windows or glass break from the heat of direct sunlight. That’s why this kind of crack can be hazardous.
Using tape to hold things together is one way to try and keep things a bit safer. A DIY fix will not be enough for a window crack repair. You’re better off replacing your windows altogether.
When dealing with a thermal stress crack, make sure only to trust the professionals. Not only do they understand window replacement or repair, but they can also suggest better alternatives.
Some examples are double-lined, toughed, or tempered windows. These types of windows are more resistant to thermal stress cracks. They are also more capable of handling temperature fluctuations better.
3. Pressure Cracks
The least common, and another potential cause of shattered windows, is pressure cracks. One way to spot them is through a noticeable curve or bulge in a window. Such contortions can lead to linear cracks and windows breaking.
Various factors lead to pressure cracks. The most common include the type of glass and window used.
Insulated glass and double-paned windows are more likely to have pressure cracks. Infrastructure elevation also affects it, as well as incorrect installation.
There’s a higher chance for pressure cracks to happen in tall skyscrapers or structures below sea level. In contrast, less possible extreme weather pressure changes can also contribute to it. Given these reasons, handling pressure cracks are best left to the professionals.
While they may happen rarely, it doesn’t mean your home isn’t at risk. Make sure to check your windows on the regular. If you spot an “hourglass” curve in your double-paned windows, consider a replacement.
Don’t wait for things to get worse before you act. You need to be more careful you live in a hi-rise building or unit where window repairs and replacement can get pricey.
What You Should Do About Window Cracks
Dealing with shattered glass is never fun or safe. While prevention is always better than cure, sometimes it might be too late. Don’t ignore and dismiss the first signs of window cracks.
At best, it might make your home less efficient – at worst, you put yourself and your family at risk. Check out our page today and find out more about how your windows contribute to a better home, lifestyle, and well-being.