When you suddenly hear a loud crack or you decide to look out the window and notice a huge line in the glass, you may have a sinking feeling in your chest. Having a cracked window is not something that you want to have to deal with as a homeowner, but luckily, there are things you can do if it happens to you. What can you do when your windows are cracked? Can you fix it yourself or do you need to hire a professional to help you?
If you’ve noticed you have a cracked window, keep reading to learn more about what may have caused it and how your windows can be fixed or replaced fast.
What Caused the Cracked Window?
As you may imagine, there are a number of things that could cause a cracked window, but it is important to narrow down what may have happened to avoid it happening again in the future. This will also help you figure out whether or not your window has to be replaced or if the damage can be curbed with a temporary or permanent fix. Most windows are quite durable, so you may be able to figure out how it cracked based on the size of the crack itself. There are many things that can cause a broken or cracked window, including thermal fluctuations, drastic pressure system changes and things hitting your window. Understanding these 3 most common causes can help you prevent the crack from ruining your window glass.
A temperature stress crack will start off small and then grow bigger as it expands over the glass. You will generally find them by the edge of a window. The most common reason you will see a stress crack is due to temperature changes. When there is a big temperature difference between your home and outside, your window glass is strained. Another reason that you may find general stress cracks (not related to temperature) could be the window being slammed or the window falling shut.
Force or Impact
An impact break happens when a person or an object hits the glass on the window. This might be something like hail, rocks flung toward the window, or a stray baseball. This break occurs when there is a sudden force that hits the glass and causes a change in the structure. You will be able to tell if your window crack is this type of break based on how it looks. If it spreads in a star pattern that goes away from the point of impact, it is an impact break. With this type of break, you will need to talk to a window professional regarding whether or not your window can be repaired or if window replacement is necessary. It is not a good idea to attempt to remove the broken window without help due to the risk of hurting yourself with broken glass.
Pressure System Change
This is the least common type of crack and it generally happens suddenly. A pressure crack will form on double-panel windows. If there are drastic pressure system changes due to weather, a crack can form in the window. The placement of your window on your home can increase the risk of this happening – if the windows are too high or too low, you may get a pressure crack. A crack of this type will usually look more curved, which is a telltale sign that it is a pressure crack. If your window gets cracked in this way, it is recommended that you have a window replacement completed because a repair may not be a permanent fix.
Do You Need to Replace the Whole Window?
As you may be able to guess, whether or not you need to replace the window will depend on the severity and type of the crack you have. This is why it is so important to know the difference in types of window cracks and how these cracks happen in the first place. If your window is cracked due to temperature changes or force, it is possible that you can repair the window with the help of a professional. If your window is cracked due to pressure changes, however, a replacement of the entire window is going to be your best option.
A crack that is smaller than 12 inches can be professionally repaired with a permanent fix. Cracks that are larger than 12 inches or chips that are bigger than the size of a quarter will likely result in the entire window glass pane needing to be replaced. If you’re not experienced with window repair, you will probably want to hire a professional to come and assess the window damage. Otherwise, you may make mistakes on your own that can cost you more later.
Replace or Repair: You Decide
If you’re dealing with a cracked window, it’s better to take action sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you risk the chance of the crack getting larger and deeper and the cost of repair growing higher. No one wants to deal with a cracked window, but now that you understand what caused the crack, you’re better prepared to deal with it. Are you looking for other tips that you can use around the house? Do you want to learn more about DIY and home improvement? If so, check out our website to see what changes you can make to your home today!