If you have a cracked window, you can take temporary safety measures to keep it from spreading, but how do you know when it’s time for a replacement?
It happens to most homeowners at one point or another. One moment you’re relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee and admiring your view, when all of a sudden, you notice a troublesome crack. Window cracks can cause great concern, but do you need to replace the entire window because of one simple flaw?
The decision between glass repair or replacement is largely dependent on time, budget, fracture size, and whether you prefer a quick fix or a long-term solution. Before making a decision, homeowners should understand their options and the implications of each. Luckily, we’re here to help!
Here are a few details you should know before making the taxing decision to repair or replace your cracked window.
Common Causes of Window Damage
We all rely on our windows to remain fully intact and keep us safe from the elements and intruders. Although new technology allows for highly durable windows, there’s still a chance they can become damaged.
Here are some common causes of window damage:
- Extreme temperature fluctuations
- A significant temperature disparity between the inside and outside of the home
- Inclement weather events
- Physical forces such as a rock, tree branch, or slamming the window shut
- Aged windows, as they are more susceptible to damage
Types of Window Cracks
Although windows can crack in various ways, here are two of the most common types you might experience:
- Stress cracks – You can differentiate a stress crack from a pressure crack based on its crack pattern. Stress cracks start around the edges of the window frame and continue to grow if not repaired properly.
- Pressure cracks – Pressure cracks break in an hourglass shape and are most commonly found on insulated glass or double-pane windows. These cracks require immediate window replacement.
Small Cracks vs. Large Cracks
For windows with smaller cracks, you might opt to patch up the crack instead of replacing the whole pane. Most repairmen can do this for you, or you can apply one of several DIY methods. No matter the method you choose, it’s imperative to mend the crack quickly. A small crack can expand if not repaired promptly, eventually warranting a whole window replacement.
If you’re dealing with a large crack, you might need immediate window replacement. It’s never a sound idea to leave a broken window unattended for long, so it’s important to speedily arrange for a replacement. Broken windows can allow intruders, wild animals, or insects into your home, compromising your safety and security.
Broken windows also pose a shatter hazard that could wound you, your pets, or your children. While waiting for the technician, cover the window with duct tape and cardboard to give it stability and protect it from shattering.
Reparable Window Damage
Most homeowners are surprised to learn that many window problems can be effectively repaired. In addition to minor cracks, here are a few occurrences that can usually be mended:
- Broken or chipped glass
- Warped window panels
- Minor water leaks
- Broken muntins/mullions on single-pane windows
- Slow-moving or stuck window sashes
- Poor exterior casing
- Missing or damaged exterior drip cap
If the damage involves only the glass panes, it’s usually possible to repair the window by replacing the glass rather than the whole window.
Repair Tips for Cracked Window Panes
For a temporary fix for your cracked panes, do the following:
- Place masking tape on both sides of the crack to stabilize the panel.
- Clean the surface with acetone and carefully apply super glue to keep the crack from spreading.
- Cover the window with plastic for temporary insulation.
- If the crack is on a storm window, place insulation between the panes with bubble wrap.
- Use a caulking gun to seal any additional cracks around the frame and panel.
These fixes are only temporary because there is no way to prevent a crack from spreading indefinitely. With that said, you might be able to slow it down and preserve the window’s longevity.
When To Replace Your Windows
Cracked glass will eventually require replacement, but how do you know when it’s time? Here are our recommendations for when you should seek a permanent solution:
- If the damage affects the window frame in addition to the glass
- If the glass is no longer encased within the frame
- The glass has created a safety hazard
- The crack has broken the seal on a double-pane window
- Inoperable, rotting, or damaged exterior casing
- Major water leakage
- Substantial structural problems
- Poor interior faux muntins/mullions
Why Should You Replace Cracked Windows?
Fully replacing a cracked window isn’t always necessary, but here are a few reasons why it might be a wise decision:
- Enhanced appearance – A broken or cracked window doesn’t look attractive and can compromise your home’s charm. Glass damage will also reduce the overall value of your home.
- Safety – Safety is a prominent issue when it comes to cracked windows. We recommend replacing your windows as quickly as possible to safeguard your home and belongings from theft or injuries.
- Weather resistance – Windows must be weather-resistant to keep out dirt, dust, and water. If your window is cracked, these elements can sneak through and hinder the comfort of your home.
- Less air leakage – In the event of air leaks, your heating or cooling system becomes ineffective. Air leaking is a major concern for homeowners because it can drastically hike up your energy bills.
Murry Glass Does It All
Do you have cracked windows that are cramping your style? Murray Glass is here to help. As Utah’s leader in glass repair, there’s no chip, break, or crack that we can’t handle. Whether it’s broken tempered glass or double-paned, a residential or commercial project, we can help. We’ll be transparent with you and work within your budget.We serve Salt Lake, Summit, Weber, Tooele, and Utah counties in Utah. Reach out today to get started!