Causes of Cracked Windows
1. Stress Cracks
Different window cracks can mean different things. A smooth, perpendicular crack in a window that starts small and runs from the edge of the window is most likely a stress crack. This type of window damage most often appears in new homes, which can be extremely frustrating to homeowners. Stress cracks appear near windows for many reasons. The most common causes of stress cracks include the following:
- Rapid changes in temperature
- Extreme discrepancy in outdoor and indoor temperatures
- Incorrect frame installation
- The window was not shimmed correctly
A solid window starts with a solid frame installation. When a window has been installed incorrectly or the glass doesn’t quite fit in the frame, a stress crack is more likely to occur. Saving money on a cheap install might sound like a good idea at first, but a slight miscalculation in measurement or using the wrong material can result in a window crack.
Stress window cracks are also called thermal shock cracks. They often happen when one part of the glass is expanding faster than another part of the class. Glass expands when it is heated and contracts when it cools. Large, shaded windows are at a particularly high risk of developing stress cracks. When parts of the window are heating in the sun and others are cooling in the shade, the different temperatures can cause the windows to crack.
Stress cracks are especially frustrating because they are more likely to appear in new homes than older homes. If you have a cracked window in your home, the window will most likely need to be replaced. Make sure your frame is level by using a level on every part of the frame in every direction. A window repair service can take care of the problem right away. A warranty offers peace of mind and added security.
2. Impact Breaks
An impact break could be the result of a baseball, rock, or another object through the window. If you are replacing the window yourself, make sure your frame is level and your window is plum. Windows that do not fit properly are more likely to have tiny stress cracks that make them more susceptible to impact breaks.
A cracked window with stress cracks (even when they are barely noticeable) is more likely to break due to impact. Broken windows can result from forces outside and inside the home. Even something as tiny as a marble can crack a window if it’s thrown hard enough.
3. Pressure Cracks
Pressure cracks are usually caused by changes in barometric pressure. Rapid and extreme changes in pressure can result in a pressure crack. A pressure crack usually follows an hourglass-shaped curve. If your window cracks due to pressure, it is likely that the frame will need to be replaced along with the window. This type of crack is not common, but an experienced vinyl window replacement expert can help you determine the type of crack, the cause of the crack, and how to prevent them in the future.
How to Remove a Broken Window Pane
If you need to replace a broken window pane, be sure to wear protective gear to avoid cuts. Eye protection might seem silly for window replacement but will help you avoid getting glass in your eye. Wear thick gloves and wear closed-toed shoes.
First, scrape away any putty around the broken window, which will loosen the pane. Remove nails and clips with pliers. Remove all the broken glass from the cracked window and use sandpaper to smooth the frame. Clean and measure the length and width of the broken window. Subtract ⅛ inch from the measurements. Finally, purchase a new pane at a hardware store after contacting a specialist to determine whether energy-efficient or double-paned glass is appropriate for your home.
Replacing Home Windows in Ellicott City
If you notice a cracked window, replacing the window alone might not solve the problem. Ask your local home improvement experts at EC Roofing & Home Services Direct what you can do about damaged windows.