Whether a baseball hits your window, a ricocheting pebble from the lawnmower cracks your glass or you notice breakage due to old age, there are several situations where window crack repair is necessary.
Knowing what your options are when you find yourself with a crack is key. You may be able to put it off, you may need window glass repair or you may need a whole new window.
Where Cracks Can Occur on Windows
Cracks can occur in two places on windows: in the glass or in the frame.
If your window frames look off-kilter, warped or damaged, this can let in air and moisture into your home — and might affect the functionality of your window over time. Wooden frames are also prone to rot, so they should be inspected regularlycleaned and removed before a full window replacement is needed.
Glass cracks are often formed at the edges, which are initially invisible but eventually start to spread throughout the entire window glass.
These types of cracks, sometimes called stress cracks, are very common during rapid temperature changes, so make sure to check for these types of cracks every few months and with each changing season, especially if you have seen large temperature fluctuations outside.
It is also possible for stress cracks to occur because of physical distresses, such as slamming a window shut too hard.
Pressure or Impact Cracks
There are also pressure cracks and impact cracks. A pressure crack is the least common kind of break in a window and it mostly occurs in double-paned windows. They are caused by dramatic shifts in the pressure outside due to extreme weather or because the windows were installed at a too low or too high level of elevation.
An impact crack is one that is usually front of mind when people think of broken windows. An impact break is caused by the force of an object hitting your home’s window, like a baseball. You can identify this crack because it has a unique starburst pattern that spreads outward like a spiderweb from the point of collision.
When It’s Necessary to Fix the Crack
Sometimes, you can get away with putting off that repair because there’s no issue other than an aesthetic one. However, it’s necessary to fix the crack when:
- It starts to spread throughout the entire glass
- If the seal is broken
- It starts leaking water from moisture intrusion
- If cold or hot air passes through the window
- If it’s not safe for the residents and people passing by on the outside
How To Fix a Window Crack
There are a variety of DIY posts, articles and videos online for how to fix a window crack. However, it is always best to leave it to professionals. While you should remove any shards of glass that are inside your house to protect your feet, your family and your pets, it is highly recommended you do not try to remove the broken window yourself.
When to Repair and When to Replace the Whole Window
When to Repair:
- If your sash has only a few small dents or cracks, it might be possible to repair it.
- If a tiny quantity of water is leaking, a repair may be enough.
- If aesthetics are the only thing that is impacted, and there is no condensation, major water leakage or shards from impact, you should be okay to repair.
When to Replace:
- If only the glass is broken, without any damages to the sash, the window glass should be replaced.
- If you have a water leak and repair the glass only for a new water leak to appear immediately, a replacement should take place.
- If the crack causes internal condensation, it might be best to replace the entire window.
- If you experience a pressure crack, which is very hard to repair, you will most likely need a full window replacement. A professional should evaluate the crack to see if a replacement is needed.
How KC Window & Glass Can Help
We repair, replace and service interior and exterior windows and glass doors, including both sliding and french doors. Whether your door is sticking when you open it, your glass is fogging up or a ball has gone through the middle, we can make your windows and doors look good as new.
At King County, we also repair and replace shower glass and skylights, with upgrades available for solar-paneled motorized venting units, smooth-running glass and high-efficiency sound reducing glass.
We repair and replace glass windows of all kinds, from double to triple pane glass and all frame materials. We work on all types of windows, including windows with wood, aluminum and vinyl frames along with single pane, double pane insulated and triple pane insulated glass.
If you are ready to replace one or all of your windows, we can upgrade your existing windows with energy-efficient and noise-reducing ones.