Did you know that the majority of the calls we receive every winter are for windows with cracks and in need of repair? Having a cracked or broken window is never ideal, but it can be especially inconvenient and undesired in the winter months. We have reviewed before some of the things that cause window glass to crack; however, did you know your windows may be more susceptible to fracturing in cold weather? Let’s take a look at how to prevent window cracks in the cold weather.
What Causes Windows to Crack in the Cold?
The drastic and constant temperature changes we see in the winter months, can cause your windows to fracture. Why? Think about a balloon on a cold day and how it shrinks, then think about bringing it inside your heated home and watching it expand. In the winter, this happens over and over again to your windows, which can lead to the stress of the expansion overcoming the strength of the glass, causing a crack to form.
Stress cracks are the most common types of cracks for window glass. Thermal stress cracks are very common in the cold. This type of temperature related event can start small and quickly spread across your entire window. Thermal stress cracks can be caused by the ongoing temperature changes outdoors, as well as by your home’s indoor temperature being extremely different than it is outdoors.
Think about putting a cold dish in very warm water, or vice versa. If you have ever done that, you may have watched it shatter right in front of you. While windows generally crack and fracture and typically don’t just shatter, this can happen, or a small crack can turn into a much larger one very quickly.
How to Prevent Window Cracks in Cold Weather
While we can’t control the weather, even though most of us would like to, there are some things you can do to try to prevent window cracks in cold weather.
Inspect Your Windows: Before we reach the height of cold weather, you should inspect your windows for any existing cracks. We recommend having a Pittsburgh window expert do this step for you, as they will be able to identify if there are any areas of concern. Cracks may not be as easy to see as you think. If there are gaps around the frames, etc., your windows could be compromised.
Prepare Your Windows for Winter: By taking proper winter window preparations, you can prepare your windows for the extreme temperatures to come. Along with inspecting your windows and sealing any gaps and leaks, make sure they are locked, put in storm doors and windows where required, use weather stripping, and more.
Embrace Your Window Treatments: On extremely cold days, keep your blinds and other window treatments closed. This will help to create a pocket of air between your heated home and your freezing cold windows, preventing such a major temperature difference.
Invest in New Windows: Modern windows usually come with double or triple pane glass. These window features add extra layers of protection against the cold and wet weather. Older windows are often more brittle and fragile than newer ones, making them more likely to crack in the cold. By having new windows installed, you will be less likely to need to call for emergency window repair during the coldest time of the year.
As we said, controlling the weather is not something that we can do, but there are things you can do to prevent window cracks in the cold weather. If you want us to inspect your windows, replace them, or are in need of an emergency window repair, Residential Glass is here for your Pittsburgh windows.
We are the window repair, replacement, and installation experts in Pittsburgh. Contact us today for all of your window needs.