How to Identify Types of Cracked Glass Windows (and 5 Repair Tips)

November 20th, 2020

Broken or cracked windowpanes aren’t just an eyesore but can lead to increased electricity bills as they leak energy. That’s why fixing them as soon as possible is your best solution. The first step is to identify the kind of damage so you can decide if you’ll need to repair or replace the glass.

Glass Window Cracks and How to Fix Them

Windows break or crack for a variety of reasons, including drastic changes in pressure or temperature, natural calamities, hyperactive pets, and objects hitting the glass. No matter the cause of the damage, it needs to be addressed quickly.

Glass Repair

Types of Cracks

  1. Stress Cracks

Stress cracks start small, typically close to the edge of the windowpane, and gradually spread across the entire glass. They are often the result of extreme thermal fluctuations, especially when there’s a big temperature difference between the inside and outside.

They may also occur due to acute mishandling, such as slamming a window shut or opening it forcefully. Always handle glass windows with care in order to avoid stress cracks. These kinds of repairs are costly and may require replacement in cases of extreme damage.

  1. Pressure Cracks

Pressure cracks are uncommon and usually appear out of nowhere. They’re often seen in double-paned windows or insulated glass and are the result of dramatic shifts in pressure due to extreme weather conditions.

They may also occur due to faulty installation. For example, if put in at a height that’s too high or low, the windows can’t withstand the changes in air pressure and crack as a result. In most cases, pressure cracks follow an hourglass-shaped curve. Windows with a pressure crack typically need to be replaced completely as repair is not an option.

  1. Impact Cracks

Impact cracks are the most common type and are easily identified by the starburst pattern that radiates from the point of collision.

For safety’s sake, be cautious when cleaning up. While you must sweep up any glass inside, don’t remove the broken window yourself as these cracks have sharp edges. Instead, contact a glass repair professional immediately.

5 Quick Fixes for a Cracked Window

Fixing a cracked windowpane is only a temporary solution. Eventually, you’ll need to replace it.

That said, here are five quick and simple fixes for a cracked window. A professional glass repair company can advise you on the best approach.

  • Masking Tape

Apply two or three layers of clear masking tape on either side of the crack to keep the glass in place, ensure better strength and prevent water from coming in. When applying the tape, extend it past the crack on both sides and press firmly for long-lasting results.

  • Nail Polish

Apply clear nail paint quickly to the cracks. Use copious amount and reapply if need be to seal the opening. Leave to dry for three to four hours.

Remember that nail paint can only seal minor cracks; it isn’t suitable for larger ones or damages that are more severe.

  • Glass Adhesives

While typically advertised for use on car windshields, glass adhesives are also often used to fix cracked windowpanes. Use an eyedropper to thoroughly clean the crack of any dirt or debris before applying tape to the back of the damaged glass. This will prevent the glue from leaking out to the opposite side of the window. Use a syringe or brush to apply the adhesive to the crack. Leave to dry completely before removing the tape.

  • Thick Plastic Cover

If you’re looking for a fix to keep out insects, consider applying a thick plastic covering on top of the crack. Cut a piece that’s large enough to cover the broken glass from a plastic shower curtain, tarp or shopping bag and use duct tape to fix it over the glass.

  • Mesh Nylon Patch

Cut a square or rectangular patch from nylon stockings or any other nylon material. Lubricate its edges with Super Glue and carefully paste it over the crack. Press and hold the patch down firmly against the glass until the adhesive has dried. This solution doesn’t look great but prevents cold air and bugs from getting in.

These super simple fixes for minor window cracks aren’t permanent solutions but at least provide temporary safety and relief. You may be thinking they’re too small to make a difference but they’ll only get worse. Your best option is to hire a window glass repair contractor to fix the problem immediately.