If you noticed a tiny crack in your window when you were washing it, you should take steps to repair it as soon as you can. A crack can suddenly spread, and that can cause the glass to fall out and potentially harm someone. A small, straight crack could result from stress due to your house settling or from temperature changes. If the crack resulted from someone hitting the glass, there will probably be an impact crater with cracks radiating from it. In either case, the glass should be repaired or replaced. Here are a few things to know.
Get An Insurance Evaluation
Before you attempt to make repairs, notify your insurance company. Large picture windows can be expensive, so it helps if your insurance company will cover the cost. Your policy may cover both stress cracks and impact damage from an accident. It's important to get an evaluation before you attempt to make repairs in case you make the matter worse. Your insurance company may decline to pay if you further damage the window with DIY repairs.
Small Cracks Can Be Repaired
If the crack is tiny, there's a good chance it can be repaired by applying resin in the crack. The resin fills the space so the glass doesn't shift and cause further cracking. When the resin dries, the surface of the glass can be buffed so the repaired area is nearly invisible. If the crack is very large, it isn't a good idea to repair the glass because the repairs may show, and more importantly, the glass may not be stable. However, you can buy a glass repair kit at a home improvement store if you want to fix the glass yourself.
You can also hire a professional to repair the crack. A mobile glass repair company will come to your home to do the necessary work, which is convenient. You also have the option of removing the window from the frame and taking it to a glass repair shop to have the work done. Just be careful about removing and transporting the window because jarring the glass could cause the crack to spread.
Replacing The Glass Is Often The Best Option
In many cases, the best way to repair your window is to completely replace the pane of glass. If the glass is in shards, you can take a large piece of the glass to a glass shop to get an exact match for the replacement. If you have home improvement skills, you may be able to replace the glass yourself as long as the window is not too large. However, letting a professional do the work is the better option, especially if your insurance company will cover the cost.
You won't have to do anything to the window if a mobile repair contractor comes to your home. However, if you want to take the window into a shop, you'll have to remove all the broken glass from the frame first. You can do this by wearing heavy gloves and pulling the shards out of the frame. Be sure to take a sample of the glass with you so the glass shop can tell if the replacement glass should be tinted or treated to match your other windows.
If you have a large impact crack that hasn't fallen out in pieces, it may be easier to brace the glass with large pieces of duct tape or duct tape cardboard over the glass before you remove the window from the frame and transport it to the shop. When you do this, you can let the shop deal with pulling broken glass from the frame, and the shop will have plenty of glass samples available for ordering your new pane.
A full-service glass shop, such as Sarnia Glass Ltd, should have the type of glass you need in stock. However, in some cases, the glass may need to be special ordered from the window manufacturer. Keep that in mind when you remove the window from the frame. You may need to place plywood or plastic over the window for a few days to keep bugs out if you don't have a screen.