Your home’s windows serve several important purposes: they protect your family from the harsh Ohio elements, but they’re also vital for climate control and ventilation. Knowing how to care for your windows can extend their lifespan, save you money in the long run, and prevent the most common types of window damage. The following are the most common reasons windows break or fall into disrepair, as well as how you can avoid them to extend the life of your investment.
1. Stress Cracks
Perhaps the most common type of window damage take homeowners in Dayton and the surrounding areas face comes in the form of a stress crack, which is a small blemish near the edge of the window that grows and spreads throughout the glass. The most common cause of these cracks is extreme fluctuation in temperature – for example, when you crank your thermostat dramatically on the first truly cold winter day. The same goes for outside ambient temperature – if a cold front comes in overnight and leads to a big temperature change in a short amount of time, this can also lead to stress cracks.
There’s not a whole lot you can do about outside temperature changes, but some simple steps can help you protect your windows from stress cracks, such as slowly adjusting your thermostat. Further, a vulnerable window may crack from falling or slamming it shut, so use extra caution in the spring and fall months when temperatures tend to fluctuate most.
2. Pressure Cracks
Next, a pressure crack occurs when a pressure system, such as a storm, rolls in quickly. You most commonly see them in double-paned windows or insulated glass, and it might be more likely in windows installed at too high or too low an elevation. A pressure crack tends to follow an hourglass shape, and they often require a complete replacement.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent these cracks from occurring, other than making sure to install your new windows at a proper elevation. If you live in a high or low elevation, consider a material other than double pane or insulated to prevent the same issues from occurring again.
3. Impact Cracks
Lastly, the most common type of window damage occurs from an impact, such as a baseball or hail during a storm. They occur in a characteristic starburst pattern and often require replacement. Preventing this type of damage might include encouraging children to play games at the park, or at least away from the windows. If you live near a golf course or frequently encounter storms with large hail or high winds, consider a durable window material like storm glass.