If one or several windows in your home have become damaged, then it is probably in your best interest to replace the windows. Not only will this take care of damage, but the new windows will help to keep both warm and cold air inside your home. Window replacements are best arranged with a professional contractor. If you cannot hire a contractor right away or if you want to wait until the weather is warmer before the replacement occurs, then make sure to make small repairs so cracks do not spread.
Most types of windows installed in the home are made out of strong pieces of either annealed or heat strengthened glass. Annealed glass is cooled slowly to reduce the imperfections within the pane. Heat strengthened glass is formed, reheated, and then cooled rapidly to add strength.
Both types of glass are considered quite strong, but they will break into shards and sharp pieces if damage occurs. This is one reason why it is important to seal or fill cracks that can weaken the glass if they appear within an interior window. The crack will spread over time as it is exposed to humidity and fluctuating temperatures, but sealing it will stop the spreading process until a full replacement can be completed.
Using Resin Materials
One of the best ways to fill in a medium sized or large crack in your home window is to use resin material. Resin fillers are generally sold to repair windshields, but the same material can work on residential windows as well. Resin is a high viscosity polymer or epoxy that fills in the window crack. Once the resin is in place, it bonds with the glass molecules on either side of the crack to stabilize and strengthen it.
Purchase a window repair kit at your local auto repair store for use on your window. Apply the resin material to the surface of the crack and use a razor blade to scrape over the filler so it moves into the opening. Allow the resin to sit for at least 60 minutes once it is forced into the crack. Use your razor blade to remove excess resin around the repair area afterwards.
Sometimes, resin materials will not properly bond to the window glass. This often happens when the crack is too large. Also, resin may not remain in place for long if your window is subjected to high speed winds, ice, snow, or extreme temperatures. Wind can cause the glass to shift and extreme temperatures will cause the molecules within the glass to either expand or contract. If the crack in your window begins to spread after resin is placed, then you should consider drilling a small hole on either end of the crack.
The Drilling Process
Cracks spread in window panes through small weaknesses in the glass material. The crack will continue to spread through the imperfections until it finds an edge or end. You can force the crack to locate an edge by drilling a small circular hole directly at the right and left ends of the crack. To create holes, you will need to purchase a diamond tipped drill bit for your power drill. This type of bit will bore through the glass with very little pressure so stress fractures do not form. Find the smallest bit you can find so your holes are tiny.
Once you purchase the right bit, set the bit at one end of the crack and set your drill to low. Use a small amount of pressure to force the drill through the window glass. Once the first hole is made, drill the other end of the crack. Use a piece of duct tape or packing tape to cover the crack and the holes afterwards. This will help to keep air from leaking through your window.
If you see large cracks across one or several of your home windows, then a replacement should be arranged. The cracks can be fixed temporarily if a professional cannot come to your home right away. Use resin fillers and your power drill to take care of the damage while you wait.
For professional help, contact pros like New Jersey Siding & Windows Inc.