Should I Repair or Replace My Windows? 

One minute you’re enjoying the view outside your window, the next you’re searching “glass repair near me” on Google. No one wants to discover a crack or chip on their window pane, but life happens. Glass is breakable after all. 

If you find yourself staring at a broken or cracked window, act swiftly and safely to prevent further damage. 

You could try to minimize the damage with a temporary fix. However, for a more permanent solution, it’s best to enlist the help of professionals in any sort of glass repair or replacement. 

Let’s figure out if your cracked glass window needs to be repaired or replaced, what caused the damage, and your best options moving forward. 

Can Cracked Window Glass Be Repaired? 

To repair or to replace? That is the question–and the answer is, it depends. In most cases, a broken window requires a replacement. 

If the fault on the glass is minimal or most of the harm is on the other parts of the window, a repair might be possible. 

Here are a few cases when your window could be repaired rather than replaced: 

  • The window glass is neither shattered nor cracked. Instead, it has one or more tiny chips. 
  • There is a crack in the glass, but it is relatively small. 
  • The window pane is unharmed but the muntin, mullion, or sash is damaged. 

It’s important to note that a small chip or crack on your glass window will likely spread unless handled correctly. Moreover, the damage could return after a repair if you fail to address the root cause. 

How to Repair Broken Glass

It should be noted that there really isn’t any way to repair cracked or damaged glass windows. The best you can do to fix broken glass is to put some type of (clear) tape on the glass. This would prevent anyone from getting cut if they rub against the window but it’s a temporary solution at best. If it’s more than a small chip, you’ll likely need to replace the window. 

3 Types of Glass Cracks and Their Causes

In order to protect your other windows and avoid a recurring problem, you must first determine what caused the breakage in the first place. While most cracks are inevitable, learning to identify them and recognize the cause early can mitigate their damage. 

Most broken windows occur for the following reasons: 

  • Stress Crack
      • A stress crack is often the result of extreme weather or temperature changes.
      • It first appears on the edges of your window pane and gradually develops into a larger crack and problem over time. 
  • Impact Crack
      • Impact is the most straightforward cause of shattered or cracked glass. 
      • An impact crack is the consequence of a hard, solid object crashing into your glass window. As a result, the glass damage is proportionate to the size, weight, and velocity of the object. 
  • Pressure Crack
    • Similar to a stress crack, a pressure crack is often caused by weather changes. Instead of temperature, however, the crack indicates sudden shifts in air pressure. 
    • To identify a pressure crack, analyze the shape of the fault. If it looks like a curve or a wave, it’s likely a pressure crack. 

Regardless of its size, it’s always a good idea to ask a glass professional how to best fix the cracked glass on your window. All it takes is a quick search for “glass repair near me” and click on Budget Glass in Nanaimo

When Do Cracked Windows Need To Be Replaced?

In most cases, replacing your broken window is the safest and most permanent solution. Here are a few instances when you will need to replace the shattered or cracked glass entirely: 

  • The glass is completely shattered. 
      • If your window glass is broken into pieces, replacing it as soon as possible becomes a matter of safety. 
      • For immediate assistance with safely handling broken or shattered window glass in the Nanaimo, BC area, call us at (250) 758-3374. 
  • Your cracked or broken window is thermal or insulated. 
      • Pressure and stress cracks are typically only found in insulated glass and double pane windows. 
      • Replacing the window panes is the only way to maintain the window’s energy efficiency. 
  • The glass is over 15 years old. 
    • Double pane windows generally require a replacement every 15-20 years.
    • The crack in your sealed unit is likely a sign that it needs to be replaced. Other signs include fogging and condensation on your window. 

Can You Replace Just One Pane of a Double Pane Window?

Double pane windows are a sealed unit. They function as a single unit with two pieces of glass sealed together with an airspace in between. This means that if one window pane breaks, the seal becomes compromised.

As a result, it’s not possible to replace only one pane of a double pane window. The entire sealed unit must be replaced. 

Fortunately, there’s usually no need to replace the other parts of the window. If the frame is still in good condition, a new glass unit is the only thing required to fix a broken double pane window. 

How To Prevent Glass Window Cracks 

While you can’t control the weather or predict a baseball crashing through your window pane, the best way to protect against cracked glass is prevention. 

If you decide to replace and upgrade your windows with stronger materials, here are a few great options: 

Thermoproof Vinyl Windows 

    • Thermoproof vinyl windows are energy-efficient and designed to withstand weather changes that often cause window cracks.
    • At Budget Glass, we prefer to use vinyl frames due to their strength and durability. 
    • Vinyl frames are also highly resistant to termites, rotting, and other damage.

“Unbreakable” Glass 

    • Although no glass is completely indestructible, some are a lot more difficult to break than others. 
    • Unbreakable glass is available in two types: laminated and polycarbonate windows. 

How Much Does It Cost To Fix a Crack in a Window

It might come as a surprise to many homeowners but replacing your glass windows tends to be more cost-effective than temporary repairs in the long run. 

Upgrading to energy-efficient vinyl windows or switching to unbreakable glass products can save you from costly electric bills and future window repairs.

If your search for “glass repair near me” led you to Budget Glass, then look no further. Our team of glass professionals has been delivering high-quality service and glass products in the Nanaimo, BC area since 1983. 

We can answer any questions you have about window repair or replacement. If you want to learn more about how you can upgrade and protect your glass windows from future cracks, our glass experts are happy to guide you through the process. 

Contact us at (250) 758-3374 or send us a message online for a free quote today.