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When double glazing unexpectedly cracks

Aside from launching a projectile at your double glazing, there aren’t many reasons for it to crack or break. However, occasionally double glazing has a strange tendency to crack unannounced. These breaks in the glass are not the work of poltergeists (although changes in the atmosphere are a factor we’ll briefly touch on), but more likely due to far more mundane reasons. If you have double glazing in Rugby, you may have experienced some of this yourself.

Just how does double glazing in Coventry work?

Before we get into the particulars of what can cause the glass to crack, understanding how double glazing works is an excellent place to start. A double glazed sealed unit comprises of two panes of glass, positioned either side of a spacer bar, and usually made of aluminium. Air is sucked out of the cavity, creating a vacuum, and filled with an inert gas such as argon. Heat finds argon challenging to penetrate, allowing your double glazing in Warwick to keep your home warm in the winter and fresher in the summer.

The construction of the sealed doubled glazed unit means there should be a constant pressure inside the vacuum. Any changes to the internal pressure can put the glass under strain, but in most eventualities, it will be robust enough to withstand the variance. If it isn’t, then that’s when cracks will begin to appear. Let’s get into why these occur in detail.

The influence of heat

Chances are, if you’re an owner of double glazing in Coventry, you won’t experience many heat waves that could potentially damage your glass. But heat strength isn’t the factor that can break glass, but how and where it is targeted. The morning sun in the UK rises in the south, so in the winter months, south-facing double glazing in Rugby is more susceptible to cracks. As the chilled glass meets the more temperate sunlight, the centre of the pane can warm much quicker than the corners, placing strain on the glass. If this strain proves too much, the glass can break.

Internal heat can also have a comparable effect on double glazing in Warwick. During the winter months, as the temperature outside plummets, the central heating is switched on to warm our homes and keep us cosy. Unfortunately, though, warmth and comfort in the home can sometimes come at a price. Thermal shock, which sounds more like a military weapon system, is when glass experiences a drastic change in temperature, causing it to crack. The double glazing in Coventry most at risk of this phenomenon, are those precariously positioned above radiators or near open fireplaces. Placing drapes or curtains that fall behind a radiator can go some way to mitigating the risk posed by thermal shock.

In extreme cases, the probability of glass cracking can depend on when it was manufactured. If it were made on a hot summer’s day when the atmospheric pressure was weak, the gas inside the unit would be warmer and more prone to breaking in chilly winter temperatures.

Manufacturing errors and accidents

Despite double glazing in Rugby now being prevalent, and the technologies related to its construction well established, the slightest mistake in this process can cause future problems. Even if the glass is subject to the merest of chips, it will only be a matter of time before it cracks. The cutting of glass has to be exact when manufacturing double glazing, particularly when producing intricate pieces such as bevelled glass. If you notice a crack in any of your double glazing in Warwick, it’s best to get it replaced as soon as possible.

The strength of the glass has a significant impact on how much strain it can endure before succumbing to cracks. Four-millimetre thick glass is the standard used by most double glazing firms, but for increased safeguarding against cracking, you can opt for six-millimetre glass.

Although the spontaneous cracking of glass is a rare happening, should it ever occur, you need a window firm that can provide a replacement quickly and skilfully. For over forty years, Victory Windows have provided expert double glazed windows, doors and conservatories for Coventry, Rugby and Warwick. For more information on how we can provide any aspect of double glazing installation or repair, contact us today.