Most of us don’t know much about glass repairs, or spend much time thinking about glass repairs, for that matter! Usually, when the average Joe or Joanne is thinking about it, it’s because you’ve got a cracked or broken glass pane that needs repairing or replacing, and it’s a stressful situation. You’ve probably got questions; fortunately, as glass repair specialists, the Westview Glass team has answers. And a question we often hear is, does cracked glass need to be repaired? Will it get worse, or can it just be left to its own devices? Is it just unattractive, or is it dangerous? Well, here at Westview Glass, our expert glaziers live and breathe glass (figuratively, not literally, of course!) so we’re very familiar with the dangers of cracked glass left unattended. We’ve worked with many customers whose cracked glass has turned into broken glass, potentially causing danger to family members, pets, visitors and more; and also leaving them open to potential litigation. We find that people often underestimate the dangers of cracked glass, because they aren’t aware of the unfortunate fact that cracked glass will eventually break. That’s right: once the glass is cracked, it’s started a process that’s only going to worsen over time. So it’s better to get the cracked glass on your windows or doors repaired by a glass repair specialist sooner rather than later, even if the crack is minor, because eventually it can turn into a major problem.
Fortunately, when the crack is still small, it’s a preventative measure, giving you a bit more time than emergency glass repair would require. However, if the crack is larger, or there’s any chance that the damage could cause a health hazard or result in further damage to the building, immediate & urgent action is necessary. (For more info on that, read our previous post on Glass Repair: is it an emergency?)
Glass cracks and breaks relatively easily, because it’s made as a liquid, by heating sand, soda ash and lime to very high temperatures to a syrupy texture. This syrup is then cooled into the material we know as glass, which has a fundamentally fragile structure; so when it encounters stress against the glass exceeding its tensile strength, it will crack or break. This can happen during a home break in, strong winds, or even a stray ball from yours or the neighbours’ kids.
Here’s what you need to know about the dangers of cracked glass, and how to manage them.
- You’ll need to repair the glass.
There’s no way around it: that glass will eventually break. In the case of standard glass, it’ll break into sharp, jagged shards that can come with a whole lotta dangers. Millions of people around the world are injured by broken glass in household and business settings every year, including lacerations, cuts, loss of blood, infection, severe shock, and glass puncture wounds potentially leading to disease exposure, severed arteries or tendons, eye injuries and even amputations. Yikes.
You can somewhat reduce the dangers associated with glass cracking and breaking by using tempered glass. This is a form of toughened glass, which shatters into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards; these granular chunks are less likely to cause injury. So rather than just getting a crack repaired, you may wish to consider entirely replacing your glass pane entirely with tempered glass.
- You can (temporarily) slow a glass crack.
You can’t stop cracked grass from breaking, but in the case of a small crack or chip in the glass, you can slow the crack in order to buy a bit of time (for example, if the small crack appears after-hours, on a public holiday, etc). The best thing to do while you’re waiting for your glass repair contractor to come fix the glass crack is to cover with masking tape on both sides of the crack, which will stabilise the glass pane; and clean the glass surface with acetone (often used as a nail polish remover) and carefully apply superglue in order to slow down the spread of the glass crack. But remember, this is only a stopgap, and should only be used for a small glass crack; if the glass crack is significant, then you’ll need to get it attended to urgently.
- You’ll need to follow safety procedures.
At this stage, you’re not dealing with broken glass! Handling broken glass is more dangerous, and comes with its own specific safety requirements; more on that in our article about cleaning up broken window glass. For now, assess the extent of the damage, check carefully to make sure it’s just a crack and not a break, keep the area off limits so that no one inadvertently damages the cracked glass further, and follow the aforementioned procedure (cover with masking tape, clean the surface, apply superglue around the crack).
- Little cracks can turn into big problems.
As we’ve discussed, broken glass can be enormously damaging, even fatal, particularly because it will break into jagged shards.
But there’s other issues as well; namely, a cracked glass pane can easily become a broken glass pane if left unrepaired, which can be much more expensive to fix. Getting a crack repaired is much more affordable than replacing an entire window or door pane!
As the glass turns from a crack into a break, you’re looking at problems including:
* Heat loss, water penetration, and access for insects and small animals into a property
* Legal exposure if someone is injured on your residential or business property
* Insecurity of property – if a window is already partially broken, it won’t be hard for a burglar to finish the job and gain entry into your property.
I have a cracked glass pane; what should I do?
From heat loss to potentially fatal injuries, broken glass is bad, bad news. So it’s important to get that cracked glass pane addressed at an early stage, before it becomes a dangerous (and costly) problem for your home or business. Find yourself a reliable, trustworthy, qualified and experienced glass repair contractor to fix your glass window or door, so that they can examine the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action.
Here at Westview Glass, we’re qualified glaziers, and accredited by the Australian Glass & Window Association (AGWA). We’ll ensure that your home or building is glazed according to the Australian Standards, helping to protect you from financial cost of personal injury as a result of inadequate glazing work.The Australian standards were introduced to ensure your safety, and they are an indispensable part of doing glazing work. We all know how dangerous broken glass can be, and without following the guidelines set out in the Australian standards your home or business might not be the safe environment that you expect it to be.
We offer prompt and professional service and the highest-quality products, and have been providing glass repair services to Western Australian homes and businesses for 16+ years. With Westview Glass, you’re in safe hands, because you know we’re going to be repairing or replacing your window and door glass in a way that meets Australian safety standards.
“I had to break a window after locking myself out of the house. This was just before l had to leave to catch a flight. Phoned Westview on the way to the airport. This was at 2pm and at 4pm they had a glazier at my home to replace the glass. Quick and easy. Thank you for making sure that all was secure again.” – Natasha Wright
So whether you’re dealing with a crack or a smashed window pane, our expert glaziers are ready and waiting to provide you with quick, reliable and comprehensive glass repairs. No job is too big or small, and we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners and businesses throughout Perth and the surrounding areas. We’ll get your building back to safe and secure in the most efficient way possible, so get in touch!
Want to know more? Follow our blog for more insight on glass repair and replacement, as well as how our glass window and door installation services can be used to create beautiful views; and check out our glass repairs feature and FAQ for more detailed information.