What Causes Double Paned Windows to Break

Double paned windows (also known as double glazing) are a great way to improve the insulation, energy efficiency and value of your home. But, when double paned windows spontaneously crack or break, you may be disappointed that you have lost the benefit of double glazing when it seems like you haven’t even done anything to cause your double paned windows to break. Here we look at the structure of double pane windows and what you can do to prevent and repair breakage.

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How to Make Double Paned Windows

Understanding the phenomenon of spontaneous double pane window breakage starts with understanding how to build double pane windows.

Double glazed windows are composed of two sheets of glass that enclose a vacuum or an inert gas that doesn’t transfer heat. This layer of gas or space between the glass panes creates a barrier to heat transfer, which gives double pane windows their superior insulative powers.

Double pane windows must be sealed to maintain the gas or vacuum between the glass panes. Within the double glazed windows, there is always some pressure that is required to keep the double-glazed unit functional.

What Causes a Double Paned Window to Break in Five Steps

Environmental conditions, installation factors or minor damage can work against the unique construction of double pane windows, causing them to break.

1.   Shape and Size of the Windows

Large and tall windows are great for bringing natural light into your home, but windows with a large aspect ratio are at high risk of spontaneous breakage. Square (or round) windows with equal sides distribute and support weight evenly, whereas longer and narrower windows sustain more pressure on smaller sections of glass, increasing the risk of breakage.

2.   Issues with Window Construction

windows installation workersCheaper double pane windows might be attractive at the time of purchase, but your initial savings will mean nothing if you have to replace those windows in just a short time due to spontaneous breakage. Cheaper windows may have scratches from the manufacturing process, moisture or excess pressure between the panes, glass panes that are too thin or weak, or poor-quality desiccant inside the window. Seeking the advice of glass professionals and investing in better quality double glazed windows can reduce the risk of problems.

3.   Exposure to Heat

Because the space between the panes in double glazed windows is often pressurized, exposure to excess heat or cold can cause breakage, particularly with extreme temperature differences on either side of the window. Installing blinds or curtains to protect your double pane windows from the sun or your heating system can help.

>>What Happens if Your Double Pane Windows Are Foggy? Fix the Problem By Learning to Defog Them!

4.   Physical Impact

Of course, a physical impact can always cause windows to break. You may not have seen anything hit the window, but windows that fall or slam shut can develop stress cracks.

5.   Improper Installation

With no consideration for how pressure, stress, temperature, and dimension will influence the safety of a window, improper installation can leave you with double pane windows that seem to break for no reason.

How to Prevent Double Paned Windows from Breaking?

The best way to prevent double pane windows from spontaneously breaking after installation is to choose a qualified glass professional to design and install your double-glazed windows correctly. By accurately assessing the stress and heat impacts on your double pane windows, a professional glass company can install windows that keep you warm, safe and secure, with a much-reduced risk of your windows breaking for no reason.


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