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Let’s Talk Glass Cracks and How to Identify Them

Cracked glass varies in consequences, depending on the specific type of glass. In commercial and residential glass manufacturing, two common glass types include Borosilicate and Soda-lime silicate. The timeline of a crack spreading, the risk of it shattering and whether or not the glass will need a full replacement is different for every situation. 

What items are made with these types of glass?

Borosilicate:
* Industrial equipment
* Exterior lighting
* Kitchen glassware

Soda-lime silicate:
* Food and beverage containers
* Windows
* Lamp envelopes

Types of cracks

Impact cracks:
* Caused by a flying rock, a high-speed ball or other intense forms of immediate contact
* Characterized by a center point of impact with lines extending around the circumference 

Stress cracks:
* Starts smaller near the edge of the window
* Slowly spreads across the glass
* Caused by extreme fluctuation in temperature (just like ice cubes cracking when placed on a hot pan)
* Can also occur when a door window is closed abruptly 

Pressure cracks:
* Less common, mostly seen in insulated glass or double-paned windows
* Caused by drastic temperature changes or when windows are installed are the incorrect elevation level
* Usually in the shape of a curve and will typically need a full window replacement

Are there ways to prevent the crack from spreading?

Sure, the crack may not spread immediately. However, cracked glass can be dangerous and unpredictable. If you choose to wait to replace the glass, here are some suggestions:
* Masking tape can help slow down the process. Place a strip of tape on each side of the crack.
* Superglue has the potential to help the situation, but it won’t be a long-term fix. Plus, it’s not the most attractive solution either. If you chose to do so, first clean the glass with acetone (nail polish remover).

 

Once a crack in glass is identified, the safest option is to replace it immediately. As the crack grows, the more dangerous it becomes. If you have any questions regarding cracked glass, or would like a professional to inspect the situation, call your local Glass Doctor today! We are happy to help.