We’re pretty blessed here in Florida, ya know. Thankfully, our state is often spared from the frigid, miserable temperatures that the rest of the country has to endure. However, cold fronts still sometimes move through the area. The drastic change in temperature can leave Jacksonville homes unprepared for the consequences of cold weather and may even result in the need for window replacement if cracks occur.


When a window cracks due to a sudden change in temperature, it is called thermal stress cracking. This type of temperature related event can start small and quickly spread across your entire window. For Florida cities like Jacksonville and surrounding areas, American Window Products are here to help with any needed window replacement.


However, we prefer to help our clients prevent thermal stress cracking upfront. In order to prevent window cracking from drastic temperature changes, it’s important to understand why this happens. Thermal stress cracking most often happens because one part of the window’s glass is exposed to a different temperature than the other parts.


For example, consider a window that’s partially covered in shade. When the temperature outside is cold but the day is sunny, the window may be warm in one area from the sun exposure and cold in the shaded area. If you have old, damaged or low-quality windows, the integrity of the glass may be compromised. When a temperature difference happens, if the edges of the windows are damaged or of poor quality, the window may crack. The crack will usually begin at the edge of the window and spread inward.


Thermal stress cracking can also be the result of the temperature increasing quickly from cold to hot. Think about what would happen if you poured hot water on a frozen windshield. This is exactly the same experience the windows in your home can have.


Another common cause of temperature related window cracking is covering the windows with signs or blinds without proper clearance. We often find cracking in office, school, or home windows where posters or signs are stuck onto the windows. In order to reduce the risk of changes in temperature causing cracks in your windows, consider these three ways to protect your windows.


Choose Quality Windows


The first step to preventing weather-related window cracks is purchasing quality windows from the start. If you’re building a home or in need of replacement windows, be sure to choose the best windows for your budget.


We usually recommend double paned windows for window replacement in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. Not only will double paned windows help protect your windows from cracking, but they’re also more energy efficient.


Also, make sure your windows are installed by a professional. Quality windows, if improperly installed, are still at risk of cracking. Take the time to research your window provider to ensure they’re reputable. American Window Products and our team of experts has been serving the Jacksonville community for 30+ years.


Have Your Windows Inspected


It’s a good idea to have your windows inspected if you have older windows or are unsure of their quality. The primary cause of thermal stress cracking is when the edges of the windows are damaged or poorly made.


The inspector should be able to inform you about the current state of your windows. This will allow you to make the decision to either repair or replace your windows before a crack occurs.


Another benefit of window inspection is determining if your window is sealed properly. If the seal is compromised, your home is likely wasting energy. By repairing or replacing your windows, you will have better energy efficiency in your home.


Winterize Your Windows


Even here in Florida, it’s important to winterize your windows. A sudden shift to winter weather can lead to cracked windows if they’re not properly maintained. The two best ways to winterize your windows is caulking and weather stripping.


For caulking, make sure to scrape off any old caulk before you apply the fresh caulking. It’s also a good idea to clean and dry the surface before you add new caulk. The new caulk will adhere better to a clean surface. Once you have the window clean, you are ready for the new caulk.


Choose an exterior grade caulk. Apply the caulk around the exterior perimeter of the window to create a seal between the window frame and the siding. This will help block wind and cold from seeping into your home. Weather stripping is used on the inside of your home. You’ll find a variety of weather stripping options at your local hardware store. Apply the weather stripping around the part of the window that opens and closes, otherwise referred to as the sash. This helps seal in the air from the inside of your home.


The combination of caulking and weather stripping will work together to help keep your home energy efficient. This also helps maintain the health of your windows. If you have experienced thermal stress cracking in your home’s windows, contact the professionals at American Window Products. We are Jacksonville’s experts in window replacement and repair.


We offer free estimates for window repair or replacement in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas. We are also available to discuss your options for quality window installation for your new construction so that you have the best windows right from the start.


Don’t wait until damage occurs. Use these handy tips to prepare your home’s windows for winter and protect against cold weather window cracks. If you need some expert input or your windows are in need of repair/replacement, the American Window Products team is here to help. We’re excited to get to work for you!