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Manufacturers design windows to be sturdy and long-lasting, but as one of your home’s first defenses against Mother Nature, they often endure a lot more than they can handle. Inclement weather and prolonged wear can break them. A flying baseball bat that accidentally slips out of a local child’s hands, flies over the fence, and crash-lands into the panes could also shatter your windows. Let’s take a look at some ways your windows can become damaged and how to either protect or repair them.

Inclement Weather

The weather can wreak havoc on your windows. Blinding snowstorms, uproarious thunderstorms, powerful gusts, and baseball-sized hail can damage the panes and frames. After any long, heavy storm, you’ll want to inspect the windows for dents, cracks, and other forms of damage. You should handle storm damage immediately, even if it’s relatively small. Cracks create exit and entry points for air. This means that your HVAC system will have to work harder to maintain your home’s temperature. Consequently, your monthly energy bill will increase. Those “harmless” cracks will also allow insects to come inside your house and permit moisture to seep into your home, where it will facilitate mold growth.

Accidents

Accidents happen, but it’s a bit hard to be forgiving when they obliterate one of your windows. A confused sparrow may slam into the panes, a rock may become trapped under the lawnmower and shoot out at high speeds, a relaxing game of catch-the-ball may go awry, or you may accidentally close a window with too much force. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent these kinds of accidents, and most of them result in such severe destruction that the window needs replacing. Luckily, these accidents are also rare, and they seldom affect more than one or two windows.

Old Age

It would be incredible if your windows were everlasting, but they aren’t. Like most things, they’ll wear down gradually. Age-related deterioration is another way your windows can become damaged. The older your windows, the more prone they are to breaking. The frame might begin to pull apart, and the panes can shatter, even if you close the window as slowly and gently as possible. You can try and prevent damage by treating older windows with care, but you’ll eventually need to replace them with newer, more efficient alternatives. Updated windows are beneficial to your home because they offer better protection, better temperature control, and better aesthetics.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.