Homeowners can't understand why a solid glass patio door suddenly ends up in a million pieces

AUBURN TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Homeowners across the country, with different brand doors, said their patio door suddenly broke. They want to know why a solid sheet of glass can suddenly be in a million pieces.

"I heard a loud bang," said Brian Kresevic of Auburn Township.

"We heard a loud bang, almost like a gunshot," said Kathy Russell of Maine.

Russell said living in Maine, she expected a problem during the bitter cold winter months when 4 feet of snow sat against the glass. However, the door broke in the middle of the summer. At the time, the door was 14 years old.

In an email to NewsChannel5, Russell said, "We were sitting near the door when we heard a very loud BANG and thought a neighbor kid had hit it with a baseball, but then realized it was in the open position, protected by the fixed panel in front of it. It was very bizarre and a bit nerve racking."

Kresevic's door broke recently, so it was a different time of year. His door is five years old and made by a different company.

The homeowners said they're not sure why the glass broke.

"I opened the door and went outside and thought maybe a bird hit it, and I saw nothing," Kresevic said.

Matt Kelly owns Glass Doctor of Cleveland . He said an object could hit your glass, and it may not shatter for weeks. That makes it hard to pinpoint the cause.

Other times, the mystery simply remains. Sometimes, "You can't answer the question," Kelly said.

Kelly said sometimes glass just spontaneously breaks.

"There are instances where there are imperfections in the glass," Kelly explained.

These imperfections may never be a problem. Seeing them would require a microscope. Other times the imperfections cause your glass to randomly shatter.

Jeld-Wen manufactured Kresevic's patio door. The company said frame defects are also a cause for glass to spontaneously shatter. It's referred to as "spontaneous glass breakage" or "stress cracks."

In a prepared statement, the company said, "Such cracks are the result of rare defects in the frame that put excess pressure on the glass unit. When the frame exerts pressure on the glass unit, the breakage originates near the frame."

Although rare, Jeld-Wen said it typically happens during seasonal heating and cooling. To deal with the issue, Jeld-Wen added a one-year warranty so your door can go through one heating and cooling cycle.

Even with all these possibilities, Jeld-Wen said the damage to Kresevic's door appears consistent with impact to the glass. Kresevic disagreed.

"My whole thing is not for me to get anything out of this, but I want people to be aware," Kresevic said.

Jeld-Wen offered Kresevic free replacement glass, but he's still not sure he's going to take it. He thinks it might get a better glass warranty with a local company.

Warranties don't guarantee you'll get replacement coverage. It depends on the determination of the cause.

Russell had an Anderson door, and it has different warranties. Her outcome was still the same. She got the company to give her free glass, but she also had to pay to have it installed.

Although rare, if this happens to you, try to work with your window or door manufacturer to resolve the issue.  You typically have to pay for labor to get the new glass installed.

Always read the warranty paperwork before you choose a product so you understand what is covered and what is not covered.

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