THE weather has been so cold that families have been woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of their windows smashing.
As temperatures plummeted to minus 10 in some parts of the Vale, appropriately named Aylesbury-based company Smashing Windows started receiving a surge in calls from residents trying to understand what has happened.
Usually the drop in temperature causes one or two windows to smash each year, but this winter the company has been called to 24 incidents – some at the start of this week.
Director Nigel Roach believes other firms in the area will have also experienced an increase in calls. He said: “People are talking about hearing a bang in the middle of the night and thinking it was burglars. But when they get downstairs they find the inside window pane is broken. It tends to happen in the early hours of the morning when the temperature is at its lowest. It is to do with tensile stress in the glass and the way it interacts with the cold weather of the outside and the warm on the inside.
“There are some steps people can take to avoid it happening. Most people have radiators under their windows, because it warms the cool air coming from their windows. What you mustn’t do is a hang a curtain over the radiator, it should stop above the radiator. If it hangs over, it means that hot air will go behind the curtain and not into the room.”
> To find out more, search online for thermal breakage in sealed double glazing units.