Glass is something we look at every day. Once installed correctly, it gives us a clear view of the outside world. Unfortunately, damaged glass distorts and blurs our view of the outside world. Glass, an organic material and a little soft, is likely to be damaged by many sources and at all stages of its life.
Damaged glass before installation is usually easy to spot. Generally, this is glass that is not properly attached or isolated during transport, this type of damage will usually consist of many closely grouped stripes. Glass that is damaged during construction will usually have an irregular scratch pattern. This pattern can be created by careless workers who rub against the glass or scratch it with metal objects.
Damaged glass after construction has the most diverse characteristics. The first way that glass can be damaged after construction is in cleaning after construction. While cleaning glass building debris, cleaners that use dull, chipped or improper blades can leave the entire surface of the window covered with scratches. This type of damage creates a pattern that follows the fluid movement of someone who is quickly trying to scrape debris from a window. Damage caused by post-construction cleaners is most often seen in tempered glass. Many large cleaning companies have a disclaimer in their contract making them not liable for such damages. This type of damage is more particularly a problem in commercial construction or high-end residential construction.
Another common type of glass damage is slag runoff. Welding slag runoff consists of small pieces of molten metal that fly in all directions during welding. When these hot and red metal pieces come in contact with the glass, they sink into it, which is usually the most serious form of glass damage. When the welding slag comes in contact with the glass, it burns in the glass, leaving a burnt metal residue that sinks deeper into the glass surface. Although this is often the deepest damage to glass, it is not always the most noticeable, welding slag can often look like stains on the window. Although these points look like simple construction debris, they can not be removed from the window.
Another type of damage is the damage caused by acid burns. Acid is usually the most visible but often shallow type of damage. This happens because the acid splashes or spills on large parts of a window, causing a milky white haze in the damaged area. Although paint graffiti on windows can be a nuisance, it is easy to deal with with water and a razor blade. The most difficult graffiti to treat are acid graffiti and scratches. The gravity of graffiti can range from very light, similar to acid damage, to extreme depths, closer to the depth of slag welding. This damage is usually caused by using a diamond or glass cutting device.
Acid graffiti is hydrofluoric acid and is often applied with the help of a plastic brush or flask. The extent to which the acid damages the window depends on the purity of the acids and the length of time it is left on the glass without being cleaned.
All of these types of damage can be repaired. Although there are a number of companies that claim to be able to repair this damage, there are some things to know to decide who to allow to make the repairs. Improper repairs may result in deformations, ripples in the glass and a slight cloud in the repaired area. While there are reputable companies capable of repairing glass without these side effects, you should be sure to approach them with anyone you consider to be able to work on your glass.