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Looking After Your Glass

On a job site, vulnerable or fragile materials can often get damaged accidentally. This does include glass, as the surface can be damaged in a number of ways, making the finished product look below the standard it should. It must therefore be protected.

Alkali Solutions as a Cause of Glass Surface Damage

Alkali solutions can cause a world of problems when it comes to glass, and they can appear in a variety of ways.

Perhaps surprisingly, water is one of the substances that can damage. When installed in a window or door, glass is very resilient against water. But when it’s in storage, before it’s installed, that’s when it’s vulnerable. Water can inflict surface damage even in small quantities, especially if it’s trapped between pieces or panes when in storage. Glass and water can react with each other and create alkaline solutions that wear away the surface of the glass, resulting in roughness. The longer that glass is left like this, the more work needs to be done to restore it.

There are substances on site, i.e. building materials that can harm glass too. Alkali solutions can leach from concrete panels when it rains, and fluorides can comes from concrete floors. If left on the glass, it can stain or etch the surface, and there is no real way to restore it.

Physical Damage

On site, there are lots of hazards to the surface of the glass. These can come through handling, storage and insulation. The welding of metal near to windows can cause pitting in the surface, reducing the strength of the glass itself. Adhesives, the oxidisation of steel, and other substances can cause damage to glass on the job site too.

The Protection of Glass Surfaces

There are several areas you should think about the protection of glass. Firstly, in storage. Storage areas should have a consistent temperature and humidity. If glass has to be kept outside, i.e. on a job site, it should be stored inside a building and protected from rain.

When installed, there are a number of coatings that can be applied to help the glass stay clean, such as Barrier Components’ EnduroShield. This protects against staining and etching caused by dirt, grime, oils and more.

You should clean glass with a soft cloth with non-abrasive, non-alkaline solution, then rinse with clean water. Excess water should then be removed with a squeegee.

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