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Follow these simple tips to prevent damage to your glass surfaces that may lead to considerable expense later on.
BY AARON JENSEN, Glass Care Specialist
A guide written to help homeowners care for and extend the life of windows and other glass surfaces.
By following these simple tips you can easily prevent damage to glass surfaces that may lead to considerable expenses later on. Keep in mind… The single most important step in protecting your glass is prevention.
Clean windows are not just pleasing to the eye, but are an important part of maintaining a home. A little known fact about glass is that its surface is not entirely smooth, but quite porous and full of voids.
These voids can quickly accumulate dirt and grime, and over time obscure glass visibility. In combination with rain water the dirt and grime can form a film similar to the hard water deposits left from tap water.
The best way to avoid this buildup is by having your windows cleaned regularly. I recommend window cleaning be done twice annually.
If sprinklers are wetting your windows, you can be sure they are leaving behind hard water mineral deposits. Tap water is often high in calcium and other minerals that become etched into the porous surface of glass.
By making sure your sprinkler system is properly adjusted, along with being careful to not spray windows when watering, you can easily avoid this hard water buildup.
While it may seem like the logical way to clean exterior windows and quickly remove surface layers of grime and dirt, using tap water from the garden hose to clean windows may permanently damage glass.
The hard minerals found in tap water adhere to the porous surface of glass quit easily, and in some cases form a permanent bond. This also occurs when pressure washing your house or deck, so be careful to not hit the windows and if you do, have them cleaned or dried quickly.
Having your home painted or stained? Be sure to have windows covered in protective sheeting. This is an important preventative measure that can help you avoid the need for time consuming paint removal techniques!
Some glass requires removal of paint, stucco, cement, wood stain, glues and other hard substances. This can be done with a professional grade glass scraper. There is a level of experience needed when using a razor blade on glass.
Most importantly, don't scrape dry glass! Use caution when using a razor blade on treated glass surfaces such as tinted or mirrored glass, as well as glass with defects. Also avoid using abrasive pads like those found on the back of dishwashing sponges on window glass. Window glass is much softer than dish glass, and requires special non scratching abrasive pads.
Application of a glass sealant provides a protective barrier sealing off the exposed porous surface of glass from contaminants. A sealant will keep glass cleaner longer, and will prevent problem stains from reappearing after a glass restoration treatment is done.
Applying a glass sealant is especially important for use on shower doors or windows in contact with tap water frequently.
A cost effective example of a quality glass sealant is Rain-
Learn more about about our Shower Glass Sealing Service.
The exterior surfaces of solar panels are just another type of glass and can benefit from routine cleaning. Solar panels are usually made of a tempered glass, which is a much harder and stronger quality than window glass.
It is important to routinely clean panel surfaces to ensure maximum absorption of the sun's rays. Many solar panel manufacturers recommend cleaning of panels once every six months to a year.
Glass shower doors and enclosures need special attention to maintain a clean and clear surface. Special attention is needed because of frequent exposure to tap water and soap residues left behind from showering.
Shower glass often quickly develops difficult-
A quality sealant takes away the need for using a squeegee after every shower. Usually applied upon installation, this sealant will wear off over time.
New sealant should also be applied after a hard water removal treatment. A good sealant usually lasts several years but needs reapplication on occasion.
Most auto glass is tempered and much stronger than window glass. The same need for preventative care and maintenance apply to auto glass. The most important is to avoid sprinklers hitting your car or cleaning your car with the garden hose as this will cause spotting!
Also be sure your local car wash filters out hard minerals from the water. For best results, hand-