Glass Installation and Maintenance
There are many different types of glass that are used in the home, cars and more. Many individuals will hire professionals to install glass but it is possible for individuals to install glass panels themselves. However there are specific steps that are necessary to insure that all glass panels have been installed properly. Once the glass is installed then proper maintenance is required to ensure that glass remains in excellent condition and does not break.
Before any glass installation it is important that all surfaces that will come into contact with the glass. Therefore one of the first steps to proper glass installation is cleaning. Vacuum and then wipe down all of the surfaces that will come in contact with the glass. For those installing glass in a window frame, spray down the window frame with a lightly soapy solution and scrub the window sill with a scrub brush. Take clean paper towels and wipe away the bubbles and soap. Use a squeegee to remove all water, always moving the squeegee in the same direction.
When installing the glass panel always makes sure that the bottom is supported using a man-made ledge of molding or tile, j-channel, clips or screws. The back of the glass is normally supported using adhesive. If the glass is being installed into a J-channel then first lift and slide the glass panel into the top j-channel and then lift and slide the bottom of the glass panel into the j-channel. Besides j0channels glass panels can be installed using rosettes or screws, which are best for non-permanent glass installation. Screws will be directly in contact with the glass, but washers and other vinyl sleeves are required to ensure that the glass does not crack.
If glass is being installed over a surface than adhesive material can be used to install the glass. In many instances tile grout can be used but there are many other types of adhesives available. If clear glass is being installed then the color and texture of the adhesive must be taken into consideration. These adhesive are used in the same manner as installing tiles but will take longer to dry than when installing tile and other material.
Glass will lose it sheen and brilliance if it is handled frequently. Oil from the hands will become deposited on the glass and make glass appear blotchy. For glass doors, kid’s hands and dog noses are the worst perpetrators for dirty glass. Proper cleaning will normally take care of any problem and is one of the most important maintenance steps for glass. Using a streak free glass cleaner is the best way to clean glass. Spray the cleaner and then wipe it off with a clean towel. A lint free terry towel is best. However if paper or other towels are used wait until the glass is dry before removing any lint. Do not clean with glass with anything that might be abrasive. Use a circular motion when drying with the towel until all moisture disappears. Hard rubbing may begin to polish the glass which can become a problem. Very oily spots can be removed using special cleaning products like “goof off”. Paint thinner can also be used but it is important to first test it on an inconspicuous spot. Rub with the thinner in the same manner as the glass cleaner. The number of times that glass must be cleaned will depend on the surrounding environment. Glass that comes into contact with pollution on a daily basis will need to be cleaned more frequently. If you have special glass or films on the glass then it is a good idea to check with the manufacturer as they may recommend certain cleaners and products over others.
Glass Protective Coatings
A protective coating can be applied to glass which will prolong the life of the glass. These coatings can protect glass form staining and water damage by producing a protective seal. The resistance to liquids and other items will reduce the amount of maintenance that is needed. There are also special hydrophobic coatings that can be used on glass that comes into regular contact with water, such as shower doors. This coating will protect the glass from soap scum and mildew. Other coatings can also be applied to stop UV light from being transmitted through the glass. There are other coatings that not only apply protection but filter light. These types of coatings are typically used in windows and sky lights, as well as glass for cars and windshields.