9 ways to protect your windows glass investment

How to keep glass clean!

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#1 Say NO to abrasive nylon pads

Abrasive nylon scrub pads… like the ones found in the back of many household dish washing sponges, will scratch window glass.  The  fact is, window glass is much softer than glass manufactured for beverage containers and so these nylon pads should NEVER be used for glass cleaning.

Specialised nylon, fine grade steel wool, and glass scrapers are the professional window cleaner’s choice to safely remove stickers, decals and other hard to remove debris from window glass.

So, if you’re thinking about using that sponge to clean your window…

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Serious scratching from incorrect blade technique
Window cleaning Auckland, scratched glass
2012

#2 - Do not use razor blades on dry glass

A common and costly mistake I see is window glass scratched from improper razor blade use.  To remove decals, tape and paint…

Window glass MUST be lubricated with soapy water BEFORE using a razor. 

Typically, most glass cleaning professionals use soap and water to lubricate glass which helps minimize the occurrence of scratches.  It’s also important to note that razor blades cannot be used on “Treated Glass Surfaces” such as tinted or mirrored window glass.  Special care must also be taken when working on “Tempered Glass’ which is strengthened and commonly used in doors and other high-impact areas.

Here are a few more tips to consider:

  • Only use a professional grade glass scraper
  • Start each project with a new blade
  • Replace blade when marred or dull from use
  • Test razor in an inconspicuous place on glass, before scraping the entire surface

Use professional quality scrapers for glass cleaning.

 

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Protecting glass

#3 - Painting? Cover windows in plastic

Continuing the subject of razor blade procedures… The best answer is always PREVENTION!  You can easily prevent the need to remove paint from glass by covering, or having your painting contractor, cover your interior and exterior glass in plastic.

Paints and stains are corrosive to glass… And, if left long enough on window glass, can cause permanent staining.

Also, ‘Hard Water Stains’ can occur immediately after your building’s exterior is painted or stained.  Hard water stains are caused by rain water running over a prefabricated surface, leaching hard minerals and acids from that surface and depositing them on windows below.  In the case of new paint…

Damaging stains can occur immediately after the first rainfall.

The need for a complete exterior window cleaning is a must to prevent glass degradation.  The use of proper glass cleaning techniques will neutralize the P.H. of the glass and effectively stop the corrosive property of hard water stains caused by new paint.

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Enjoy your house with clean glass

#4 - Importance of regular window cleaning

As mentioned above, window glass can become permanently stained from hard water deposits caused by rain water and new paint.  But did you know that all these factors can cause permanent damage to glass and make glass cleaning with detergents impossible.

Acid Rain

Salt water spray

Oxidization

Airborne pollutants

Over spray

Rust

Calcium salts

Window glass is porous and if you understand that its surface is filled with ‘peaks and valleys’ then it’s easy to recognize these valleys easily capture and trap airborne debris that will diminish glass integrity.

To protect your glass investment I recommend no less that 2 window cleanings per year.

Clean glass also helps the ‘R-Value’ of thermal paned windows.  The R-Value is a measure of resistance to heat gain or loss.  Regardless of your glass type, a clean window allows the glass to better regulate the effects of exterior weather…

…Which can produce greater efficiency and REDUCE your monthly heating and cooling costs!

 

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mineral damage on glass

#5 - Rearrange sprinkler systems

Rearrange your sprinkler systems so ‘tap water’ does not wet windows.  Tap water contains calcium and other hard minerals and will, over time, etch exterior window glass.

Pictured above is a close-up of degraded glass.

Although this might make a beautiful counter top finish for your kitchen, it will surely steal the natural beauty of your favourite viewing window!

Can this glass be restored to its original shine?

99.9% of the time the answer is “YES!”

Calcium salts from tap water can be removed through the proper use of restoration chemicals, applicators and techniques.  Although, very occasionally, I’ve found these techniques and chemicals are ineffective.  In that case, the problem stain has actually changed the molecular structure of the glass and glass refinishing or replacement may be needed.

So, if your sprinklers are wetting your windows … rearrange ‘em!

 

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Close up of damage from tape water use

#6 - Don't clean glass with a garden hose

Although this technique can remove some of the dirt and grime from exterior windows, the fact is… This technique can cause more damage to your glass than good.

Why?

Because you are allowing tap water to dry and remain on your glass.  Remember, tap water contains hard minerals that, over time, will degrade the transparent look of your glass.

When using professional glass cleaning techniques, tap water use is O.K.  Mixed with soap, the harmful minerals in tap water are completely removed from glass with a squeegee and not left to dry into the glass surface.

If you are planning to use a garden hose to clean your windows, make sure to rinse glass completely with ‘Pure Water’.  You can effectively create pure by running it through a reverse osmosis or Di-ionizing resin filtration system.  RO and DI systems are available but expensive.  These systems also require your household water pressure to fall within a specific range to allow the system to work effectively.

The best solution is to have window cleaning done professionally especially if your glass cleaning needs require the use of tall ladders or other high access equipment.

 

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