to save thousands of dollars restoring rather than replacing your glass
In many cases, you can
restore your home or business glass and save the unneeded expense of glass
replacement. The savings can be sizable when you start looking at the high
expense of hiring a professional glass replacement company. Then, factor
in the number of windows and how difficult those windows are to get to,
and you might have to spend your vacation at home this year. If you suspect
your window glasss condition has deteriorated, the first step is
if your window glass can be restored.
cleaned youre windows exterior glass surfaces using professional
window cleaning products, (soap, strip washer and squeegee) and techniques,
(see "Basic Window Cleaning" for professional instruction),
and found the surface is still stained or deteriorated, youll need
to determine the cause of the problem before you can treat it. This requires
taking a close look at the glasss surface area.
Most home and business
windows are made of Thermal Panes; glass with a sealed air barrier or
space between two panes. To diagnose the condition of your thermal paned
windows, take a very close look at the glass to determine whether the
staining comes from between the panes or from its exterior
surface. In general, it will be the exterior or between the panes
and not the interior glass surface that will be stained.
TIP: One easy
way of determining whether the stain can or can not be treated is to wet,
or lick your finger and touch the stained surface. If the surface momentarily
appears clear in that wet spot, its most likely restorable.
* This technique applies to single paned windows also. Single pane windows
can be restored on either side on the glass surface.
if you determine the glass is clouded or stained from
between the panes, youll have to replace the whole window in
order to remedy its problem. - Sorry, mostly due to the difficult
location of the stain, this glass is untreatable. *This moisture or
clouding between panes can also appear steamy or freeze
dried into the shape of ice crystals.
The focus of this article is on regular, (untreated), window glass. DO
NOT use the following techniques on "treated" glass surfaces,
i.e. tinted glass and mirrored glass or Plexiglas. If youd like information on the removal of paint, tar, marker, grease
and scuff marks from Plexiglas, please refer to the article entitled:
Plexiglas Cleaning. If
you have mirrored or tinted glass and the mirroring or tinting is between or on the inside surface and
your stain is not on it's treated
surface, you are safe to proceed with glass restorative techniques.
that cause staining:
TIP: Many of
these causes can be eliminated by cleaning your window glass atleast
once a year. This will help prevent glass degradation from acid rain,
hard water, oxidization, airborne pollutants and salt spray.
TIP: Rearrange 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 as seen in picture (left).
Pictured (right) is
a close-up of the same degradated glass. Although, this might make a beautiful
counter top finish for your kitchen; it will surely steal the natural
beauty of your favorite viewing window!
TIP: When painting
or staining building interiors and exteriors, cover glass in a
protective plastic (visqueen) to prevent over spray.
TIP: When caulking windows be careful not to touch glass with sticky fingers.
is glass corrosion defined?
1 Corrosion is defined as glass with light corrosion, with little or no
damage to the glass.
II Corrosion occurs when the deposits are no longer on the surface of
the glass, but have started to break down the molecular structure of the
glass, leaving an etched or white haze on the glass after the stain has
types, professional techniques and products to restore damaged or staining
in glass surfaces:
The products and stain
removal techniques you'll find in this section "should remove"
all Stage 1 Corrosion on window glass. They also may work well on Stage II Corrosion but, you may find the extend of damage to your glass
beyond restoration. In any case, it pays to give these products and techniques
appears hazy and has a white etched
around exterior window has been exposed to rain or humid conditions causing
the metal to slowly deteriorate and become oxidized. Most
commonly seen on windows with metal frames or metal screens, this condition
penetrates glass and renders regular window cleaning techniques ineffective.
Solution: Apply specialized oxidization removal products i.e. Restoro,
Sorbo Stain Remover, Winsol CC550 or BIO-CLEAN. *After choosing a product,
please read and apply the manufactures stain removal suggestion. The
following procedure is suggested to give you an idea of what
needs to be done to restore oxidized glass and is not to be understood
as the one, right technique.
Step 1) Apply
product to a clean damp rag, sponge, or white nylon scrub pad and work
into the glass using a circular motion until the chemical dries
out while rubbing.
TIP: Always apply product to a small, inconspicuous area to test
for adverse or damaging reactions between the chemical and glass.
excess product off using a clean, dry towel.
Step 3) Use
your professional window cleaning products and tools (i.e. soap, strip
washer and squeegee) to rinse excess chemical from glass. This step will
also neutralize the restoration chemical, halting any danger of it damaging
windows surrounding surfaces. Repeat steps 1 through 3 if necessary.
process leeches the glass and restores it to it's proper P.H. balance leaving you with a crystal clear sheet of glass!
Caution: Make sure to read the manufactures warning when using restoration
chemicals. Although, many of these chemicals are biodegradable and
environmentally friendly, some may require the use of Acid Resistant
Rubber Gloves and Protective Goggles. Also, you can use an electric
buffer to apply restorative chemicals, but be careful, this may leave
etched circular marks in the glass. My advice is
Apply the product
by hand using protective measures - goggles and gloves.
Windows glass appears to be etched with white tear drop
shaped deposits. It can also appear as though a substance has been
dripped down the windows surface.
stains occur when rain water travels over the exterior buildings
surface i.e. (concrete, paint, and stain), and deposits minerals from
these surfaces onto the window below. Acid rain, salt spray, sprinkler
systems, and rust can also create this undesirable condition
because they carry and deposit harmful minerals to the glasss surface
the same products and techniques as you would to restore Oxidized
glass. (See above)
tips: Some hard-water stains can be easily avoided. Your local tap
water contains calcium and other minerals. Avoid further damage to your
exterior windows by moving or redirecting your sprinkler systems so water
does not contact glass. If you have exterior stair cases that have rusted
and rust water drips on glass surfaces below, remove and replace with
new stair case - preferably using rust proof materials.
exterior building maintenance or construction, tradesmen have over-sprayed
(paint, caulking, mortar, stucco etc.
) onto glass leaving its surfaces
scraping and or chemicals need to be applied to remove over-spray from
surface of glass. In most cases, you can use a razor scraper to remove
to remove paint, caulking, glue and water proofing from window glass:
use a razor blade on dry glass!
1) Choose a professional grade glass scraper, i.e. Triumph or Ettore,
along with a brand-new, unused razor blade. A 3" professional grade
glass scraper can be found in the Ettore Glass Cleaning Kit.
information click here ---> Window
Step 2) Using
your strip washer, wet glass with your window cleaning solution mix, i.e.
Ettores Squeegee Off and water. This will help lubricate the windows
surface, lessening the risk of scratching. For a higher level of protection,
add a friction reducer to your cleaning solution, i.e. Sorbo Glide.
Step 3) Scrap
to remove over-spray in one direction, lifting to bring blade back. This
will prevent scratching by eliminating the potential of the razor dragging
across the scraped, dry glass.
scraping, watch glass carefully to see if scratching occurs. If so, stop
and examine blade (razor) for any cracks, rough surfaces or defects. If
damaged, replace blade. An undamaged blade should leave the glass 100%
dry on the treated area - much like a squeegees rinse.
lubricated surfaces until all over-spray has been removed. Re-lubricate
glass when needed.
Step 4) Follow-up
restoration by applying professional window cleaning techniques.
in-depth info on paint removal click here ---> Using Razor Blades: "How
To Remove Paint From Your Window Glass Without Scratching"
If you don't want
to risk accidental scratches caused by razor blading glass, try using
a "0000" grade steel wool pad to remove over-spray. In
many cases, steel wool will pull substances like glue and caulking out
of the glass surface faster and safer than razor blade use.
remove concrete, stucco, or mortar over-spray from glass surfaces,
razor use may scratch and damage the glass surface. In this case, the
use of chemicals is a must.
For glass that has
been splashed with concrete or mortar water use Crystal Clear 550, it
not only removes hard water stains, but is also effective in removing
concrete. Please read the manufacturer's guidelines when applying
any chemical to glass surfaces. You will need acid resistant rubber glove
and safety google when using CC 550.
If the glass surface
is stuck with rocky mounds of concrete, mortar or stucco,
youll want to apply a degreasing agent like Oil Flo. Oil Flo and
other types of degreasers are also excellent for removing (stickers,
adhesives, solar film, crayon, magic marker and caulking) from glass
Degreasers are the
perfect products to use during construction clean-ups; handy to have around
when you don't want to risk scratching the glass with a razor blade. If
you are a professional who is contracted to do a construction clean-up
for the glass surfaces, have the person who contracted you sign a liability
waiver excusing you from any damages that may occur to glass surfaces
(See Post Construction Window Cleaning) for more info.
Remember: There is no effective way to restore tinted or mirrored glass surfaces
once over-spray or other degradation has penetrated the surface.
Restoration chemicals wont be able to tell the difference
between what it is designed to clean and the tinted or mirrored
treated surfaces. Therefore, the tinting or mirroring
will be dissolved along with the stain.
You may find
"light scraping" with a razor blade may be effective to
remove paint and other types of over spray on treated surfaces but,
be cautious and continually look for damage to glass surface.
Fines - always be on the lookout!!! Glass what? If you are a professional
window cleaner, you'll need to read this. <----
Preservation: "How to preserve the restored glass with a protective Glass Sealant".
Keep previous problem
stains from reappearing on restored glass by adding a protective coating
to it's surface. Problem stains can reappear in glass after a period of
time. A sealant is necessary to delay or avoid the same
stain reappearing in the glass.
Products like Sani Shield and 3 Star Barrier are designed to seal restored
glass by creating a molecular barrier, protecting the surface against
repeat stains. They also help to repel liquids and dirt, protects against
incidental scratching and makes routine window cleaning easier.
The product you choose
will determine how you will seal the restored glass. Using 3 Star Barrier
is a great product if you are sealing several panes of glass and want
to do it quickly. Simply apply 3 Star Barrier with a strip washer to
glass surface and squeegee off. The remaining micro-thin barrier will
help protect glass for 6 -12 months according to the manufacturer.
Sani Shield is great for sealing your favorite view windows. Because this product
is applied to glass in the same way Rain X is applied to auto glass, (i.e. spray on glass, rub in with clean cloth until completely dry), using
this is time consuming and is not time effective. Try Sani
Shield if you have the time to apply by hand the sealant or are
sealing 1 or 2 windows; it's thick coat may protect windows for great
lengths of time.
Try 3 Star Barrier
for large jobs. Generally, as a professional window cleaner, I use 3 Star
Barrier because of its quick application and glass usually comes out clearer
when using products that squeegee off as opposed to leaving potential
smear marks that are common to dry toweling techniques.
For comprehensive video instruction on glass restoration, glass sealing, and beginning to advanced window cleaning techniques, click here.
I hope youve
found the information within this article useful. Cheers to you! And
May all of your dreams of crystal clear windows come true.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andy Engstrom specializes in teaching real people how to start profitable Window Cleaning businesses that make $40,000 to $100,000 (or more) per year. To get instant access to all his most profitable window cleaning business strategies, tools, and resources,
visit: Window Cleaning Business