Is it always necessary to replace scratched windows? Glass scratch repair services can typically restore windows to an almost-new condition. This saves owners of commercial properties the cost and hassle of replacing glass and restores the curb appeal of the building.
What Causes Commercial Window Glass Scratches
We regularly see two primary causes of scratches in commercial windows:
- Technicians using scrapers to clean windows.
- Work occurring in the vicinity of the windows.
Scrapers are often used by technicians to clean construction debris off a window. This practice is consistently debated within the commercial window cleaning industry. The dispute usually comes down to whether scrapers or fabricating debris causes the scratching. We’ll cover both sides of the debate at another time.
Experience shows us that cleaning commercial windows with a metal scraper, particularly when that scraper is in the hands of an inexperienced or careless technician, causes scratches. We’ve also seen damage from work that’s being done in proximity to windows such as welding splatter, spark damage from cutting equipment, and the windows rubbing various objects during storage and/or installation. Whatever the cause, the bottom line is glass is a sensitive material that’s easily damaged during the construction process.
In the post-construction realm, we consistently see the damage caused by abrasive glass restoration compounds. Scratches may also be caused by splatters being scraped from the glass during a painting project.
Since the scratches typically take place on windows with hard water stains, this type of damage often goes unnoticed and glass scratch repair services are never pursued. In some cases, however, testing is done at ground level and the contractor finishes a majority of the building before owners and managers realize the window systems are covered in fine scratches. Fortunately, this type of damage is easily repaired and, in most cases, with minimal effort.
Viewing Standards and Determinations
When considering window glass scratch repair services, there’s a serious need in both construction and post-construction environments for a viewing standard and determination of defect process. It shouldn’t focus on the typical use of glass; rather, it should view windows as wall openings that provide views and prevent weather intrusion into a building.
As an example, while a deep scratch in the middle of a window distracts viewers from the purpose of the glass, a small scratch near the window frame is usually never noticed. This distinction often becomes clouded when an owner or manager finds glass scratches on the windows. And it’s specifically why the AIA has standards for viewing glass and determining whether a window is acceptable as a deliverable in the construction realm. The standard has specific rules that set forth things like:
- The distance a viewer must stand from the window.
- Windows must be viewed at 90 degrees for the purpose of inspection.
- The areas in which some form of defect is allowed in the glass.
And so on and so forth. Why does this matter?
During glass scratch repair services, some form of optical distortion may be created in the glass surface, particularly when removing deep scratches. Any time Presto performs a glass scratch repair, we’re sanding down the surface of the glass. This results in the surface no longer being perfectly flat but containing some waviness. The distortion is almost never seen by any user of the glass, or even noticed by any individual except the owner or manager who’s now looking closely at a surface that was never meant to be looked at. There’s also no way the distortion is evident when viewed in line with AIA standards.
While optical distortion is not a foregone conclusion in the glass scratch repair services process, it is a consideration that must be accounted for. We recommend performing mock-ups and educating the owner or manager about this point. That ensures everyone’s on the same page regarding this issue.
How Glass Scratch Repair Services Work
The most popular methods on the market today for commercial glass scratch repair services are dry grinding and wet closed-loop systems. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages and which one you choose depends on the:
- Type of damage to the commercial window system.
- The ability of the restoration technician.
- Finishes surrounding the window.
Presto most often uses dry grinding and a wet closed-loop system.
- Dry grinding works great on exterior window surfaces where the creation of dust during the glass scratch repair services is not a concern. Done correctly, it also produces faster results on large areas of glass and repairs scratches with less distortion than a wet closed-loop system does.
- A wet closed-loop system has the advantage of being a one-step process that removes scratches on a building’s interior quickly and without creating any dust.
Protecting People and the Planet
We strongly believe everyone should be on the same team regarding glass scratch repair services vs replacement for two simple reasons: sustainability and environmental impact. We’re proud of the fact that each year Presto keeps many thousands of large commercial windows out of landfills. And since producing glass uses fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide into the environment, choosing scratch repair over window replacement means fewer noxious gases making their way into the atmosphere.
While we understand it seems counterintuitive to invest in a service which in some ways damages beautiful building components like windows, in our view, it’s a further shame to require new windows when glass scratch repair services can be used to make the like-new condition a reality.
Glass Restoration Professionals
Our glass scratch repair services are unparalleled in the industry. Over the past 25 years, Presto Restoration has tested every type of glass scratch repair method. In that time, we’ve honed our craft to balance production and outcomes to meet the high standards of our commercial glass scratch repair customer needs. We understand this type of damage in the new construction industry typically occurs during close-out. We’re ready to quickly and efficiently price, mobilize, and complete the restoration services you need. You can read about a recently completed glass restoration project for a commercial office building and many other projects on our portfolio page.
If you are looking for glass scratch removal services in your city, we would love to learn more about your project.
Contact Presto Restoration for a free consultation today.
Call us at 1-800-785-9927 or Request a Quote.