Cracked or Broken Glass
If you have flicked a stone at your patio with the lawn mower or accidentally smashed one of your sealed units, then fortunately getting your window glass replacement is a simple task.
The process usually involves you calling out a window repair man who will provide and install a made-to-measure sealed unit to replace the damaged one.
Normally the repair man will call once to measure up and secure the broken window, he’ll then call back at a later date once the replacement sealed unit has been manufactured and is ready for installation.
The installation of the new sealed unit is a simple process that does not usually take very long to complete. Once the old unit has been removed all that remains is for the repair guy to fit the new sealed unit.
The manufacturing process of float glass involves “floating” molten glass onto a flat bed of molten metal, usually tin, hence the name “float glass”. This process enables the glass to self-level and gives it an equal thickness.
Most other types of glass are an upgrade to normal float glass, the cheapest glass to buy. When smashed, float glass leaves sharp, jagged, edges that can obviously be dangerous. This is the reason why float glass is not used in high-risk areas around the house such as in low windows, doors, or patio doors.
Toughened Safety Glass
Toughened safety glass essentially floats glass, except this time during manufacturing, the glass is heated up until it begins to soften and then cooled at a fast rate. This process causes the glass to shatter into smaller lighter fragments, making it less likely to cause lacerations if an accident should occur.
Toughened safety glass is a requirement in high-risk areas such as patio doors and french doors, and even low windows where there is a risk of tripping into it. The guidelines are pretty clear and all manufacturers and installers must conform to the British Safety Glass Standard BS 6262 Part 4. If this affects you then it is not a big deal and the company that handles your glass replacement should act accordingly to meet the given requirements.
Laminated Safety Glass
Laminated safety glass is made up of two sheets of glass, placed in between the glass sheets is a transparent film that sticks the two panes of glass together, when the glass is smashed the transparent film takes the shock of the impact and holds the glass in place. Laminated glass is typically found in shop windows and car windscreens.
Low ‘E’ Energy Efficient Glass
This type of glass is more efficient than any other type of glass, it is still a sealed unit but this time a special coating is applied to one side of the glass, this thin coating is like a one-way valve, in the sense that it lets heat in through the window and is more efficient at keeping the heat inside.
This works because of the difference in the thermal wavelength of energy emitted from the sun and the thermal wavelength transmitted from the heat within the room.
Obscure or patterned glass is for privacy, it is made by applying a textured film to one side of the glass, you can choose from 5 different levels of obscurity Level one being least obscure to level 5 being most obscure.
Typical obscure glass patterns include Arctic, Autumn, Chantilly, Charcoal Sticks, Cotswold, Everglade, Flemish, Mayflower, Minster, Oak, Pelerine, Stippolyte, Sycamore, and Taffeta to name a few.
Don’t worry if you have a leaded pattern glass that you need replacing, usually, the window company that you hire will be able to measure up the lead on the window to get an accurate replacement that will still match your other windows.
If the leading on your window is too complicated to measure up then usually the company you are working with will fit a temporary unit so that they can take the old one away to match it exactly.
Steamed Up Window Glass
Steamed-up sealed units in double glazing is a common problem and most often occurs after the guarantee has passed! The glass takes on a wet/misty appearance which makes the view from any window obscure and awful. Fortunately though, replacing a sealed unit is not quite as expensive as one might think, and it is a relatively simple job to do.
The panes of glass used in double-glazed windows are called sealed units. The panes are separated by a spacer bar which contains thousands of tiny silica balls. These same balls can be found in the little bag you find in the box when buying trainers or shoes.
It is these balls that should soak up any moisture that exists in the air gap between the two panes of glass in your window.
Once the silica has become saturated the moisture in the air gap will begin to mist, or fog up your double glazing. This should not occur for at least 5 years from the date of installation and most companies do offer a 10-year guarantee. It is a good idea to check your receipts to see if your windows are less than the guaranteed period.
The breakdown of an old sealed unit is a natural process and if it is past the sell-by date, it is nobody’s fault. If the unit breaks down prior to the guarantee expiring then the replacement glass for windows should be provided by the supplier.