understanding glass fines, fabricating debris and how to prevent scratching window glass
fines: what are they?
are airborne debris, dust, dirt, and / or tiny glass particles that
become fused, (baked into), glass during the process of tempering. the result - window glass has microscopic "bumps"
that create an uneven surface.
are they dangerous?
the uneven glass
surface, laden with solid matter, can easily become lodged under
glass scraper when performing routine window cleaning, construction
cleaning and over-spray removal, causing potentially deep scratches
to glass surface.
obviously, this can become a serious liability
issue for the professional window cleaner who, more often than not,
gets blamed for damage that could have easily occurred "before"
he or she has performed work on the effected glass.
because glass fines
are generally invisible to the naked eye, touching the glass - prior to
using a scraper - is the best way to detect fabricating debris before
potentially damaging glass surface.
you should (but not always)
be able to feel the tiny pimples of the fabrication debris even when you
can't see them. this raises the question: "who's responsible for
damages when glass fines get caught under a scraper blade and scratch
glass"? is it the window cleaner or the glass manufacturer?
when using a scraper,
to remove over-spray, always test blades reaction to window glass in a
small inconspicuous place, such as a corner of the glass. glass fines
will have a "gritty or course sound" when scraper moves
if you hear this, stop scraping!!!
you'll want to choose
a different method to remove paint over-spray and other construction materials
such as, via a "0000" grade steel wool pad or with the use of
the appropiate chemicals.
you get a refund for glass you've purchased containing glass fines?
not. since glass fines do not effect the structural integrity of the glass
and are not a hindrance to glass clarity, the glass will usually meet
industry standards for heat treated flat glass.
this again questions the
idea of "who is responsible"? if you are a home owner and you
follow your window scraper's manufacturers guideline to scrap glass and
as a result you damage the glass surface because, the manufacturer of
the glass has provided you glass with fabricating debris baked into it's
shouldn't this be cause for due negligence on the window glass
manufacturer? shouldn't they be liable for replacing your glass?
window cleaner's - "damage waiver":
if you are a professional
window cleaner providing a construction cleanup window cleaning
service, you should strongly consider using a damage waiver to legally
excuse your company for damages that may or have already occurred
before your service commences.
afterall, glass fines are very difficult
to detect, making it easy for you or one of your employees to accidentally
damage a clients window glass surface.
also, scratches and
other damage may already be present on glass surface but, not noticed
until "after" you've cleaned the glass. this is obviously damage
incurred by a previous contractor, or during shipping/ storage or manufacturing
of the glass product.
unfortunately, you may be stuck with the bill so,
get a waiver signed before performing construction cleanups and other
related work that could expose your company to liability issues. check
out my article on post construction window cleaning for more info.
side note: currently, there
is a huge debate over "who is responsible for scratched glass".
generally speaking, professionals in the window cleaning industry
would like to see higher standards in the processes in which tempered
glass is manufactured.
the window cleaning network has petitioned
(gana) the glass association of north america with a document that
sites, close to 400 window cleaners complaints. the petition questions:
can fabricating debris be considered an "inherent characteristic"
of tempered glass if some temperers do a good job of controlling
it, while others do not?
disclaimer: volitar industries does not, by the publication of this document,
intend to urge action which is not in compliance with applicable laws
and these documents may not be construed as doing so. any damages incurred
through the application of the window cleaning tips and techniques within
this document are solely the responsibility of the user.
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