The glass in my door broke and the glass shop won’t sell me a piece of plate glass to replace it. The salesman says I need to buy safety glass. Is he trying to cheat me?
No, but he may be saving your life – or keeping you out of legal trouble. You may not know that glass is one of the few building materials actually regulated by the Federal government and that usage of glass in and near doors falls under strict Consumer Product Safety Commission rules. Quality glass shops know that all glass in doors must meet these requirements which generally means that either tempered, laminated glass or plastic must be used.
When a glass shop won’t sell you a certain type of glass for a particular application, it is usually with your safety in mind. In this case, it would be illegal for either the glass shop–or the homeowner–to install non-safety glass in that door. This becomes an issue when the door is old and was manufactured before the safety glazing laws took place.
While the CPSC regulates safety glass usage in and near doors, building codes regulate what types of glass can be used in other hazardous locations. Many codes require safety glass below a certain height, in areas with a lot of water and potential for slippage such as hot tub enclosures, on stair wells or in other hazardous locations.
Safety glass is more expensive than “plate glass,” but the benefits you’ll receive in terms of that safety and peace of mind will be well-worth the expense.
One piece of glass in my insulating window broke.
The glass company is telling me that I need to replace the whole window. Is this true?
Probably. The reason that your window had insulating properties is because there was a SEALED airspace between both pieces of glass. When one of the pieces breaks, not only has that glass been destroyed, but the sealed airspace has been destroyed as well. The whole unit usually is replaced in such cases. Is it possible to reseal the glass in the same frames. The answer is possibly “yes” from a technical standpoint, but ‘no’ from a practical one. The time and cost involved to retrofit such units would be much more expensive than buying new ones.
How can I tell if my windows have low-E glass or not?
There are a number of tools and testers available that will check for low-E coatings. These are generally too expensive for the homeowner to buy, but if you call a quality glass shop they will usually be able to test the glass for you. Many window film companies that do residential work also have equipment to check. Sometimes, the glass will have a manufacturers’ marking on it that helps tell if Low-E coating is present.
What causes my windows to permanently fog up?
Insulated glass consists of two pieces of glass with a sealed dead air space between them. Somehow, the seal has failed. This is usually caused by improper sealing at the factory, i.e., leaving a void in the sealant or an improper compound mix on the sealant itself. If the window becomes cracked, this will also cause the window to fog.
Is there any way I can take an insulated glass window apart and clean inside?
No, the glass is factory sealed. The glass cannot be cut apart and adequately resealed. A Cut Above Glass replaces a defective insulated glass unit with a new one. Our replacements have a 5 year warranty.
My shower door has slipped and is hitting the wall. Can it be repaired?
In most cases your shower is repairable. In the case that your door is a framed unit, the glass has probably slipped from the channel it is installed in. We can use new vinyl and re install the glass or if the hinge is damaged, we can replace that as well.
In the case that you have a Euro door; we can replace the gaskets and re- install your door to its original position. In some cases the glass just needs to be put back in position and the hinges need to be re tightened with no further action necessary. If your door has any polyurethane seals, you may want us to inspect them and replace if damaged.
I have new tables that I want to protect with glass tops. What thickness glass would you recommend?
We recommend ¼” clear glass with either ground, polished, or beveled edges to protect your tables. In some cases we will use a thicker 3/8” or ½” glass if the glass is not supported in all areas.
My glass has calcium build up on it. Can you recommend a way of removing it?
Phoenix water is hard on glass even with a water softener. We have a few articles on our blog about removing calcium buildup. In many cases the glass will need to be replaced.
My patio glass door is shattered. Does glass spontaneously break?
Yes tempered glass spontaneously breaks. It is rare and in most cases your glass was probably broken by a landscaper with a weed eater or a lawnmower pitching rocks.
We had a home inspection on our house and the inspector found multiple windows that have condensation in them. Is this something that you can repair?
We get this call frequently. Nine out of ten times the Insulated units that have failed can be replaced. Most windows are manufactured with a removable stop and can be removed without disrupting the stucco or siding adjacent to the window. In the odd chance, you have a door was built without removable stops; the door may need to be replaced. In this case, call your original door manufacturer and they should be able to match your existing door style.
My bathroom mirrors have black spots starting to appear in them. Is this repairable?
No, the mirror backing is starting to fail and in most circumstances the cause is that the adhesive is eating away at the mirror backing.