Inspection & Cleaning Glass

Advice for Inspection & Hand Cleaning Glass

Cleaning Instructions

This information is offered as a general guide only. Specific advice on the cleaning of glass should always be sought from a reputable glazier or professional window cleaner before any glass cleaning is undertaken.

General Cleaning of Glass Products

Professional Cleaners:

Professional glass cleaners have significant experience and access to equipment, materials and methods which the general public may not. As professional glass cleaners are acknowledged experts in the cleaning of glass, Glasshape® Ltd offers the information on this page as general advice only for the professional glass cleaner to consider as part of the development of their own cleaning processes.

Instructions to All Trades and Individuals:

  • Always follow manufacturer’s installation and cleaning instructions.
  • While cleaning ensure jewellery and watches are removed and gloves should be worn.
  • It is recommended that glass be protected from contamination caused by building materials and methods during construction as this will greatly simplify the glass cleaning task at the end of the project. If the glass is not protected during construction then the glass and frames should be cleaned frequently during construction.
  • Construction dust, leachate from concrete and rusting from steel can contribute to the formation of mild chemicals, which may stain or otherwise damage the glass.
  • Glass should be cleaned using only cleaning materials which are free of grit and debris (to avoid scratching and marking of the glass surface).
  • Only detergents and cleaning solutions which are recommended for cleaning glass should be used. Mild detergents are preferable.
  • Extra care is necessary where high performance reflective glass is installed. The coated surface can be susceptible to stains and scratches and therefore requires vigilance during the full construction process.
  • Temporary screens should be installed if welding, sandblasting, floor sanding, cuffing or other potentially damaging construction practices takes place near the glass.
  • Glass installations which are adjacent to concrete (e.g. concrete slab floors) require extra care and cleaning due to the abrasive nature of concrete dust.
  • All tradesmen should be advised to be aware of damaging glass and windows and to leave in place any materials protecting the window or glass.

Toughened (Tempered) Glass:
The cleaning of toughened (tempered) glass requires special care. The glass surface opposite the standards compliance stamp may, as a consequence of the manufacturing process, have ‘pickup’ on the surface. ‘Pickup’ is a deposit of very small particles of glass which are fused to the glass surface. A cleaning method which does not dislodge these particles should be employed otherwise scratching of the glass surface may result. Blades or scrapers have been known to dislodge ‘pickup’ from the glass surface. A soft cloth, which will not dislodge ‘pickup’, should be used. It is suggested that professional cleaners consult with their suppliers as to the suitability of available cleaning equipment, materials and methods.

Special Products:
Special coated high performance glass such as Low E or reflective glass requires special cleaning instructions. The hard coat located on the interior room side surface of the Low-E product is generally harder than the underlying glass. However, special care should be taken when cleaning this product. As with any glass surface, you should never use a razor blade or metallic object to remove debris from the Dual Low-E products. Incidental contact from metal objects may leave a mark on the Low-E coating that resembles a scratch, but it is actually residue from the object on the surface of the Low-E coating at the area of contact. To remove metal residue, apply a small amount of muriatic acid to a clean, dry, lint-free cloth or paper towel. Do not apply cleaner directly to the glass surface. On the affected area, work the cloth in multiple directions until the residue is removed. Avoid getting cleaning agents on any non-glass components. Follow the routine cleaning instructions to remove any residual cleaner left on the glass.

What Not To Do:

  • Do not use cleaners which contain Hydrofluoric or Phosphoric acid as they are corrosive to the glass surface.
  • Do not clean the glass when the glass is hot or in direct sunlight.
  • Do not allow cleaning solutions to contact the edges of Laminated glass, Insulating Glass Units or Mirrors.
  • Do not store or place other material in contact with the glass. (This can damage the glass or create a heat trap leading to thermal breakage).
  • Abrasive cleaners, powder based cleaners, scouring pads or other harsh materials should not be used to clean windows or other glass products.
  • Avoid causing extreme temperature changes to the glass as this may lead to thermal fracture of the glass, i.e. do not splash hot water on cold glass or freezing water on hot glass.
  • Some tapes or adhesives can stain or damage glass surfaces. Avoid using such materials unless they are known to be easily removed.

If Damage Occurs:
If glass is damaged or broken on-site ensure that experienced glaziers are engaged to rectify the situation. Glass can be a safety hazard if not handled properly.

Paint spots have been traditionally removed using a sharp razor blade. The use of a blade can in some cases cause damage to the glass. As an alternative, investigate solvents or graffiti removal materials, ensuring that they will not damage the glass. If a blade or scraper is used then the risk of damage can be reduced by using a scraper which has a clean edge and is held at an angle of 30 degrees to the glass. Consult the supplier of the blade or scraper as to how it is best used to clean glass. However, surface coated, modified or tinted glass requires special care. Seek cleaning advice from your local glass merchant.

About This Cleaning Advice:
This information is offered as a general guide only and specific advice should always be sought from a reputable glazier or professional window cleaner before undertaking any cleaning. This guidance does not preclude the use of other methods, materials or equipment, however the user should undertake careful evaluation and make suitable enquiries of the suitability of alternative methods, materials or equipment, before using them. Glasshape® Ltd has taken all reasonable care in producing this document, however Glasshape® Ltd makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of, and disclaims all liability, direct or indirect (and whether or not arising out of the negligence, default or lack of care of Glasshape® Ltd for any loss or damage (whether foreseeable or not) suffered by the recipient or any other person arising out of, or in connection with, any use or reliance by any of them on this document. Liability which cannot legally be excluded is limited to the maximum extent possible.

Cleaning Instructions for Security Glass Clad Polycarbonate Products

Cleaning Instructions

Periodic cleaning of Glasshape® glass-clad polycarbonate, using correct procedures with compatible household cleaners, is recommended to prolong the service life of your material.

Glasshape® glass-clad polycarbonate sheets are hard coated, abrasion/mar resistant polycarbonate products that offer a higher degree of scratch resistance and surface hardness. These products provide superior protection against unintentional chemical attack. However, the use of abrasive, gritty cleaners and/or hard cleaning implements (e.g. hard brushes, scrapers, squeegees) should be avoided to eliminate the possibility of scratching the surface coating.

The following cleaning techniques are based on standard industry practices.

General Cleaning:
1) Thoroughly pre-rinse with warm water to loosen and wash away surface material, grit and grime.

2) Using a soft microfiber cloth or moist non-abrasive sponge, gently wash with a mild diluted soap or detergent.

3) Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm clean water. To prevent water spots, thoroughly dry the glazing with a dry soft cloth.

Removing Heavy Oils and Tars:
1) Thoroughly pre-rinse with warm water to loosen and wash away surface material, grit and grime.

2) With a 50/50 isopropyl alcohol-water mixture, gently rub the area with a soft non-abrasive cloth.

3) Immediately rinse thoroughly with lukewarm clean water. To prevent water spots, thoroughly dry the glazing with a dry soft cloth.

Removing Graffiti, Paint, Marker, Inks and Glazing Compounds:
1) Thoroughly pre-rinse with warm water to loosen and wash away surface material, grit and grime.

2) Using Naphtha VM&P grade, Isopropyl Alcohol or Butyl Cellosolve, gently rub the area with a soft non-abrasive cloth. Do not apply solvent cleaners under direct sunlight or during high temperatures.

3) Immediately rinse thoroughly with lukewarm clean water. To prevent water spots, thoroughly dry the glazing with a dry soft cloth.

Removing Adhesive backed Labels:
1) Isopropyl Alcohol, Naphtha VM&P grade or Kerosene will help lift stickers and adhesives.

2) Immediately rinse thoroughly with lukewarm clean water. To prevent water spots, thoroughly dry the glazing with a dry soft cloth.

Compatible Cleaners:
The following cleaning agents are compatible with Glasshape® glass-clad Polycarbonate Sheet products when used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations:

  • Top Job, Joy
  • Palmolive Liquid
  • Windex Ammonia free

[Top Job and Joy are registered trademarks of Proctor & Gamble, Palmolive is a registered trademark of Colgate Palmolive, Windex is a registered trademark of Drackett Products Company]

Points to Remember

  • Do not use abrasive cleaners.
  • Do not use high alkaline cleaners (high pH or ammoniated).
  • Do not leave cleaners sitting on polycarbonate for periods of time; wash off immediately.
  • Do not apply cleaners under direct sunlight or at elevated temperatures.
  • Do not clean your polycarbonate with any unapproved cleaners. When in doubt, seek guidance. Using scrapers, squeegees, razors or other sharp instruments may permanently scratch your polycarbonate.
  • Always avoid dry rubbing/cleaning your polycarbonate, as sand and dust particles clinging to the exterior of the glazing may scratch its surface.
  • An Anti-Static Canned-Air Ionizer can reduce electrostatic charge buildup on polycarbonate, consequently reducing dirt and dust buildup that would hinder cleaning.

Special Note:
The edges of your polycarbonate sheet are not protected with an abrasion and chemical resistance hard coating. Do not allow cleaning solutions and solvents to pool along the edges for any length of time. Always rinse edges thoroughly with generous amounts of lukewarm clean water.

Removing scratches from Glasshape® glass-clad polycarbonate sheet/window:
Deep scratches and gouges made by sharp objects such as keys, screwdrivers, and knives cannot be repaired. Fine scratches may be reduced in severity or cosmetically hidden by using a buffing compound such as NOVUS 2 Plastic Fine Scratch Remover, followed by a cleaning and polishing agent like NOVUS 1. However, for abrasion resistant coated products such as Glasshape® glass-clad AR, Glasshape® glass-clad 15 and Glasshape® glass-clad FC, buffing their abrasion resistant coated surface is not recommended because doing so further damages the coating and these scratched sites worsen the condition. Once removed, the coating cannot be repaired and buffing sites may optically distort the window.

Security and Safety Film Application and Inspection

Some of the Glasshape® security products such as AmmoShield®, ArmourShield®, CareShield®, BlastShield® and BanditShield® may require a secondary high security and safety film to be applied to the ‘Safe Side’ of the glass in order for it to perform to the applicable standards or for additional performance requirements. Such items need to be inspected in a different way with a different set of tolerances from that of glass without such films applied. Below are the Glasshape® standard inspection criteria for glass with film applied, of which will be applied to any such glass sold to its customers. Unless expressly agreed to in writing by Glasshape® prior to commencement of manufacture of such goods, the following inspection criteria shall be applied and accepted by the customer;

1) Installed film on flat glass surfaces is not expected to have the same level of visual quality as glass. The following criteria apply to the installed film only and not to any defect inherent in the glass.

2) Installed film has a discrete time for full adhesion to be effected since installation utilizes a detergent solution in the water to float the film onto the glass: the excess water is squeegeed out, but inevitably residual water will remain between the film and glass. The time to achieve full adhesion is often referred to as “the adhesive cure time”. Adhesion will be increasing from a lower value during this time. Visual and adhesive cure time is related to thickness of the film and various metallic coating on the film. Typical visual cure times may be extended or shortened according to climatic conditions.

3) Inspection for optical quality can be made before full visual cure is attained. Typical visual cure time is 28 days although this depends on the climatic conditions. It should be noted that effects during cure, such as water bubbles, water distortion, and water haze are not to be regarded as defects.

4) The glass with applied film shall be viewed at right angles to the glass from the room side, at a distance of not less than 3 meters. Viewing shall be carried out in natural daylight, not in direct sunlight, and shall assess the normal vision area with the exception of a 50mm wide band around the perimeter of the unit.

5) The installation shall be deemed acceptable if all of the following are not visible when viewed as described in point 4 (effects during visual cure should be disregarded): Dirt Particles, Hair and Fibres, Adhesive Gels, Fingerprints, Air Bubbles, Water Haze, Scores and Scratches, Film Distortion, Creases, Edge Lift, Nicks and Tears. Inspection may be made within 1 day of installation. Obtrusiveness of blemishes shall be judged by looking through the film installation under lighting conditions described in 4.

6) The 50mm wide band around the perimeter shall be assessed by a similar procedure to that in 3 and 4, but shall be viewed from 5 meters.

7) Edge gaps will normally be (1-3mm). This allows for the water used in the installation to be squeegeed out. This ensures that film edges are not raised up by contact with the frame margin. Contact with the frame margin could lead to peeling of the film.

8) Splicing of films is necessary when larger panels of glass are treated, where both length and width of the glass exceed the maximum width of film. The splice line itself should not be viewed as a defect. This line should be straight and should be parallel to one edge of the frame margin. The two pieces of film may be butt jointed. The maximum gap at any point in the splice line should be 1/64 inch (1mm). Film may be overlapped, spliced or butt jointed.

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