Building Glass Restoration and Maintenance

Glass is a Composition of Minerals

Glass is a hard, brittle substance that is usually transparent. Glass is made by fusing silicates with soda and lime.

Silicates are a salt or ester derived from silica, a hard glassy mineral found in quartz and sand.

Quartz is a crystalline mineral that is usually colorless or transparent.

Lime (calcium oxide) is a white substance obtained by the action of heat on limestone.

Soda is a the same as sodium nitrate, a clear crystalline salt.

Cause and Effect of Water Stains on Building Glass

When foreign minerals such as hard water, lime and petroleum materials are introduced to glass, a reaction occurs known as mineral deposits. Left alone, these mineral deposits begin to bond to the glass. Once the cause and effect of water stains are established, remedies may be used to minimize water stains and maintenance procedures developed to keep your building glass looking its best.

Cause of Ground Level Glass Stains

Water stains on ground level glass are generally caused by over spray from sprinkler systems and rain water.

Some Remedies to Ground Level Glass Stains

An adjustment to sprinkler heads, replacement of malfunctioning heads or converting to a drip system will reduce over spray.

Proper landscaping around the building and the addition of gutters will also help reduce ground level water stains on building glass.

More frequent glass cleaning that includes the application of a sealant.

Cause of Glass Stains Above Ground-Level

Glass stains above ground level are generally caused by rain water that picks up minerals and soils as it runs down the sides of the building.  Rain water on precast structures will pick up minerals such as silicates, sodium, calcium and lime.  These minerals adhere to the glass and intensify as they bake in the sunlight.

Some Remedies to Glass Stains Above Ground-Level

Pressure cleaning the facade of the building an application of a sealant will reduce runoff of minerals and help repel water.

Clean and restore the glass surfaces then apply a sealant.

Water Stains May Etch Glass Over Time

Water contains minerals that bond to glass and cause unsightly stains.  Left untreated, these stains will eventually etch glass and reduce its tensile strength.

Removal of Water Stains is Cost Effective

Treatment and removal of water stains can be labor intensive, but is still much cheaper than glass replacement.

Important Note Regarding Dark Glass and Solar Glass

The darker the glass, the softer the glass.  You’ll find some light glass that is tinted with after-market films.  These can also be very tricky.

Solar glass is a mirror-type glass that resists mineral deposits better than non-solar glass. But, left alone, minerals will eventually bond and etching will become much more evident due to the reflective nature of this type of glass.

ALWAYS test in a small inconspicuous area before cleaning the entire surface.

Contact us to discuss your situation.  We can help!