When you think about the windows in your home or commercial building, you probably don’t pay any attention to the type of glass that your windows are made of. In fact, you probably just grab some window cleaner or a bucket and wash rag and off you go. While this seems simple in theory, you may be damaging the glass or at best getting less than stellar results, even with a squeegee. There are five different types of glass that are commonly used in residential and commercial buildings including annealed, heat strengthened, tempered, low-e, and insulated glass units (IG units).
Types of Glass Used in Residential & Commercial Building Windows
Annealed Glass: This type of glass is the easiest to clean and will not scratch if the proper methods are used when utilizing a scraper. The process of annealing involves slowly cooling the glass to eliminate internal stress on the glass after it has completed formed. When this glass breaks, it will break in large pieces. Annealed glass is a flat glass that is also called floating glass after the invention of the glass in England in the 1950’s. The glass would float on a tin mold and smooth out to evenly fill the form.
Heat Strengthened Glass: Just as the name implies, heat strengthened glass has been heat treated. When broken, heat strengthened glass will break into smaller sharp pieces than annealed glass. This type of glass can have what is referred to in the glass industry as fabricating debris. Some glass surfaces have fabricating defects on the surface which contains microscopic glass particles that may become fused to the glass during the tempering process. Though almost invisible to the naked eye, fabricating debris can cause damage to the windows if improperly scraped and cleaned.
Tempered Glass: This type of glass is five times stronger than annealed glass and is most often used in the safety glass found in the windshields and windows of automobiles. Because of its strength it will break into small pieces which will protect you from serious lacerations should you be involved in a car accident. Tempered glass is the hardest to clean at home.
Low-E Glass: This type of glass is specially designed to cool homes and buildings. It is manufactured with a film that limits the amount of UV rays from the sun passing through the window. The special coating is applied during the manufacturing process and an additional coating is applied after the glass has been made. It can be problematic to clean at home because of the increased risk of damaging the film.
Insulated Glass Units: An insulated glass unit or IG unit for short is essentially two pieces of glass that are separated by a spacer to allow air to be sealed between the two panes of glass. This type of class is also labelled tempered glass although there are no specific standards for stamping insulated glass for identification.
Custom Mirror Design, Installation & More in Canton, Taylor, Garden City, Farmington Hills, Ypsilanti & Wayne County, Michigan
For professional residential and commercial glass services in Wayne County, Michigan, contact the knowledgeable experts at Dan’s Enterprises today at (734) 595-3232 and speak with a friendly customer service provider to schedule an appointment.