The Ultimate Rundown of Commercial Glass Restoration

Adam Robinson | Jun 15, 2022

The building owner and manager highly desire their structure and its commercial plaza deck makes a stunning first impression. Clean and sleek glass is attractive, no matter the structure. Glass accounts for a substantial part of the care and attention given to commercial buildings and components. 

Glass restoration companies install glass in multiple areas of buildings, not just windows. According to Buildings.com, “Depending on how the glass is treated before installation, it can be a viable option anywhere in a building. It can be tempered as well as annealed or laminated for extreme safety. As an interior wall or partition, it’s hard to think of why you wouldn’t be able to use glass. Translucent (and opaque) glass products are great as demountable partitions, in reception areas and conference rooms, or as stairs and treads. How the glass is treated or fabricated governs where the glass can be used.”

Seeing glass stained with residue, graffiti, and scratches is unattractive. In addition, it affects the energy efficiency of appliances such as the HVAC system. Therefore, the type of restoration glass used, sealants, and waterproofing membranes are utilized to improve energy use and enhance energy efficiency. 

When a residential window becomes damaged, it is typically a task that the homeowner or landlord can tackle. Commercial glass damage is a tedious task that requires the work of professional glass restoration companies. Some commercial buildings are one story, while others are massive skyscrapers. The glass requires special skills, tools, and equipment. 

Glass restoration companies breathe new life into your windows, making them seem new without the high replacement cost. A business with dull and grim windows and glass may feel compelled to spend money on new glass, but this is not required. Eliminating the need for window replacement, which may be a pricey expenditure for some businesses, saves money in the long term. In addition, investing in the maintenance, restoration, and repair of the exterior of the building encourages customers to return.

What Is Commercial Glass Restoration?

Commercial glass restoration is the careful process of repairing glass instead of replacing it. Glass restoration companies extend the life of the glass by repairing imperfections and damages and avoiding the costly replacement of the entire piece of glass. Maintaining the glass is essential to an attractive curb appeal and overall aesthetics of the building.

Commercial glass restoration companies can repair a broad spectrum of glass damage using glass restoration services. In addition, professional service providers for glass restoration may finish the job in less time than it takes to replace and at a lower cost. 

Commercial buildings, including apartments and condominiums, office buildings, skyscrapers, and other large buildings, have many different types of windows and glass that need specific care. Trying to save money here and there by not hiring a professional is never a good or responsible solution. Hiring professional glass restoration companies is vital to the longevity of commercial glass. Only highly trained and specifically certified employees of glass restoration companies are permitted to touch glass and ascend to such great heights to deal with these types of commercial glass repair and commercial window care needs. 

Difference Between Replacement and Restoration

Restoration is the process of glass restoration companies repairing something, while a replacement is a process of replacing something. Restoration can remove scratches, cloudy residue, and chemicals from glass and windows. Restoration is a much more financially feasible option than replacement. The replacement consists of new glass, the surrounding hardware, framing, flooring, caulking and sealants, and anything else that might be affected. The process is much more complicated and expensive for commercial glass contractors

Transforming historic downtown areas into commercial hotspots is a growing trend in U.S. cities. Frequently, buildings in these areas have old, antique glass that is irreplaceable without changing the overall appearance of the structure. Replacing this glass would change the entire vibe of the building. Professional glass restoration companies can fix emergency leak repairs, repair oxidation, mineral deposits, chips, oils, rain damage, weather damage, scum, lime buildup, and graffiti from the glass, all while keeping the original charm of the historic building.

What Causes Damage to Commercial Glass?

There are many contributing factors to commercial glass damage that glass restoration companies need to consider. Below is an overview of a few factors to take into consideration: 

  • Weather – Weather plays a significant role in commercial glass window damage, especially in skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. Nature’s elements and forces are more substantial and cause more damage. Wind, hail, and temperature changes can weaken the glass.
  • Irregular or Incorrect Window Washing or Window Installation – Sometimes, errors can start at the beginning. Improper installation of glass sets the stage for failure. When researching reputable glass restoration companies, ensure they offer installation and cleaning services. Maintaining and keeping the commercial windows clean is not just for a positive visual appearance. Dirt and debris can build up and cause pressure points. These pressure points are more apt to cause cracking and shattering. Also, the residue can scratch the windows, leading to the need for glass restoration services
  • Accidents – Several types of accidents can lead to damaged glass. A foreign object could hit the glass and cause damage. Glass can crack, shatter, and break due to rocks, balls, tree limbs, and flying debris from traffic accidents. Another possibility is that a bird could fly into the glass and damage it. Bird-proofing buildings is an excellent way to aid in preventing this. Bird deterrents in commercial buildings control the bird population safely and effectively, avoiding damage to the building and its glass components. 
  • Unmaintained Glass Damage – A small, damaged area never repaired or maintained by glass restoration companies can spread, causing significant damage. As with a vehicle’s windshield, a small crack signifies it is time to repair the commercial glass. Without repair, it will eventually spread and lead to the need for a complete replacement of commercial windows.  
  • Graffiti or Vandalism – Arguably, the most common form of glass damage is etching caused by graffiti and vandalism. Unlike etching caused by accident, graffiti is typically words or visuals that are offensive or simply unattractive to building visitors. Glass restoration companies have the means and tools to address graffiti.

Why Should Building Owners Outsource Glass Restoration?

A consultation with professional restoration companies is crucial when starting a project like glass restoration. DIY might sound cheaper but will cost more money in the long run. Maintaining the exterior building envelope is critical to the overall curb appeal and the structural integrity of a building, its plaza deck systems, waterproofing envelope, and beyond

Glass restoration companies inspect all the glass, sealants, and other components to ensure everything functions appropriately.  

Multiple types of glass are made specifically for commercial buildings. This glass is different from residential glass and needs special care and attention. Some types of commercial glass are:

  • Tempered glass can withstand high temperatures. Unfortunately, it also breaks into small pieces instead of more significant sharp shards. 
  • Laminated glass holds together if it is broken. As a result, it does not shatter into pieces, making it easier to clean up and preventing injury.
  • Wired glass has embedded mesh wire that does not allow it to shatter onto the ground if broken, preventing injuries.
  • Tinted glass blocks out UV rays and makes the interior of the building cooler and not as bright.
  • Insulated glass keeps buildings warmer or cooler, depending on the exterior weather. It is beneficial in areas that have extreme heat and extreme cold temperatures.
  • Bulletproof glass is impenetrable, making it an excellent option for storefronts prone to vandalism and violence. 

A glass company’s installation efforts can affect the overall quality of the glass and the likelihood of damage over time. And if damage occurs, how easy or difficult will it be to restore is the critical question. Ensure professional restoration companies and window cleaning service providers regularly work together in this regard.  While window washers remove debris and residue buildup, commercial glass companies will inspect the glass for nicks and scratches. Below are reasons to leverage a professional commercial glass company. 

Reasons Building Owners Should Outsource Glass Restoration

Glass breakage is a prevalent hazard. The damages need to be assessed by commercial glass companies to decide whether to repair or replace the glass. The HVAC systems can be affected by glass damage as increased usage results from excess heat consumption and energy loss. Contracting glass restoration companies provide specialized services, minimize costs, and provide the best long-term solution. 

The commercial glass company uses its equipment and will perform the restoration window glass task more professionally than any in-house maintenance that does not specialize in glass restoration. When properly executed, outsourcing will save money by extending the life of the commercial glass.

Honesty about a budget allows a qualified commercial glass business to assist in making the most cost-effective choice and reduce your costs.

Glass replacement and restoration can be risky with safety liabilities. Hiring a commercial glass company relieves a building manager and owner of associated risks and liability. Someone not adequately trained might injure themselves or others while performing repairs or installations, costing thousands of dollars in fines and worker’s compensation penalties.

When sanding and buffing, glass particles fly through the air and surrounding areas. All safety precautions need to be taken to ensure the health and safety of not only the technicians for the glass company but also the building occupants. Performing a DIY glass repair could cause the glass to shatter. Shattered glass is extremely sharp and dangerous if not handled with care. This liability alone should be enough to hire a professional glass polishing company.

Outsourcing to glass restoration companies takes the hassle out of coordinating with in-house maintenance. Glass replacement can be time-consuming and possibly dangerous for a non-expert. Hiring a glass company that specializes in this area relieves that burden. Typically, commercial window cleaning companies are also commercial glass window contractors, which the building facilities manager is probably already using. Glass restoration companies know precisely the type of glass and supplies needed, which takes the guesswork out of it. 

Steps That Go Into Glass Restoration

Sand and buff the damaged spot until it is smooth and blends with the surrounding glass, similar to sanding a rough piece of lumber. Repeat this process until achieving the desired results. Sanding glass creates particles that can be extremely dangerous to contractors. They must take safety precautions, such as respirators and eye protection, to avoid injury. 

Polish and buff until the blemish is no longer visible. How deep or severe the scratch dictates how much buffing the glass polishing company needs to perform.

Ensure proper light reflection and that there is no distortion in the glass. Does the glass repair produce the expected results? If not, the glass may need more sanding, buffing, and polishing to meet the expectations for restoration. 

Factors Affecting Pricing for Glass Restoration

Many things come into play with the topic of glass restoration prices. Typically included in glass restoration companies‘ pricing are travel time and the overall difficulty of the project. In addition, professional glass restoration companies know which repairs to perform on each specific type of glass, saving the total replacement cost. This factor alone makes their costs well worth it. 

Pricing differs from company to company, just like any other provided service. Most glass restoration companies assess the square footage, depth of the damage, and the amount of time it will take to fix. The damage’s severity, location, and type of glass are all factors. Below are these factors and core considerations in detail when determining pricing differences:

  • Type of Glass – There are multiple types of commercial glass, depending on the type of building and structure. Clear, tinted, coated, double-paned, bulletproof glass, awnings, and skylights are some of the most standard glass types that commercial glass contractors restore. Each type comes with its unique demands and skills required for restoration, ultimately affecting the overall cost of the restoration glass project. In buildings built before 1978, lead-based paint is a significant concern.
  • Location of Project – The site of the glass damage is an essential factor in determining the restoration cost. A one-story building with glass damage will be much less expensive than window damage on the 20th. The price is also affected if the blemish is in a harder-to-access area. 
  • The Severity of Damage – A tiny rock chip will be cheaper than a whole pane scratched from top to bottom. Depending on the severity of the damage, different equipment and supplies may be necessary, affecting the overall cost. The more severe the damage, the more aggressive the job is. This can sometimes lead to further irreversible damage, which is why hiring glass restoration companies is highly encouraged. 

How A Professional Will Prolong the Life of Your Commercial Glass

There are many ways to prolong the life of commercial glass in buildings, but it all comes back to hiring commercial glass companies. Below are a few ways glass restoration companies will extend the life of your commercial glass:

  • Keep Glass Free of Debris and Buildup – Corners of glass are the perfect spot for insects and dust to accumulate, leading to stains and distorted views. To be repaired, the windows must occasionally be polished. Buffing the glass eliminates harmful residues that have built up over time. It also removes scratches that have collected on the glass. A glass polishing company may also easily remove acid-etched graffiti on windows and other glass surfaces.
  • Keep Glass Free of Contaminants – Many contaminants cause corrosion, eat away at seals, and create a residue on the glass. Keeping glass free of contaminants prevents the degradation of the glass and surrounding structures. However, contaminants can enter through the glass pores leading to significant problems. A professional glass polishing company has the tools and cleaning supplies specific to each type of glass and contaminant to maintain the life of the commercial glass. 
  • Using Proper Cleaning Supplies – Professional glass restoration companies stock their staff with specific cleaning solutions and tools made specifically for glass cleaning and restoration. As a result, they can perform their job efficiently as it is their area of expertise. 
  • Protect Glass From Damage – When trying to tackle a glass cleaning without the value of expert advice, damage to the glass is likely to occur. Using the wrong cleaning product or supplies can scratch the surface or leave a residue.

Choose the JOBS Group to Streamline Commercial Glass Restoration Today

Glass restoration gives your windows new life and makes them appear brand new without the expensive replacement cost. Often, commercial glass is an overlooked commodity. With other business deals on the line, cleaning the windows is typically the last thing on the mind of a business owner. Commercial glass companies aim to make it as easy as possible to maintain business flow as the restoration window glass evolution continues

The goal is to provide damage-free and clean glass throughout the structure. Repair, rather than replacement, is often the most cost-effective and sensible approach to enhancing commercial glass and maintaining commercial waterproofing. At a fraction of the replacement cost, glass repair gives the appearance of new, restoration glass

It may be tempting to turn a glass restoration into a do-it-yourself project. However, the better choice is to reach out to glass restoration companies for the job. Restoring glass is time-consuming, with many intricate details that building managers should not and cannot ignore. In addition, the restoration window glass project fundamentally differs from other projects and requires specialized expertise, techniques, and equipment.

The glass restoration process has many ins and outs, simply too many for the untrained person. So, obtain the help and guidance of glass restoration companies to get the job done right. Contact The Valcourt Group to streamline your commercial glass restoration project today!s your organization struggling to understand what goes into glass restoration and which glass restoration companies can help your building look its best? Learn more today.