At Youngstown Mirror & Glass, we are experts at all types of glass installation from fixing a residential window to 100 foot long glass curtain wall – and everywhere in between
Common Glass Shower Enclosure Questions
How do I care for the shower glass?
In addition to keeping the hardware clean, it is of equal importance to keep the glass clean. Glass that is neglected or ignored will accumulate water spots, which will eventually turn into mineral deposits.
The best way to keep the glass free of potentially damaging water spots is to squeegee the glass after every use. A routine of using a squeegee on a daily basis is a great habit to get into. It’s a minimal investment in time, and will save you a great deal of cleaning at a later date.
By following these simpler guidelines you can greatly increase the life of the hardware and glass. You have made an investment in your home by including an enclosure of the highest quality materials. If you have any questions regarding these instructions, contact the company who completed the installation.
Is it true that I have to replace my broken shower door glass with tempered glass even though the original glass was not tempered?
YES. Any replacement glass in shower enclosures is required to be tempered or laminated safety glass by the federal government. Any repairs have to meet current safety standards.
Why can’t my glass dealer cut the glass for my door since it would save time?
Unless they are using laminated glass, which is very expensive, the glass in the door has to be tempered because of safety standards. Once glass is tempered it cannot be cut, therefore the glass must be ordered in the correct size.
How safe are bath and shower enclosures?
All glass doors and enclosures must meet code specifications and are therefore constructed of tempered glass. Tempered glass is created by applying heat to strengthen the glass. When glass is not tempered it breaks into large dangerous shards. Tempered glass is stronger and when broken breaks into many small beads of glass.
What are Insulated Units?
This application is mostly used in situations where the glass unit acts as a barrier separating the indoors from outdoors. Almost all of the glass units used on the outside walls of residential and commercial units are insulated. This reduces temperature transfer and helps save energy. Substitute one of the two pieces of glass with a Low-E Glass and you dramatically slow heat transfer even further.
Insulated glass units last for a very long time, but the seal between the two panes of glass some times do fail. This causes the inner surface between the two pieces of glass to fog up. This of course does not look good but more importantly an insulated unit with a broken seal looses its insulating properties and temperature transfer between the two sides of the glass happens more readily. If this happens, in most cases only the glass portion of the window can be changed, leaving the frame intact.
In case of an accident where only one pane of the glass breaks, the entire insulated glass unit needs to be replaced. Replacement of an insulated glass unit is normally not a DIY project and requires experience.
We understand that sometimes you need more information before you are ready for scheduling a project and we are here to help. Please provide us with the following information about your window and we can help you price the project to some extend.
- Size of the glass within the frame
- Presence or absence of grids. This is the decorative plastic piece inside the unit
- Overall thickness of the insulated glass unit
- Finally, we need to know if the glass is tempered. In most residential houses insulated glass units are not tempered unless they are on a door or next to a door
How are Insulated Glass (IG) units manufactured?
Often used in vinyl replacement windows, aluminum windows, sliding glass doors, whether in a double hung, bay window or bow window or single hung windows, an IG unit must have two pieces of glass and an insulating spacer. A spacer is a metal tube around the perimeter of the IG unit. The spacer separates the two pieces of glass. Spacers are usually 3/16 of an inch and larger. A spacer is filled with a special moisture absorbing material called a desiccant (like the little bags you find in a shoebox with brand new shoes).
The perimeter of the entire unit is sealed with a high grade sealant. Some IG units have argon or gas to the airspace between the two windows to further insulate. If an IG unit develops condensation, Youngstown Mirror and Glass Co. can replace the glass, saving you the cost of a totally new window frame and the repairs to install a complete window unit.
The two glass pieces in an IG unit do not need to be the same type of glass. Patterned glass can be used as one piece, but the pattern should face the outside. If one of the pieces is reflective or tinted glass, it must face the exterior this type of make-up may require the use of tempered glass to prevent thermal breakage. Many window manufacturers offer different types of glass to customize your existing vinyl double pane windows.
What is Safety Glazing?
Safety Glass is GLASS with additional safety features that make it less likely to break, or less likely to pose a threat when broken.
Laminated Glass is a type of safety glass that holds together when shattered. In the event of breaking, it is held in place by an interlayer, typically of polyvinyl butyl (PVB), between its two or more layers of glass. The interlayer keeps the layers of glass bonded even when broken, and its high strength prevents the glass from breaking up into large sharp pieces. This produces a characteristic “spider web” cracking pattern when the impact is not enough to completely pierce the glass.
Tempered Glass is a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering creates balanced internal stresses which cause the glass, when broken, to crumble into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards. The granular chunks are less likely to cause injury.
“Bullet Proof” Glass
Although often improperly labeled as Bullet Proof Glass, Bullet-resistant glass is a type of strong but optically transparent material that is particularly resistant to being penetrated when struck by bullets, but like all other known materials, is not completely impenetrable. It is usually made from a combination of two or more types of glass, one hard and one soft. The softer layer makes the glass more elastic, so it can flex instead of shatter.
What are Alternatives to Safety Glass
Acrylic is commonly known as the trademarked name Plexiglas is a transparent thermoplastic, often used as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Although it is not technically a type of glass, the substance has sometimes historically been called acrylic glass. Chemically, it is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate. Plexiglas can be used to enclosure your gazebo in the colder months, protecting your expensive wicker furniture, Adirondack chairs, and patio furniture sets. Other types of acrylic called Lucite are used in jewelry and acrylic furniture.
Polycarbonate is highly transparent to visible light, with better light transmission than many kinds of glass. Known by the trademarked names Lexan, Makrolon ,and others, are a particular group of thermoplastic polymers, they are 5 times stronger than acrylic glazing and is often used to make safety glasses, security screens, and in some safety and security glass make-ups.
Notes about Cleaning Acrylics and Polycarbonates
Use only a very soft damp cloth when cleaning acrylic surfaces. It is possible to scratch acrylic, so NEVER use any scouring compounds or chemical cleaners such as Windex or other glass cleaners (even if they are environmentally friendly, organic or non-scented). Should anything ever stick to an acrylic surface (such as an adhesive label or gummy substance) do not use any type of solvent.
Never use the same cloth that you clean other household items with – it can retain dirt, grit, and chemical residues that may harm your acrylic items. We recommend using a new or separate cloth for your acrylic care.
What is Heat Rated Glass?
Tempered Glass is a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. This glass is offered in clear, bronze, gray, blue, green, low-e glass and other types of flat and obscure/textured, opaque glass products.
PYREX® is a technical borosilicate glass composition from Corning with excellent thermal properties. A low coefficient of thermal expansion allows a good heat shock resistance and facilitates the use of PYREX glass at high operating temperatures. This product is good for use up to 600 degrees and is clear in color.
Pyroceram® is commonly referred to as glass but it is actually a transparent ceramic. Pyroceram is 3/16 thick. Pyroceram® is a highly transparent ceramic glass having virtually zero thermal expansion. The shock resistance of Pyroceram® is normally limited only by the maximum operation temperature: Short Term Usage: 760° C / 1,400° F. Long Term Usage: 680° C / 1, 256° F. Pyroceram® has a Transparent-amber tint.