Once fabricated glass units are installed, on-going construction activities of other subcontractors are to be monitored in order to prevent exposure of glass in assembled fenestrations to foreign materials and elements that may cause surface damages. Some of the most common foreign materials and elements can be summarized in the following:
- Alkali and chemical emitted from concrete, plaster, mortar, etc.
- Materials or chemicals containing hard acids, most prominently fluorine.
- Grease, paint, plaster, sealants, oils, and other similar contaminants.
- Weld splatter.
Daily-based documented inspections of fabricated glass units are to take place by Project Managers of either Façade Installer or General Contractor
Common conditions and causes, as aforementioned, that may cause potential irreparable damage to the glazed materials damage glass after installation are to be identified and warned against to implement systems and procedures for protection.
Continuous glass cleaning measures are to be administered once fabricated glass units are installed. To ensure properly cleaning installed glass, the following is to be considered
- Washing tools and towels are to be free of abrasive particles to avoid scratching the surface of the glass
- Abrasive glass cleaning products or compounds are to be strictly avoided as they are likely to generate harmful salts and acids.
- Cleaning with by using solvents must be immediately followed by normal washing, rinsing and drying.
- Mild soaps of neutral (pH) detergents can be used, followed immediately by rinsing with clean water.
- At all times, excess water is to be removed immediately.
- Materials recommended for the cleaning of coated surface are isopropyl alcohol, acetone or methanol.
- If harmful exposure results in conditions that cannot be cleaned using typical glass cleaning procedures, a professional window cleaner should be consulted for recommendations on more aggressive glass cleaning procedures.
The most common conditions and causes that damage glass after installation can be summarized with the following:
- Condition: Glass surface corrosion identified by permanent iridescent or white haze surface staining
- Cause: Glass getting wet due to storing the glass outside uncovered, or extended storage with inadequate ventilation and/or improper glass separation.
- Condition: Glass surface or edge damage.
- Cause: Inadequate on-site protection; ill-advised or vulnerable storage locations; and / or exposure to other trades.
- Condition: Chemical attack, surface pitting and hard-to-clean deposits.
- Cause: Overspray and runoff of chemicals from sealing / cleaning of concrete, masonry, roofing… etc.; inadequate protection and/or poor storage location.
- Condition: Weld-splatter surface damage and reduction in glass strength.
- Cause: Location of glass near welding; inadequate protection of stored or installed glass.
- Condition: Stubborn, tenacious surface deposits from concrete and masonry runoff, as well as hard water spotting.
- Cause: Poor storage and/or protection of uninstalled glass; absence of prompt, interim cleaning of installed glass during construction.
Once the damage has occurred and been identified, the Installer and Fabricator are to be consulted to assess damage, take corrective actions, and mitigate the potential for future damage.
Finally, if the fabricated glass units are exposed to harmful conditions such as hot-weld splatter and edge damage, it would threaten the structural integrity of glass and immediate glass replacement becomes necessary.