Understanding Glass Repair

Understanding Glass Repair

A crack, a ding, a broken pane – whether it’s the glass in your home, office, or car, you may be wondering what does it take to fix it? There are multiple ways to approach residential glass repair, and the best path depends on the type of the glass and the kind of damage.

To Repair or Replace?

In a home or office setting, you are most likely dealing with damaged window panes, glass cabinet fronts, or glass doors and shower enclosures. If the damage is slight, such as a small break at the corner, in most cases, the glass can be repaired. However, with the many variations in types of glass in these glass features, you may find that replacing the whole glass piece is necessary, regardless of the type of damage. For example, even if you have a broken corner on a window pane, you may need to replace the entire piece because you’ve discovered the old wooden frame it rests in is also damaged or compromised and a thicker piece of glass creates a better seal and minimizes leaky windows.

Alternatively, if that same pane is insulated glass, often called double or triple-pane windows, the pane and frame will need to be replaced in its entirety. Insulated glass is made of multiple glass panes separated by a vacuum or gas-filled space in order to reduce heat transfer and increase its energy efficiency. Because these layered pane windows are made to certain specifications in the factory, it is effectively one unit and cannot be repaired at the component level.

Safety Glass

Safety glass deserves special consideration as it is has more applications than you may think and has different thresholds for when it is possible to repair or when it is more appropriate to replace. The term safety glass is used to refer to any glass that has been enhanced to make it less likely to break or less likely to pose a threat when broken. The most common types are tempered glass and laminated glass. Tempered glass has been toughened during its production to be stronger than normal glass and when damaged, it will break into granular pieces instead of sharp shards. It is common in glass doors, tables, shelves, and shower enclosures, among other applications, but like normal glass, it will need to be replaced in whole if it is cracked or punctured.

Laminated safety glass is typically two panes of glass joined by a sheet of polymer or plastic laminate between them, which keeps the glass from dangerously fracturing and coming apart when it is damaged. This type of safety glass can be used in combination with tempered glass, and is typical of car windows. If you get a crack or a small pit in your windshield, you may be able to avoid windshield replacement, as long as the damage does not compromise both layers of glass.

Not sure what type of glass you have or whether you should repair or replace your damaged glass? Contact Dan’s Glass and we would be glad to discuss your repair options. As a full service glass company, we are here for all of your residential, commercial, and auto glass needs.

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