3 Quick & Easy Glazing Tips

Glass is such a versatile and reliable material in which we are surrounded by on a daily basis, yet many do not know much about glazing and the many different types of glass that is available for different purposes. That’s why we have included three helpful and inexpensive glazing tips below.

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1. If you have relatively old double glazed units and are thinking about updating them to triple glazed, read this article to find out if it is worth upgrading to triple glazed windows here. Alternatively, if you have single glazed windows and would like to upgrade to double glazing, read about the benefits of upgrading here.

2. If your windows are old and not double glazed, a quick alternative method in the colder months can include taping clingfilm in the inside of the window, then using a hairdryer to conceal any air within, providing a reduced heat transfer (essentially the same process as double glazing).

3. To reduce pesky draughts, invest in a rubber weather sealant. These can easily be found in your local home ware store or online and are very inexpensive. This is an effective temporary solution to conceal old windows that may need to be replaced.

It is important that a professional and reputable glazing company should always be used for any forms of glass or glazing work, no matter how big or small. That’s where Glaziers Essex come in. Offering a 30-90* minute emergency response time with rapid and efficient services for both commercial and domestic properties, we can resolve your glazing issue in no time at all. Why not give us a call today on: 0800 051 8713 to speak to one of our helpful advisers and receive your free over the phone quotation.

12 Glazing Facts You Never Knew

Glass is such a versatile and important material in which we are surrounded by on a daily basis, yet many do not realise the broad spectrum of glass that is available, and the various ways it can be used. That’s why we have listed our top 12 glazing facts we bet you never knew.

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  1. 44% of the windows in Europe’s buildings are still single glazed.
  1. Less than 15% of Europe’s windows contain energy-saving glass whereas these solutions have been available on the market for over 20 years.
  1. Savings of more than 100 million tonnes of CO2 could be achieved annually with the use of energy efficient glass.
  1. Triple glazing has three panels with additional air pockets, meaning heat does not seep through at a fast pace. This can also prevent condensation dramatically.
  1. By installing well insulated glazing, condensation problems on the room-side of the window can be greatly reduced.
  1. The earliest known glass artefacts are Egyptian and date back to 1350BC, but it was the Romans who first produced transparent glass, as it enabled them to admire the colour of their wine.
  1. For almost 500 years, from the end of the 14th century until the 19th, no glass was made in China at all. Now, though, it is the world’s largest producer, controlling 34 per cent of the global market.
  1. Glass can be recycled indefinitely and not lose its quality.
  1. Before man discovered how to craft glass, nature was already making it. When lightning strikes sand, the heat sometimes fuses the sand into long, slender glass tubes called fulgurites. The intense heat of a volcanic eruption sometimes fuses rocks and sand into a glass called obsidian. In early times, people shaped obsidian into knives, jewellery and money.
  1. The energy saving from recycling just one bottle will power a 100 watt light bulb for almost an hour, and can power a computer for up to 20 minutes.
  1. On average, every family in the UK consumes around 330 glass bottles and jars each year.
  1. Glass is pure. It is made of three abundant, natural raw materials: Sand, limestone and soda ash – as well as recycled glass.

If you are thinking about updating the glazing in your home or commercial property, call Glaziers Essex today and speak to one of our helpful advisers to receive your free over the phone quote.

Frequently Asked Questions: Glass & Glazing

Glass is such a versatile and important material in which we are surrounded by on a daily basis, yet many do not realise the broad spectrum of glass that is available, and the various ways it can be used. That’s why we have included some frequently asked questions and answers below.

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1. How many different types of glass are there?

There are nine different types of glass according to the variations of ingredients used and the methods of manufacturing. These variations of glass are designed to suit different purposes and areas, with some possessing greater strength and resistance qualities than others.

2. What are the critical areas in the premises?

Critical areas can be identified as any area that, if broken, will cause a greater risk of injury. Any critical areas should be glazed in a glass type that has been safety rated. Anything other than the points mentioned below are considered to be non-critical and glazed in float glass. Examples of the critical areas in a property can include: 

  • Any area that is below 800mm in height – commonly referred to as ‘below waist height.’
  • Roof panels (due to their height)
  • Door panels and panels directly beside a door. A glass panel next to the door within 30cm is classed as critical.
  • Anything over 1.2 metres square in overall size.
  • Glass within the areas that are required by law to be glazed in either toughened or laminated safety glass.

3. What type of glass is used in critical areas?

The two types of glass that can be used in critical areas include toughened and laminated glass.

  • Toughened glass (both clear and patterned) – Toughened glass is frequently used in various areas, from bus shelters to low level windows. A thermal treatment is applied to float glass during manufacturing, to increase the overall strength and resistance. This process counteracts any internal stress that is within the glass, enduring extreme temperatures and impact. Although, when broken, toughened glass will disintegrate into granules, as opposed to shards. Because of this, toughened glass is ideal for use in critical areas and is a much safer option. Despite this, once the glass has been toughened it cannot be cut, therefore panels of glass must be cut prior to the thermal treatment applied. It will typically take between 3-5 days to prepare the glass prior to glazing.
  • Laminated glass – This is a glass product consisting of two or more panes of standard float glass with a Polyvinyl Butyral interlayer sandwiched between each pane of glass. Laminated glass, is recognised in the United Kingdom for its safety, due to the nature of the laminate layer. Even the finest of laminate glazing product will not shard when hit like float glass, or shatter like toughened, instead it displays a unique spiders web like pattern, where even though the glass is broken it is held in place by the laminate. Laminate glass can be a better option from a security perspective as the glass will still remain in place to offer resistance to any likely intruder as well as being less likely to harm or damage.

4. What type of glass is used in non-critical areas?

The type of glass used in non-critical areas consists of float glass, as it is one of the most commonly used glass types due to its versatility. Float glass is often found in many general windows placed above waist height. It is however the weakest of all the types of glass that is used when glazing. Float glass is made by floating molten glass on a bed of molten metal. This produces the sheet flat and in uniform thickness. It is used for non-critical areas because, when broken, float glass performs with the typical characteristics of glass – shattering into shards from the point of impact. This type of glass is prone to cracking under extreme temperatures and if subject to any level of stress. As a result, it should not be used for critical areas such as a door panel, for example.

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5. What is Triple glazing?

Triple glazing consists of 3 panes of glass, providing an extra layer to increase efficiency and reduce noise. Although triple glazing comes at a higher price point, it can be more effective in regards to retaining heat, offering a range of environmental benefits. If you are going to have triple glazing, it is important to note that you will need to have well insulated frames, as this is one of the major heat loss areas in a window. The energy efficiency of windows is measured with a ‘u value’ with the lower the value the better. For example, single glazing has a U value of 5, with triple glazing holding a U value of 1.6, proving that triple glazing provides a more efficient value in regards to retaining heat, for example.

6. What is Low-e Glass?

Low-e glass stands for Low-emissivity glass. This type of glass is one of the most popular and versatile used, due to its constantly improving solar and thermal performance. Low-e glass has a thin (thinner than human hair) , transparent coating that reflects heat. This type of glass is ideal in both summer and winter, as in winter it reflects heat back inside, reducing the radiant heat loss through the glass. In summer the reverse happens, working in the same way as a thermos. The temperature is maintained because of the constant reflection that occurs.

7. What is Safety glass?

Also referred to as shatterproof glass, safety glass is made by placing a sheet plastic such as celluloid between sheets of glass. This is so in case of breakage, the broken pieces will stick to the plastic and do not fly off. Safety glass is ideal for a variety of different purposes and areas, and is commonly used for both modern day office windows and doors, with glass stairs also becoming increasingly common fixtures in an office building. Safety glass can also be used for making bulletproof screens due to its high resistant properties, therefore is used widely in automobiles.

8. What is Patterned glass?

Patterned glass is a glass that is usually used for decorative purposes, available in both plain or coloured and in addition to patterns contains textures. Patterned glass is very versatile as it is available in many colours, shapes and sizes. Many choose to use this type of glass as an accent in the home, including lamps, door panels and dishware. This type of glass can be ideal for a door panel due to it providing an interesting and elegant look to the home. Patterned glass can suit both contemporary and older homes, and can add a lot of style to a room depending on the colour and effect chosen.

Is Triple Glazing Worth The Cost?

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Homeowners are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to saving money in the long term. And with rising energy bills predicted to hit most households this winter, many will be encouraged by glazing companies to improve their home’s insulation.

One of the most current energy-saving additions many homeowners will soon be considering is triple glazing, the new window technology in which promises noise and draught reduction and superior insulation.

As double glazing offers such noticeable thermal improvements over its singular ancestor, it’s easy to understand why so many homeowners will naturally assume that triple glazing offers similar insulation and long term savings.

But will triple glazing actually save you money?

Yes, particularly with homes that have a lot of small windows. Although, there are more cost effective ways to insulate your home, including adding a coating to the glass that will prevent heat escaping, and filling the cavities in double glazing windows with inert glass.

Such measures will prove more sensible than triple glazed windows, which are up to 40% more expensive than their double glazing counterparts due to their larger and heavier frames, and the difficulty in installing them. Furthermore, many glaziers in the UK do not yet stock triple glazed windows.

Also, consider the other parts of your home that might also be improved. Wall and roof insulation may be cheaper and less hassle to install. It is also important to consider the sealing of your windows, as poorly sealed triple glazing would prove a redundant modification.

Solar Panels: Are They Worth The Investment?

Over the years, solar panels have become increasingly popular, growing worldwide at almost 50% annually. We look at whether they are worth investing in your property for the future.

Solar panel against blue sky

There are two types of solar panels, thermal and photo voltaic. The latter directly converts sunlight into electricity, whilst thermal powered solar panels react through heat. Solar panels have gone from strength to strength over the years, quickly becoming mainstream growing worldwide at 40-50% annually. This is due to their ability to provide an unlimited supply of safe a renewable assets for both heat and power. In addition to this, having solar panels installed in your property can lower maintenance costs, energy bills and have a short payback period.

Many choose to have panels installed because of the reasons aforementioned, often increasing their property value and having a positive effect in terms of environmental factors. There is however, dispute about whether having solar panels on the roof of your property is worth the investment. Many argue that the cost of solar panels outweigh any potential energy bill savings, whilst others say it has saved them hundreds of pounds each year.

Do you think solar panels are worth investing in? Have you got them in your property, and if not is this something you would consider?

5 Common Misconceptions About Glass

Glass is one of the most versatile yet durable materials used today. Much more than just windows and doors, glass is used in a variety of different ways. We have listed the 12 most common misconceptions about glass, and how it is often unappreciated and even unnoticed in everyday life.

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1. Glass is actually a very slow flowing liquid – This is untrue. Many believe this due to the nature of old panes of glass, in which appears to be thicker at the bottom than the top. The reason for this distortion in the glass is simply how it used to be manufactured. Glass is an amorphous ceramic, meaning that it does not have a clearly defined shape or form

2. Triple glazing is more cost effective than double glazing – Although generally it is thought that the more panes of glass the better, the price of triple glazing in comparison to double glazing outweighs the possible benefits of cutting down on your heating bill in the colder months.

3. All glass items are recyclable – Unfortunately this is a common misconception many have about glass in terms of its recycling qualities. This leads to many people incorrectly recycling glass due to not knowing the correct method to dispose of reusable items. Glass is generally a great material to recycle as it can be melted down and reused endlessly without degradation to its quality. Types of glass that cannot be recycled however can include ceramics, light bulbs, mirrors, frosted glass, pyrex and windows, this is because of the way in which they are manufactured.

4. All glass is the same, just clear or patterned – There are many different types of glass and effects that can be applied, depending on what the glass will be used for. For instance, the glass that is in a door panel is likely to be very different to the glass used for a double glazed window. The many effects and finishes that can be applied to toughened and float glass can add both aesthetic appeal and serve well for home security.

5. uPVC windows discolour easily – Years ago, this may have been true. Over the years however, there have been many advancements in the way that uPVC windows are manufactured. It is extremely unlikely to have uPVC windows that discolour these days.

3 of the Best Mirrored Glass Buildings

Glass is much more than just double glazed units for the home. From a tree house hotel to a mirage shack in the desert, we have included 3 of the best mirrored glass buildings.

1. The Tree Hotel by Tham & Videgard Arkitekter, Sweden. 

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This tree house hotel made by Tham & Videgard Arkitekter consists of a mirrored glass box suspended from the trunk of a tree in northern Sweden. Designed to accommodate two people, the hotel was opened to the public in July 2010 and measures just 4x4x4 metres.

2. The Desert Shack by Phillip K Smith III, California.

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This eye-deceiving shack made from panels of mirrored glass creates an illusion of seeing through the building. Based within a California desert, this installation was created by Phillip K Smith III to reflect light and shadow. This installation also has an LED light system, meaning that after dark the doors and windows change to bright hues that subtly change in colour.

3. The Invisible Barn, STPMJ, California.

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Created by STPMJ in California, the Invisible Barn installation is a static structure with no rooms, instead allowing visitors to manoeuvre in and out. The architects originally designed the structure for a folly competition, although they didn’t win they were offered other opportunities to build the design.

It just goes to show that new technology is influencing and broadening the uses of glass, both in everyday and static architecture. For more architectural inspiration and glass designs, visit Deezen here.

Photo Cred: http://www.dezeen.com/2015/07/24/today-we-like-mirrored-buildings-architecture-disguised-structures/  http://www.dezeen.com/2015/09/26/casa-invisibile-delugan-meissl-slovenia-low-cost-portable-mirror-house-prototype/

A Day in The Life of a Glazier

Our expert glaziers at Glaziers Essex recently completed a refit glazing job in Chafford Hundred, Grays.

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Using the Cherry Picker to carefully fit the new panel (above)

The front panel of glass had recently been damaged on the roof of popular Portuguese restaurant, Nandos.

In order to make the broken panel safe, the glass had been previously boarded up. Therefore, this firstly needed to be removed. To do this, one of our expert glaziers set up the scissor lift, in order to gain access to the boarded up panel. The panel was then removed, and the new glass was carefully loaded onto the cherry picker and fitted into place. The glass panel was then sprayed with two layers of white matte in order to match the surrounding glass, in which was then screwed into place.

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Sealing the new glass panel (above)

If you own a commercial property and need a glazier you can rely on, call Glaziers Essex today on: 0800 051 8713 to speak to one of our knowledgeable advisers and receive your free over the phone quote.

Types of Fire Safety Glass

Glass is an amazingly versatile material, not only because it can be used for many different applications, but also in terms of how it can be treated in different ways in order to adapt it for a specific purpose; making it fire safe for instance.

Builders, architects and manufacturers are continuously working to stay up to date with fire safety guidelines to ensure they meet regulatory needs. There are many components to consider in terms of fire safety, from flammable wall treatments, to the melting temperature of structural elements in a building. One element of housing manufacture in particular which is making great developments in its ability to be fire resistant is glass.

Types of Fire Safe Glass

Tempered or Toughened Glass – Tempered or toughened glass are the same type of temperature treated safety glass, but the manufacturing process is slightly different. Standard toughened or tempered glass can resist temperatures of up to 500° F, which is double the amount that float glass can withstand, but is still minimal in comparison to 1600° F temperature that fire-rated glass can survive.

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Broken Tempered Glass (Above)

Fire-Rated Glass Ceramic – Fire rated ceramic glass, comes in a clear non-wired variety in order to allow a greater number of applications. This product is both flexible and versatile yet has a higher melting point than traditional Georgian wire glass. This type of glass does reduce the risk of glass damage in a fire, however it does not insulate against the heat of the fire. Fire glass ceramic is also available as an Insulated Glass Unit (IGU). This type of unit can be used with all kinds of glass fittings, including:

  • Float glass
  • K-Glass
  • Low-e glass
  • Mirrored glass

The IGU is made up of two layers of glass with an air space between the layers. Both the layers and air space allow for a greater protection against heat, in the case of a fire.

Georgian Wire Cast – A typical fire safe solution in the UK, is the use of Georgian Wire glass. Georgian Wire is a flat glass, stippled on one side and cast with steel mesh within the width of the glass. The steel mesh helps contain broken pieces of glass should it break during a fire.

Georgian Wire Polished Glass – Georgian Wire Polished Glass is clear with an inset of steel mesh, known as a safety glass due to it adhering to the British Standard 6206 Safety Glass criteria.  It is strengthened by a thicker type of wire and due to its manufacturing process, it is also able to withstand up to 30 minutes of fire exposure before it loses its integrity. As with the Georgian Wire Cast, if the glass breaks then the mesh will help it to stay in place. It can also be used in a variety of buildings, from schools to offices.

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Georgian Wire Obscure Glass (Above)

3 Reasons You Should Invest in Modern Glazing

Have you noticed that your windows are starting to show signs of condensation in the colder months? Or are you thinking about upgrading to double glazing? We have included 3 helpful reasons to invest in modern glazing.

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1. Better heat retention – One of the main reasons many people decide to upgrade to double glazing is due to the level of heat retention; you may find with double glazing that you don’t have to turn the heating on as much during the colder months. It was found that approximately 60% of heat loss in a domestic property occurs through single glazed windows. Therefore, by choosing modern secondary glazing, heating bills could drop substantially. In terms of U-values, single glazing has a u-value of 5, in comparison to modern double glazing having a u-value of just 1.6.

2. Improved home security – Home security is another important aspect that is improved greatly from secondary glazing. This is because one of the main entry points for a burglar is often through a window, making single glazed panels considerably easier to break into. In addition to this, single glazed windows do not have their own locking system.

3. No condensation – By upgrading to double glazed units, or even replacing existing ones, you will find that your windows will no longer have condensation as we approach the colder season. Condensation is often caused when double glazed units are installed inadequately, or from the seal no longer serving its purpose. Condensation on your windows is a good sign that they need to be replaced, as it can cause a number of damage, including:

  • Pools of water on window seals
  • Damage to paint work, curtains and wallpaper
  • Damp and mould growth

As for investing in Triple Glazing? Research still suggests that although it provides many benefits, such as greater energy performance and sound absorption, it is not currently as widely used due to its higher price point.

If you are thinking about updating your glazing and need an expert glazier you can rely on, call Glaziers Essex today on: 0800 051 8713 to speak to one of our helpful advisers and receive your free over the phone quote. Alternatively, If you have discovered a smashed window, we can be with you in just 30-90* minutes in an emergency, meaning your glazing dilemma can be resolved in no time at all.