Fabricating Debris

During the process of making tempered glass, dust and microscopic particles called fines land all over the glass surface. If these bits of dust and fines, known as fabricating debris, aren’t completely washed away, they become permanently fused to the glass when it passes into the tempering furnace, creating defects that are the leading cause of scratched glass. As windows are installed in a building, they get splattered with a variety of construction debris: masking tape, plaster, paint, glue, stucco, cement, epoxy, etc. When a window cleaner arrives to clean up, he or she has no way to tell if the glass has any fabricating debris, or even if the glass is tempered glass or regular annealed glass. (Tempered glass doesn’t always have a stamped logo indicating it as such, and identifying labels may be removed during the installation process.) Unfortunately, razor blades and other standard window cleaning tools for construction clean-up, which are just fine for regular glass, can dislodge fabricating debris, dragging them across the glass and leaving scratches behind. Depending on lighting conditions, the scratches may not be immediately visible. This can lead to a lot of damage in a short time. Property Managers should be aware of the difference in types of glass and the difficulties posed by fabrication debris. As professional window cleaners, Columbus Window Cleaning employees are aware of the potential for damage and take every possible precaution to avoid scratching glass; and have procedures in place to report damage we discover prior to cleaning. Additionally, we’ve found it necessary to ask our customers to sign a Glass Waiver, releasing us from responsibility for damages caused by fabrication debris. Property Managers and Construction Foremen can help reduce the potential for damage by making sure newly installed windows are covered in paper of plastic sheeting immediately, to keep them free of construction debris that might require heavy scouring to clean. It’s also helpful if they can inform us before we begin cleaning whether or not the installed glass is tempered or annealed.

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