We have listed many questions that we receive below. Please feel free to email us or call our shop with any other questions you may have regarding your glass needs.
•Acrylic (Plexiglass) glass: A lightweight but strong acrylic material.
•Polycarbonate (Lexan) glass: A tough, transparent thermoplastic.
•Laminated (Safety) glass: Made by adhering multiple pieces of glass together using high heat and pressure. The inter layer created by this process holds the glass pieces together, providing more resistance against breakage.
•Tempered glass: Tempering is a special process applied to glass that ensures if the glass is broken, it will shatter in large chunks rather than thousands of razor sharp shards.
Shower Door Glass
Squeegeeing the glass frequently, then drying with a soft cloth is highly recommended. Using a squeegee after each shower helps keep spots and scale from accumulating on glass components. We recommend cleaning the glass regularly with a glass cleaner while following the recommendations of the Bath Enclosures Manufacturing Association (BEMA). Avoid abrasives, bleach, acidic or vinegar based cleaners and scrubbing pads. Read labels on cleaning products thoroughly before using. If your glass is coated or treated with a surface protectant such as EASYCLEAN10, follow the warranty instructions.
A short list of cleaning agents that should be avoided because they either damage the metal or scratch the enclosures glass surface includes:
- Abrasive or soft abrasive powders and liquid
- Bleach or bleach based cleaners
- Steel or Teflon pads
- Do not use bristle brushes
Aluminum, Brass and Stainless Steel Components
– Silver, Gold, Brushed Nickel, Satin Silver and some Oil Rubbed Bronze/Dark Bronze –
Most of the silver, gold, brushed nickel or satin silver metal components of your shower door are anodized aluminum or electroplated brass or stainless steel. Aluminum is a lightweight, non-rusting metal which is anodized to give color and to make shiny. Anodizing also seals the aluminum to guard against corrosion and pitting. Electroplating is a process similar to anodizing.
Some glass and lime scale cleaners can damage anodizing and electroplating, causing pitting or discoloration. You can permanently damage the metal’s finish if improper cleaning compounds containing alkaline and phosphoric acids are used. The result can be the appearance of white spots and discoloration. Many products’ labels warn against use on anodized and plated metals. Read labels on cleaning products thoroughly before using on your shower door. Drywall, spackle and tile grout, which contain lime, can also spot metal and glass surfaces.
One of the most common questions we are asked is how to keep a shower door clean. EasyClean10 can be purchased as an option on your new shower door. EasyClean10 comes complete with a 10-year warranty. This will ensure that your new glass is protected and will be easy to clean for many years to come.
EasyClean10 Glass Treatment permanently bonds to the substrate and protects it against dirt, grime, soap scum, staining, etching, and discoloration. Similar to a non-stick fry pan, EasyClean10 is optically clear, repels both water & oil based substances, and makes the surface easy to clean. Also, specific cleaning products are no longer required or recommended to extend the life of the coating! What this means is that you clean less often, with less effort, and the surface won't deteriorate over its life. Furthermore, without the need to purchase specific aftercare products to maintain the coating, EasyClean10 saves you money, up to 90% of cleaning time, and keeps your glass looking new beyond 10 years. Click here for more information.
We recommend "Sparkle" Cleaner. It works great for those glass cleaning jobs too tough for spray-on cleaners. It removes light water spots and stains in glass and also removes soap scum from shower doors and ceramic tile. Wipe on with a damp cloth or paper towel, rub stained areas, then wipe off. We keep "Sparkle" in stock at our shop.
- DUST frames with a soft cloth or feather duster.
- CLEAN with a soft, water-dampened cloth only, using a light touch.
- WIPE dry gently. "Scrubbies" should not be used on or touch the frames.
- DO NOT SPRAY ANY HARSH CLEANING PRODUCT on the frame or near the frames. Spray all vanity, mirror and faucet cleaners on a rag to prevent the solvents from coming in contact with the frame. Should a cleaner or solvent come in contact with the frame, wipe off immediately with a damp cloth.
- DO NOT use glass cleaner that contains ammonia.
- DO NOT use painter's tape on the frame. This may remove the finish of the frame.
Please note that any frame-wood, plastic or MDF-will be damaged by incorrect cleaning methods.
Fogging between panes of glass means the seals have failed. This is fairly normal for most double paned or "insulated" windows at 5-10 years. When windows fog and fail, the only viable option is glass replacement. At Apache Glass & Mirror, we do not replace the frame...just the glass.
Why do insulated windows lose their seal? The leading causes of failure are:
- Seals breaking down from exposure to water. Windows without the proper safeguards to keep water from puddling around the perimeter seals will fail sooner.
- Excess heat and sun exposure. Heat causes the panes to expand and contract, and it softens and weakens the seals until they develop a crack in their armor and allow moist air in.
- Old age. Even the most elastic, flexible seal can't last forever. Eventually a seal will allow moisture to enter the window.
Can you explain what Low-E coatings are?
Low- E stands for low emissivity. Windows with low-E coatings reduce the amount of heat that is transmitted through the glass. Many homeowners have experienced sitting next to an older window and felt either excessive heat or an extreme chill; Low-E coatings were invented to reduce these uncomfortable scenarios. What exactly is a Low-E coating though? Low-E coatings are made up of a series of nearly invisible layers of various materials and rely on one or more silver layers to reflect exterior and interior heat.
But, how do Low-E coatings work?
Low-E coatings reflect heat (both solar and ambient) to keep a home cool in the summer and reduce heat from escaping the interior of a home in the winter. The goal of a Low-E coating is to improve total home comfort, with the added bonus of reducing energy costs. Low-E coatings keep heat where homeowners want it and reduce it from entering where they don’t.
Condensation is the collection of water vapor as a visible liquid or haze on a surface. Excess humidity and water vapor either inside or outside a home may cause window condensation. The difference between Indoor and outdoor temperatures determine the amount of condensation that forms on a window. Warm air can contain significant amounts water vapor compared to cool air. Once moist warm air cools, the water vapor within remains trapped. If the temperature reaches the dew point (the point when water vapor condenses at a certain temperature and pressure) it will condense on a glass pane as droplets and/or fog. Excess long term condensation may cause mold, mildew, and rot. Condensation may also stain the glass surface and window frame.
Depending on the time of year, condensation will occur on the interior or exterior glass surface and frame. Interior condensation usually forms during the winter when a home is being heated. As outdoor temperatures drop the inside glass surface will also cool. If there is excess humidity in a home, condensation can form on the cool glass surface. Good air circulation and the removal of objects that cause humidity will reduce the chance of interior condensation.
Exterior condensation forms most often during spring and fall when temperatures and weather fluctuate greatly, and days after clear calm nights. This characteristic seasonal variation will often cause condensation to form in the morning hours when the outdoor temperature increases. As temperatures rise in the morning, a window will remain cool from the night before due to the low heat transfer of energy efficient windows. As the temperature increases, so does the dew point; this creates a temperature difference between the cool window and the moist warm outside air. The difference will cause water droplets and/or fog to form on the glass surface. While unsightly, exterior condensation is not considered a problem and will dissipate as the glass and frame warm.
•Seamed Edge: In this application, after the shelf is cut, the edges are sanded to remove the sharp edges. This is to make sure the glass shelf is safe to handle.
•Flat Polish Edge: In this application, the edges of the glass shelf have been polished to a smooth shiny finish.
•Pencil Polish Edge: Popular with circle or oval shapes, the side edge is rounded for a softer look.
•Beveled Polish Edge: In this application, the edges of the glass shelf are cut and polished in an angle with a specific Bevel Width to produce a certain "look". This process leaves the glass shelf thinner around the edges and thicker in the center. The Bevel Width around the glass shelf can range in size from 1/4" to 1 1/2" and is specified by you.
•single strength (less than 1/8") - normally used in picture frames, etc.
•double strength (1/8") - used in storm windows, picture frames, insulated units, etc.
•3/16" - used for small table tops, insulated units, small shelves, etc.
•1/4" - used on table tops (as protective covering), insulated units, single-pane windows, lightweight shelves, framed shower doors, etc.
•3/8" - used in shower doors, table tops, glass walls, door lights, etc.
•1/2" - used for shower doors, table tops, glass walls, glass partitions, etc.
•3/4" - used for glass doors, store fronts, etc.