Often referred to as ‘self-cleaning glass’, this type of glass offers reduced cleaning frequency in the right conditions. This does not mean that the glass never needs to be cleaned again! This is a crossover product from the commercial sector where cleaning windows can be very expensive and dangerous. By using glass with low maintenance coatings, the frequency of glass cleaning is reduced along with costs and potential risks. London landmarks such as the Gherkin or the Shard are perfect projects to benefit from low maintenance glass, as these are large and difficult glass buildings to maintain.
In the domestic market the coatings also reduce the frequency of cleaning and may be ideal for roof glazing as in conservatories/skylights, hard to access windows above extensions or high gable end locations.
There are two types of coating
There are reactive coatings that are applied during float glass production. These are on the outer surface of the glazing unit. They work by reacting with the UV light from the sun to break down surface dirt; rain then washes away the residue. For this to work at its optimum, regular UV and rain are required to keep breaking down the dirt and washing it away. Sheltered areas that get little sunshine or direct rain will not work as well as more open aspects. Hosing down the glass in prolonged dry periods can supplement rain. The glass will still need cleaning so don’t sack the window cleaner full time!
There is a secondary applied coating that Glasscraft can do in our factory, that offers a similar performance. These are not reactive with UV but form a non-stick surface that dirt rinses off when it rains. This is a permanent coating but again, cleaning will still be required but less frequently.
This type of coating is ideal when the reactive coating is not available on a glass type. e.g. 10mm glass, laminated, some solar control products. Here, Glasscraft can apply the non-stick coating.
Both coatings offer a reduced frequency of cleaning but this is dependent on:
- Location – areas of high airborne particles such as building sites, industrial areas, roadside, etc., will have more dirt on the windows.
- Aspect – sheltered windows will not get as much UV or rainfall to breakdown or rinse off dirt
- Recessed windows – these will not get as much UV or rainfall
- Weather – no rain no rinse!
It is important to ensure that end users understand that this glass type will vary in its performance and that their windows will still need to cleaned from time-to-time.
Blue tinted low maintenance glass
Glasscraft offer a specialist glass that is tinted blue and has the reactive low maintenance coating to the outside.This glass is ideal for conservatory roofs, offering good solar control and the ‘easy clean’ finish. It can be combined with low e glass to offer both solar protection and good insulation properties.