Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
Got questions? We’ve got answers! Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions by our glass customers.
Don’t see an answer to your question? Please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about residential and commercial glass and windows.
What is annealed glass?
Annealed glass is the most common type of household window glass due to its availability, relatively low cost, clarity and high strength. Annealed glass is slowly cooled, lowering the stresses in the glass structure which cause it to break into large shards upon impact. Annealed glass is typically used for single pane windows and dual pane windows and can be coated with colored films such as gray, bronze or Low-E coatings.
What is tempered glass?
Tempered glass, otherwise known as safety glass, undergoes a special secondary heating process to increase the strength of the glass. The heating process creates stresses in the glass that cause it to break into small pieces when broken. The small glass granules won’t harm humans or pets, making tempered glass ideal for glass shower enclosures, glass entry doors and glass panels close to the floor in a home or commercial building. Most commercial storefront windows are made from tempered glass because they are adjacent to a door or near the ground.
According to International Residential Code (IRC) for home building, any glass panel used in a door application or located with two feet radius of a door must be made of tempered glass.
What is Low-E glass?
Low-E describes a thin coating of reflective material that is applied to a pane of glass and exhibits a greenish tint to the window. The Low-E coating reflects heat or infrared energy such as sunlight. In the deserts of Arizona, the Low-E coating is used on the outside pane of a dual pane glass unit to reflect the summer sun and prevent damaging UV rays from entering the home. Low-E coatings are standard on new replacement windows and should be ordered on window glass replacements.
What is laminated glass?
Laminated glass is another type of safety glass whereby a thin plastic film is sandwiched between two panes of glass to secure the shards of glass when broken. Broken laminated glass typically forms a spider web pattern and the tiny pieces of broken glass stay bonded to the plastic interlayer of film. Typical applications are commercial storefront glass, architectural glass, glass sound barriers, ultraviolet light blocking and overhead glass such as skylights.
Can I replace one pane of a dual pane window?
The short answer is no. Dual pane windows are carefully manufactured to create an air-tight seal between the outer pane and inner pane of glass. In order to replace one side of the glass (if the glass unit can be removed from the frame without damaging the good pane), the seal would have to broken, the glass surface cleaned to remove the sealant material, new spacer material cut and the glass unit reassembled. The time required to rework a dual pane insulated glass unit (IGU) would negate the cost savings of a single pane of glass. A reworked IGU would not be warrantied. Replacing the entire IGU with a new unit from our factory is less expensive and also guarantees the quality and functionality of the insulated unit.
Can I replace single pane windows with dual pane glass?
No. Window frames designed to capture a thin single pane of glass cannot be modified to hold a much thicker dual pane insulated glass unit. If greater energy efficiency is the goal of converting from single pane to dual pane glass, the frame and glass would need to be upgraded to dual pane windows.
Can seals be replaced in a dual pane windows?
No. The seal of a dual pane window is glued as a spacer between the two panes of glass, forming a hermetically sealed unit. Once the seal is broken, it cannot be removed and replaced. To guarantee the energy efficiency and functionality of the window glass, a new dual pane glass unit must be manufactured to fit your window frame.
Are there standard sizes for single or dual pane windows?
No. Unfortunately the hundreds of window manufacturers have not agreed on standard window sizes and most production home builders specify custom window sizes based on the design of the home. In addition, glass size is not the same as the window opening size. The glass extends inside the visible opening of the window, making the glass dimensions something a glazier should measure to accurately order the right size single or dual pane glass.