Glass repair vs. glass replacement can be a tough choice if you’re unfamiliar with the glass world, but we’re here to help.
If your glass items are cracked, foggy, leaky, cold, or otherwise impaired, knowing how to move forward can be challenging. A repair might feel like the more affordable route, while a total replacement seems faster and more efficient.
Today, we’re here to help you make sense of the glass world – when can you or should you replace broken glass? Stay tuned to find out.
Avoiding a full glass replacement is usually the goal, especially if it’s an heirloom; however, not all glass can be repaired.
As a general rule of thumb, cracks or chips under two inches can likely be repaired with ease. Single-pane glass found in picture frames, mirrors, some glassware, and windows can usually be repaired if pieces aren’t missing.
Many people think you can simply melt down the glass and put it back together, but this process is an incredibly difficult undertaking. If you’re looking to repair a mirror, window, or other glass feature, here are some tips to consider:
- Avoid DIY options – If you’re in need of glass repair, you might be tempted to search online or acquire a do-it-yourself option from a hardware store. If you’re looking for a fun craft project where the result is less critical, DIY options fit the bill; however, if you’re dealing with sentimental or functional glass, it might end up discolored or mishappen.
- Always choose a professional – Piggybacking off the previous tip, always choose a professional when it comes to glass repair. As mentioned before, DIY projects have a high probability of not turning out well.
If glass repair is on your to-do list, leave it to a professional, such as the glass experts at Murray Glass. Our honest and experienced workers will go over the repair process with you, give you an estimate, and walk you through the entire process to help you make the best decision.
How Is Glass Repaired?
There are two different methods to repair glass successfully. The first is melting it back together, and the second is fixing it with epoxy.
- Melting the glass – Melting glass for repair purposes is quite challenging. Glass is made by mixing sand, sodium carbonate, calcium carbonate, and recycled glass.
Then, this mixture is heated in a specialized furnace with an average temperature of 1400 degrees Celsius. Once heated, the glass mixture is poured onto a flat surface or a mold. During this time, specialized tools are used to mold the glass into various shapes. As it cools, the glass hardens and becomes transparent.
Melting glass together again is a very extensive and costly practice. While it’s not impossible to achieve, you’ll undoubtedly want to consult with a professional about this process.
- Epoxy – Epoxy offers an effective method for fixing small or medium cracks. This procedure can stop a crack from spreading, but it won’t go entirely unnoticed. Follow these seven steps for epoxy success:
- Prepare – Step one is to make sure you’re using the correct type of epoxy. Prepare gloves and all the necessary tools needed to complete the task. Work in a clean open area so the epoxy will have enough space to dry undisturbed.
- Clean – Thoroughly clean the glass to ensure the epoxy can do its job.
- Mix – Epoxy comes with two different parts– do not mix them until you’re ready to use the product. It can dry at lightning speed, so mix the epoxy with a wooden spoon and be prepared to act quickly.
- Apply – When mending two separate pieces of glass, use a wooden spoon and a putty knife to apply the epoxy along the crack. Once applied, use the putty knife to scrape away any excess.
Filling in cracks is a similar process. Fill the crack with the epoxy and use a putty knife to wipe away the excess.
- Remove – If you want a flawless repair, removing the excess epoxy is critical. Cautiously use a razorblade to smooth out and remove any excess. Act quickly, though– you only have about five minutes before the epoxy starts to dry.
- Dry – Leave the epoxy undisturbed for 24 hours so it can dry or “cure” properly.
Another factor of glass repair vs. glass replacement is time. Usually, it’s easier and faster to completely replace the glass than it is to take the repair route.
When contemplating glass replacement, consider the following. First, you need to weigh the price against the glass’ sentimental value. If you have a vintage set of glass doors or an antique mirror that has been passed down over the years, it might be difficult to choose a complete glass replacement.
With any heirloom, you’ll want to keep as many of the original parts as consistent as possible. Consider the worth of the original glass to determine whether you want to hold onto it.
When is glass replacement the right choice? First, if you have antique windows, glass replacement is calling your name. While they might be beautiful, they might not be an effective insulator in your home. This can drive up your power bill and waste precious energy.
The second time to consider glass replacement is when you’re dealing with an antique mirror. If that precious glass cracks, replacement might be worth it. The frame will still hold sentimental value with a shiny new mirror installed in the center.
Murray Glass is Here For all of Your Glass Needs
Whether you are looking at glass repair vs. glass replacement, Murray Glass has your back. Please reach out to our well-trained and experienced professionals to receive a thorough consultation and exceptional craftsmanship. As Utah’s glass experts, Murray Glass is available around the clock throughout Utah, Salt Lake, Summit, Weber, and Tooele counties. If you need a repair or wish to upgrade the glass in your home or business, contact Murray Glass for a free estimate today!