Can razor blades scratch your windows?
Unfortunately the answer is yes. Even when properly used a razor blade can pose a risk to potential scratches. The surprising fact is that it is not because of the blade itself, nor is it due to bad technique! The truth is that you can actually use a razor on your window and the scratches can take up to a week to show up!
Let me explain…
The purpose of this blog is not to freak anyone out of the potential of scratched glass, but rather to properly educate you as the homeowner, so that you know what you are up against and can take the precautionary measures needed to protect your glass.
So what causes these scratches?
Due to cheap and faulty manufacturing methods, microscopic glass debris sometimes forms on the surface of the glass at the time of the manufacturing. This microscopic debris is referred to as fabrication debris. These microscopic beads (fabrication debris), when used with a razor come off and what happens is they roll across the glass. This in turn, creates microscopic scratches that expand and within a week become visible to the naked eye. So a window cleaner can actually use a razor and not even know that he’s causing the window to be scratched. Because of this fabrication debris, former techniques of using blades pose a risk to scratching your windows.
Are there any windows that are safe to blade? How can you tell?
Fortunately not ALL windows have fabrication debris. In fact MOST DONT. So 90% of the time a razor blade is safe. In fact it has been a standard procedure with window cleaning for a long time. Fabrication debris is usually found on something called “tempered glass” or often referred to as “Safety Glass”. Such things as patio doors, railing glass panels, windows in stairwells, and windows over the bathtub are generally tempered glass and are a lot more at risk to fabrication debris and potential scratching. Tempered glass is getting more and more common in modern windows. Most window cleaners should know this but the sad thing is that a lot don’t. It is always good to check with them before commencing work.
“But what if I have a bunch of paint on my windows?”
At Next Level, our window cleaning packages cover the removal of all water soluble debris. If you have paint overspray, silicone, hard water stain, or tape reside on your windows, we consider this window restoration.
If you need window restoration services we certainly can offer them. We use things like bronze wool, magic erasers, and solvents to safely remove items from your windows as needed including hard water staining. If a blade is needed we often require a waiver to be signed. This is not included in our regular cleaning and would require an extra charge.
If you do have things like “paint overspray” or “hard water staining” it is best to let us know before we book the job so that we can make sure your needs are met. Either way, it is still usually best to clean your windows first and see what comes off with the regular cleaning practices. A lot of times things that appear to need a razor can come off just from the regular washing of the window.
If the debris doesn’t come off with the regular cleaning practices, and you are not happy with the results, then we can gladly talk about what it would take to restore the window. Each window restoration job is slightly different and requires slightly different techniques, so it is hard to put a price on window restoration before actually cleaning the window and seeing what’s needed.
How we stand apart… Our new policy to protect your windows
At Next Level Window Cleaning we have made the decision to go blade-free for all of our window cleaning packages.
Our choice to go blade-free is to protect your windows and make sure that your view remains flawless and that your window cleaning remains at the NEXT LEVEL. Although our methods sometimes take longer than a traditional razor method, we feel that in the long term its not worth the risk of someone making a small mistake and blading a window that shouldn’t be bladed.
All employees at Next Level Window Cleaning are carefully and thoughtfully, trained and educated on taking the best care of your windows. If for some reason a razor is necessary we can discuss this before cleaning and make sure that the work is performed responsibly. If you have any questions at all feel free to give us a shout! We are happy to help.