The challenges of glass repair
The question for the building owner, or more often the contractor keen to hand over a new property at the end of the contract, is how to make good any damage that has occurred. Replacement is always going to be costly, and some situations logistically very difficult. But there is a practical and cost effective alternative.
Despite the name Plastic Surgeon has developed a portfolio of repair techniques addressing all the common building materials – including metal, stone, ceramics and, more recently, glass. The company is the only national repair specialist able to deal with all types of building finish. Plastic Surgeon’s finishers undergo a special glazing course, which enables them to assess both the glass type they are dealing with, the severity of the damage and the best approach to dealing with it.
Float glass, toughened, heat soaked, laminated and through coloured glass all demonstrate different degrees of hardness, while damage can range from ‘fogging’, as occurs when decorators get careless with the sandpaper while preparing wooden frames, to deep scratches caused by chisels and claw hammers, or even graffiti vandalism with glass cutting tools.
At their disposal the Finishers have variable speed precision grinders, able to rotate at velocities of up to 10,000 rpm, along with half a dozen different grades of abrasive disk. Drawing on their training and experience, the operative will vary the rate and ‘roughness’ of their intervention to take out the blemish as effectively as possible. A key aspect to this requires them to judge the size of the work area in order to ‘feather out’ the repair. This avoids the creation of a dished effect or any other visual distortion.
The Finisher will then use finer and finer diamond pastes applied using a felt pad on the grinder, until the reflectance or polish of the surface matches the untouched glass. Such dexterity and sensitivity has also allowed Plastic Surgeon’s repair service to deal with curved glazing – as is often used for balustrades, as well as display cabinets, mirrors and other interior features.
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