If you own a glass veranda it can be daunting to know how to keep it clean and fresh looking. This article explains why glass verandas are made out of safety glass and the coatings which are used to protect safety glass while it is being transported and installed. It also describes the materials and techniques which are used by the professional installer to clean the glass in the roof of a glass veranda and gives specific instruction on how to do this for yourself.
When a glass veranda is delivered and installed at your home it will come with toughened glass or safety glass as standard. When something falls onto toughened glass it breaks into small granular particles which, whilst sharp, are not a serious threat to man or beast. Plate or float glass when it breaks shatters into a million small sharply pointed pieces.
If float glass were to be installed in a glass veranda there is a risk that at some time in its life one of the sheets of glass could be broken producing a shower of sharp dangerous splinters. These would rain down on the people or animals below causing injury. Broken float glass also produces a carpet of small and sometimes almost invisible sharp objects which can remain undiscovered for a very long time. Because of the risks from float glass, toughened or safety glass is always used in glass verandas, glass roofs and roof lights.
Toughened glass is usually transported with some sort of protective layer wrapped around it. This prevents it from breaking if something hits the glass. It also means that the men loading and unloading the glass have got a protective barrier surrounding the glass to stop minor bumps and scrapes from damaging it.
The protective layer will either be a plastic sheet or bubble wrap sometimes with foam blocks to keep the individual sheets of glass apart. The glass itself will almost always have a slightly sticky coating to make the plastic sheet adhere to the surface and ensure that it does not become dislodged during handling exposing the surface of the glass to possible damage.
It is this coating which the glass veranda installer should remove before the glass is finally installed. The way they do this is by using a solution of Isopropyl Alcohol (75%) or Methylated spirits. Every side of each sheet of glass which is to be installed is cleaned using a cloth or paper towel by moving the cloth backwards and forward in a horizontal direction first and then vertically. This means that every part of the glass is covered. Also smears which might be visible if the cleaning was only done in one direction disappear.
When your glass veranda is finally installed it should look very sparkly. To keep it looking sparkly the best thing to do is get your window cleaner to clean the surfaces with a pole cleaning system. Regular cleaning will prevent the build-up of dirt and debris which can make the structure look unsightly. You can do this yourself with a cloth, preferably linen scrim, and warm soapy water. The best cleaning detergent for windows is Fairy Liquid. Simply wash the windows with the cloth and remove any excess fluid with another cloth or sponge before finishing with a scrim working vertically and horizontally over each pane of glass until it looks really shiny.
How do you get to the part of the glass veranda which is nearest to the wall of the house? It should be possible to do this using a crawling board which you can position across the glazing bars. The glazing bars should be engineered to take the weight of a man. Resting on the glazing bars in this fashion should enable you to reach up and clean the most inaccessible parts of the glass veranda. You should always check with the installer who supplied the veranda to make sure that it is strong enough to take the sort of loads involved in cleaning.
Alternatively there are conservatory cleaning steps available for hire. These are wonderful devices. The foot of the steps rest on the ground and the top of the first section rests on the gutter of the glass veranda. The second part of the steps flop over onto the roof and supports the person who is cleaning the glass. The whole apparatus is prevented from slipping by a cable which is attached to the conservatory itself. This means that this job can be done one-handed.
If your glass veranda is very large it is best to use a professional cleaning firm to undertake the job. That way your safety is not compromised and you will maintain the structure in pristine order for years to come.