Hazy windows block natural light from your business. They also look bad, which can affect your customer's impression of you.
While aging can lead to hazing, generally some type of damage causes the issue. Knowing the cause can help you avoid it in the future.
On exposed windows, weathering is a common culprit for hazed glass. Hail and sleet, for example, may not break glass but they can etch the surface. The more likely culprit, though, is wind. Wind blows sand, dirt, and other debris against the window, effectively sandblasting the glass. Over time, a severe haze can develop. Protective films on the glass can protect against this sort of damage.
How the glass is cleaned also matters. Certain chemical cleaners contain acids that can eat into the glass, causing severe etching and hazing. Abrasive cleaners and scrubbers can also cause a haze to develop. Only using soft scrubbers and squeegees along with cleaners made for glass is the solution.
Haze isn't always the result of damage to the glass. Sometimes it is caused by residue on the glass. Hard water is the most likely culprit, whether the hard water exposure is from rain or cleaning. Lime, calcium, and other minerals in the water will leave behind an almost chalky residue that must be cleaned off periodically if you want to avoid hazing.
In many cases, hazing can be repaired, particularly if the problem is caught early and steps are taken to prevent it from occurring again.
When hazing is caused by etching, such as from weathering or chemical damage, buffing and polishing may solve the issue. Your repair service will first buff the surface of the glass to smooth out the scratches. They will then polish it until it is clear and free from all haze. This method only works if the etching is minor and only affects the surface of the glass. Deep etches or scratches can't be removed by buffing and polishing.
Chemical treatments are the solution if the haze is caused by hard water residue. A mild acid will be used to carefully dissolve the residue without causing any damage to the glass. Afterward, the glass will be thoroughly cleaned and polished so that it is perfectly clear again.
Severe etching can't always be repaired. In this case, the only way to remove the haze is to replace the glass. Make sure the new glass has coatings applied to prevent future hazing from developing.
Contact a commercial window repair service, such as Nor Sac Glass Company, for more help.