DIY Tips for Window Cleaning

No matter how much time you spend on cleaning your home, if the windows are dirty, the overall impression isn’t going to be great. Here we’ve gathered some information for you to dive into for the most efficient ways of cleaning and maintaining clean windows.

  1. Squeegee water/vinegar or window cleaning spray. Read the full description in our previous blog post 
  2. Try the old trick of cleaning your windows with newspaper. Spray water on the surface and then rub dry with crinkled sheets of the paper. It takes some work but cleans most of difficult build-ups with the rough surface of the paper.
  3. Buy or hire a glass cleaning machines such as vacuum window cleaner or steam cleaner. Make sure to get one of good quality or you can end up disappointed with half-cleaned windows.
  4. Hire the professionals. Spend your time on something you like instead, and let them do the hard work. The result will be spotless. Ask them to treat your windows with glass protection while they’re there and your future cleaning will be brought down to a minimum. Read more about window glass protection below.

5 ways of maintaining clean windows
Why does the rain in New Zealand always seem to come from a 90 degree angle? You clean and clean and after the first rainfall, they can look almost as dirty again. How do you actually keep the windows as clean as possible? Here are our 5 recommendations to keep your windows clean longer.

  1. Identify where the dirt is coming from. Is the dirt brought by the rain? Maybe splashing on the ground falling from a full drain? Bird poo? Maybe even mould growing on them?
  2. Do something about that! Can you or your landlord fix that drain? Air out your house to prevent mould. Maybe look at a long-term solution to prevent rain falling straight onto your windows?
  3. Don’t let it build up! Save some sweat by regularly removing the dirt.
  4. Have you ever felt that it doesn’t matter how much you clean your windows; they still look dirty? You’re not the only one. Did you know that glass is a liquid porous material? That means that dirt can get into those pores and that material will alter (undetectable to the eye) with temperature? That means dirt can get trapped in to the pores and that it can be difficult to remove without the right knowledge and tools. Ask a professional to help you restore the glass and get that one-million-dollar view back.
  5. Or why not break up with window cleaning as you know it? Reduce your cleaning time by up to 90% by treating your windows with our Eurocoat Window Glass Protection. It forms a skin over the glass that prevents acid rain, dirt and grime from getting in to the pores. No more scrubbing or harsh chemicals, no more streaks. Just hose down or wipe with a damp microfibre cloth and your windows will be sparkling clean at once. Did we say that the product is environmentally friendly?

Interested in getting to know more about Window Restoration and/or Eurocoat Window Protection? Contact us today for your free quote.

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How Are You Protected From Graffiti?

Graffiti can be beautiful pieces of art but most of the times, it’s unwanted vandalism just destroying your property. Except that graffiti removal can be costly and hard work, it’s shown that the general feeling of the neighbourhood is more unsafe with visual signs of vandalism around. If you’re reading this, you probably already got tired of removing graffiti or want to prevent it from happening, again so and we have set up this guide for you.

Be proactive

Prevent the damage to happen from the start. Here are 4 steps to protect yourself from graffiti:

  1. Make it harder to operate undisturbed by installing outdoor lighting. Your choice if it’s on all the time, on a timer or a motion detector.
  2. If you have the funds, install surveillance equipment. No one wants to be filmed committing a crime, right?
  3. Flowers and trees are beautiful to look at and planting them in front or walls or fences minimize the space for the graffiti. Planting lower shrubs under windows can make it harder to reach them, especially if they have got prickles! Ask your local garden centre for low maintenance plants in the right size.
  4. Install a window graffiti protection film on your glass and protection on metal surfaces to protect it from permanent signs of graffiti and scratching. Read more about this below.

Graffiti removal on glass and metal surfaces

Even if you’ve taken the steps above, your property could still be at risk for graffiti. If your surface doesn’t have a protection film you can try these methods for removal:

– Be quick! The faster you remove the graffiti the better chances you have to avoid permanent stains. Studies also show that graffiti removed within 48hrs makes it less attractive for repeat offenders.

– Water blasting can be an effective method on sturdy unpainted surfaces.

– Fresh graffiti may be removed by using paint stripper, oven cleaner or special purpose graffiti removal products. Make sure to read the warning text on these products and follow the protective clothing advice since the chemicals can be harsh on your body. Always test on a small hidden area to know that the surface doesn’t get damaged.

– Bring in the professionals. It can be a time and energy consuming work getting rid of the graffiti if you haven’t invested in any type of protective treatment. The professionals have both experience and access to specialty products and tools and will do the job for you.

– If you can’t get rid of paint or stains; sorry, it’s time to replace or repaint the surface.

How does a graffiti protection film work?

A graffiti surface protection film is a visually clear film you can install on glass and metal surfaces. When damaged, it’s simply pulled off and replaced by a new one and your surface is left unaffected. No need for harsh chemicals that are bad for both you and the environment.

The high-quality film we use at Ultrashield is a unique polyester construction bonded with special adhesives. It doesn’t only protect from paint but also from key scratches and acid etching damage with its hard “CST” coat. No worries about a distorted view when applied to windows or mirrors, it is a visually clear film that adheres well to the surface without leaving bubbles or uneven edges. To remove dirt, just use your normal window cleaning detergent as you would for any window or mirror.

Where can I install a graffiti protection film?

The film is especially great for public areas with high pedestrian traffic. Any glass or metal surfaces that are prone to graffiti such as retail shop and cafe fronts, bathroom stalls and mirrors, bus shelters, public transport vehicles, display cabinets and signage. If you’re unsure, just give us a call for advice.

Why install a protection film?

To summarize, this is what you will gain on installing a graffiti protection film:

–    Protecting your original surface from ugly permanent stains

–    Protects from scratching and acid etching damage

–    Quick and easy installation

–    Easy replacement after graffiti damage. Just peel off and install a new sheet of film and your surface will look good as new again!

–    No need for harsh chemicals while removing the graffiti

–    Saving lots of money on by replacing the film instead of the whole surface. Windows are expensive, right?

Interested in knowing more about our graffiti protection film? At Ultrashield we are specialized surface protection for commercial and domestic needs. Contact us (link) for your free consultation and quote. When you’ve spent the energy and money in making something beautiful, we want to help you to keep it that way.

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How To Clean Windows For Long-Lasting Results

Autumn is approaching and we will soon start to spend more time inside. It’s time to give your windows a good clean before you get annoyed by looking out through a layer of stains and dirt. Follow these five steps for sparkling clean windows (or skip half-way down if you want to make it easy for yourself):

1. Use a soft broom or brush to get rid of the spiderwebs and debris around your windows.
2. Wash the windows with soapy water and a microfiber cloth or sponge. For stubborn stains, we recommend rubbing a piece of crinkled newspaper on the glass.
3. If your windows were very dirty to start with, you can repeat step 2 with clean water and cloth for a better result.
4. Squeege the windows dry. Always start at the top and work vertically. Each new stroke should overlap the previous one with an inch or two. Pro tip: Clean the squeegee on a towel after each stroke to remove excess water, dirt and soap.
5 Dry the vertical edges and windowsill with a dry cloth. Done!

To avoid streaks, always try to wash your windows out of direct sunlight as the heat will dry your windows to quickly before you’re done squeegeeing.

Or just skip the hard work and get the professionals to treat your windows to keep cleaning to a minimum

Did you know that most of the dirt we see is actually stains inside the pores of the glass? Especially living in New Zealand we’re exposed to acid rain that etches the surface and leaves watermarks that are hard to remove. If you’re living by the ocean I’m sure you’ve noticed the marks salt water leaves as well. Treating your windows with Eurocoat glass protection products will make your windows look as new again and future maintenance will be brought down to a minimum.

To get rid of those old stains and etchings, we start the treatment with a rejuvenation of the glass. Using a buffer to create heat (that’s how you open the pores) together with Eurocoat Glass Rejuvenation liquid we are getting rid of the old stains and restore the surface making the glass look as new again.

Next step is to apply Eurocoat Window Protection, which is a high-quality SiO2-coating based on nanotechnology. When applied if forms a clear protective skin (not visible to the eye) with a contact angle of 105-109 degrees that makes the water bead down instead of spreading on the surface. The dirt (grease, oil, lime and environmental pollution) will adhere less to the surface and be easily removed since it’s not entering the pores. The coating is UV-resistant and stands a fair amount of wiping and scrubbing.

Will you ever be cleaning your windows again? Yes, but your windows will look clearer for longer and cleaning will be done in a breeze. Just rinse with a hose and use a squeegee or dry cloth to wipe off. No scrubbing or harsh chemicals needed. Optional is to use a bit of soapy water now and then for a crystal clear result but most people are happy without. For brand new external windows we give you a warranty of 5 years and 3 years for used windows.

Contact us today for more information or to get a free quote for a long-lasting treatment of your windows.

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Protecting Windows And Glass With Film

Glass is the clear choice for modern homes. It incorporates transparency, lightness and variability which are all elements of contemporary architecture and design. Using glass in windows and wall systems are a great way to bring people closer to nature. It also invites natural light into the home, which is proven to reduce stress as well as energy bills. Not to mention, glass adds a stunning look to any building. And the list of benefits goes on.

All that being said, glass has its disadvantages. One primary problem with glass is it absorbs heat and acts much like a greenhouse. Other issues include glare and poor heat preservation in winter, which leads to higher energy bills. According to BRANZ research, the average home loses up to 48% heat through single panes.

While this can be solved with double glazing, this particular method is often too expensive or difficult to install into existing window frames. This is where an insulation film proves useful, particularly Penjerex which is the highest performing window insulation film on the market today. Here are several key advantages to using this insulation film for protecting windows:

It’s lighter than double glazing

Double glazing adds quite a lot of weight to your windows, which makes retrofitting quite problematic. You see, existing frames and ranch sliders are not typically designed to hold the extra weight.

An insulation film which is sleeker and lighter solves this problem. Its lightweight properties also make installation a breeze. On top of that, you won’t be troubled with noise or disruption to your home during installation.

It’s cheaper but similarly effective

Penjerex insulation film works 95% as effectively as regular double glazing but costs only half as much. It has very good thermal resistance that will ensure your comfort all-year round.

The beauty of this window glass protection film is you can choose to apply it to any particular problem areas, i.e. hot and cold spots in your building. This “low emissivity” window film has a special metallic foil that reflects infrared heat back inside the building to reduce heat loss by 44 per cent, turning your window into a radiant heater during the blistering cold months. It also reflects a small amount of radiant solar energy to keep your home comfortable during summer.

As you can guess, window films can cut your power bills significantly.

It is extremely durable

When applied properly, window insulation film will not crack, peel, flake or bubble. It will protect your windows and your home for up to 10 years!

It also makes your glass windows harder to penetrate, making it resistant to breakage in case of theft, storms and accidents. And in case the windows shatter, the insulation film keeps the shards together after impact. That’s an added layer of protection for your home.

It doesn’t affect aesthetics

Worried that double glazing might change the look of your home or office? An insulation film will put you at ease. It’s virtually transparent and unobtrusive that you won’t even notice it’s there. Other than preserving kerb appeal, it also keeps your view from the inside crisp and clear as usual.

It keeps harmful UV rays out

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation not only harms your health but also damages your carpet and furniture. It can cause premature color fading and deterioration. Our high-performance insulation film lets in natural light but keeps 99 per cent of UV rays out.

A word of advice: There’s a massive variation among window insulation films in terms of performance, quality and cost. So always choose a high-quality product with proven results to get the best value.

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Shower Doors Need A Clean?

When you’re on the internet finding ways to get your shower doors clean, it only means the situation can no longer be ignored. To be fair, that’s completely normal since most people are short on time, patience and energy for household chores. Even the squeegee rule, which seems reasonably quick and easy to do, can be daunting.

Unfortunately, that filmy, grungy, filthy shower door isn’t only an eyesore but also a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. It’s also bad news to your pocket because old stains and mineral buildup can cause etching and permanent damage to the glass. And, well, removing and replacing your shower doors can cost you a bomb.

Shower cleaning just isn’t something you can put off indefinitely. But there’s got to be a better way, right? There must be a no-fuss, undemanding solution to keeping your shower glass doors sparkling clean.

Well, here it is: get a shower treatment. The truth is that while cleaning can eliminate the gross buildup and some of the stains, it will not reverse etching. Hence, the best line of defense is to prevent the hard water minerals and soap residue from sticking to the glass surface. Let’s tackle it a little further…

How is shower glass treated?

Think of it as shower protection. This method involves coating the glass surface with a hydrophobic nano liquid glass that wicks away water, dirt and chemical residue. The coating is applied only after the glass has been thoroughly cleaned or restored.

Glass may look smooth, but it actually isn’t if you look at it on a microscopic level. It has peaks and valleys where hard water minerals and dirt can accumulate when the water evaporates. This is why you’d notice water drops hang on the glass surface and leave streaks when they dry. What the protective coating does is it creates a smooth layer on top of the glass surface so water and the minerals/dirt it carries will simply slide off.

See the difference between untreated (lower left) and treated glass (upper right):

Water drops spread and hang onto untreated glass surface, but they bead up and slide off on treated glass without leaving streaks.

Performance and longevity

Since the technology has been around for years, you can guess there are a number of similar products on the market. All products might offer the same benefits, but the difference will lie in their performance and longevity.

On one end, there are low-cost coatings which you can apply yourself. They would seem like the practical solution, but truth is they don’t last very long and may cost you even more in the long run. On the other end, there’s the professionally applied shower protection such as Ultrashield that relatively costs more. Here’s why: professional application is vital to ensure performance and longevity. The process includes preparing the surface to ensure it’s free of dirt, grease or any other contaminants. This is something that could be easily overlooked with a DIY shower treatment. If you miss a spot or improperly clean the glass surface, the coating won’t work as well as it’s intended.

Cure time

Some coatings take time to cure, during which you can’t touch the glass or have it wet. In many cases, you can’t use your shower for 24 hours to allow the coating to set completely. And you have to make sure dust doesn’t get trapped in the coating. Ultrashield is different, though. Because it is applied by our trained professionals and dry treated, the nano-coat bonds to the glass surface instantly which means you can use your shower immediately after the treatment.

The treatment takes less than an hour for new glass showers, and anywhere between 1 to 3 hours for existing showers, depending on the age.

Is it maintenance free?

Apparently, no. A treated shower glass door won’t easily stain or build up grime, but it eventually will if you neglect it for a long time. The major benefit of treating your glass shower is the no-fuss cleanup. It’s as simple as wiping the glass with the cloth supplied in the aftercare kit and some mild detergent. No more scouring and deep cleaning!

Treated glass is also scratch resistant so you don’t have to worry about regular wiping damaging the coating. It will last up to 10 years without a reduction in its water/oil/chemical repelling properties or showing any signs of degradation. Our shower treatment comes with a 10-year warranty for new showers and a 5-year warranty for older ones.

Cost

Cost is a tricky concept here. Some products are priced much lower than comparable products but will need to be applied three times as much to coat the same shower enclosure. With a professionally applied treatment, you will pay a one-off price plus restoration costs, if any. The price plays around $250 which is already a great deal considering you won’t have to reapply it over the next decade or spend money on cleaning products anymore.

Have your shower door treated by contacting us now and you’ll never have to worry about keeping it sparkling clean!

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