The Best Way To Clean Windows

Keeping windows clean is a common struggle among home owners. No matter how much you seem to clean, there are spots and stains which seem to appear as soon as the window dries. What can you do if you are struggling to clean your windows?

There are several methods to clean windows which can work well if you are having a hard time keeping yours clean. With a few simple household supplies you can successfully clean your windows with these tricks.

Using a squeegee
A squeegee is one of the most important tools you can use for cleaning class. Due to the way the squeegee removes water along with dirt and grime off the glass, it makes for streak and stain free windows by drying them clean. No matter what solution you use to clean the glass, a squeegee should be your tool of choice to remove the water and ensure a dry, stain and spot free window.

Vinegar
Vinegar is a commonly used household supply which works well to clean windows. Mixing it with water works well and does a great job good getting rid of grime, dirt and spots. You can mix in a small amount of dish washing liquid for some extra strength.

Alcohol
Another good product to use for cleaning windows is alcohol. Due to its dissolving properties, it makes for an excellent window cleaner and does a great job getting rid of stains. It can be used direct with a rag, or thinned down with water and sprayed onto the glass with a spray bottle and wiped with a squeegee or clean cloth.

Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is an old home method for cleaning windows that has been around for decades. Lemons contain natural acidity which helps cut through grease and dirt. By mixing the lemon juice with water it will be diluted enough to leave a clean window with no streaks.

Ammonia
Ammonia is another product which can be used in combination with water to clean windows. Mix it in a spray bottle and spray the windows to pre-treat, then clean with squeegee or cloth.

Ultrashield Window Treatment
If you want to make window cleaning easier than ever, Ultrashield’s window treatment is what you need. By applying a layer of protection on the glass which repels water and therefore dirt and grime, your windows will be easier to clean than ever. Whether old windows or new windows, treatment will work to make cleaning easy as well as protect them to keep them looking new.

If you would like to discuss applying window treatment to your windows, contact us today.

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All About Window Glazing, What You Need To Know

Window glass, which is called glazing, is a very complex topic and has come a long way since the old days when windows were only a single pane that separated you from the elements. Today, windows are designed to be energy efficient and come with glazing systems that can include multiple panes of glass, gas fillings and heat sensitive coatings. This can all seem rather complicated, but the end result will pay off in increased comfort and a reduction in energy costs.

Types Of Window Glazing

Single pane – Single pane windows are windows with just one layer of glass. These are very common on New Zealand homes, especially on older houses. They are not very efficient, offering little protection from heat or cold. Single pane windows are no longer a very popular option for new homes. If you do decide to go for the traditional look with single pane glass, make sure to choose some with well made wooden frames and tight fitting storm panels to help increase energy efficiency.

Double-pane insulated glass – The popular option for the modern home, most new windows sold are double-pane glass. Sometimes called insulated glass, these windows have an inert gas, usually argon or krypton, is sealed between the inner and outer panes. The gas is a poor thermal conductor, so it works to slow down the passage of heat through the glass which eliminates the need for storm windows.

Triple-pane insulated glass – Even more efficient that double-pane windows, triple-pane insulated windows contain two layers of sealed gas within the frame. These types of windows are excellent for extreme climates and provide excellent sound insulation for noisy areas such as houses near motorways. However, they are very thick, heavy and expensive.

Other methods of increasing window glazing efficiency – Other methods of increasing window glazing efficiency include window films and coatings that reduce the amount of heat that passes through the glass. Almost all new windows sold today come with these coatings as standard. Depending on the climates, these coatings can be tailored to let the sun’s energy in or block it out, as well as how much heat is transmitted from the outside which benefit colder regions.

Protecting Your New Glass

If you are getting new windows installed and want to protect them right from the get-go, Ultrashield’s window treatment and protection is what you need. While the windows are new is the ideal time to apply the treatment, which will protect the glass from new, making it low maintenance and maintaining the new look for years to come.

 

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Surface Protection Explained

Although glass, metal and concrete materials can withstand a lot of pressure, they are still subject to deterioration due to constant wear and tear. The environment to which the materials are exposed can also speed up the degradation process. For example, metal structures near the ocean rust more easily due to exposure to salty air. Materials with heavy operational requirements are also prone to cracks, scratches and all sorts of surface damage.

That said, material degradation can be managed, slowed or even halted by applying some kind of surface protection.

In essence, surface protection is the method of modifying and improving the surface properties of materials to enhance functional performance and durability. Besides protecting the surface against aggressive environments or demanding contact conditions, surface protection is also applied for decoration purposes.

Other benefits of applying surface protection are:

  • Increased longevity
  • Reduced maintenance costs of structure
  • Higher resale value

What is a Surface Coating?

Surface coating is any substance or mixture of film-forming materials applied to other materials to change the surface properties (i.e. colour, gloss, permeability, resistance to wear or chemical attack) without changing the bulk properties.

Paints, varnishes, enamels, waxes, oils, greases, lacquers, metal coatings, powder coatings and fire-retardant formulations are all kinds of surface coating materials. Typically, the kind of coating you will need depends on the type of surface you are treating and the application of the material being treated (i.e. residential, commercial or industrial).

For example, a liquid base will work well for wood decks and concrete garage floors, while a powder coating works better for metal structures and automobiles.

We’ll talk more about protecting glass surfaces.

Glass Surface Protection

Traditionally, glass is coated with a film or chemical coat that covers the surface structure of the glass. However, these coatings don’t make the glass completely impermeable so grime, stains and mineral deposits can still form on the surface (although at a slower rate).

Today, we now an advanced nanotechnology treatment based on colloidal solid-gel solution that follows the contour of the glass surface at the nanometre level.

When applied to glass, the solution self-assembles into an ultra-thin, invisible monolayer structure over the surface, giving the glass hydrophobic (water-repellent) property. The gel is either sprayed or wiped over the glass surface, and when the carrier liquid evaporates, the solid protective materials bond to the surface. This new nanosurface layer cannot be removed by water, cleaning products or even with high-pressure equipment. It essentially makes the glass more durable and keeps it looking new even with minimal maintenance.

This glass protection solution has a multitude of benefits:

  • Ease of application
  • Invisible, durable protection
  • Cost effective
  • Fast curing
  • Scratch resistance
  • Very low maintenance

Some kind of preparation is required to ensure the surface is completely free of grease, dust and any other contaminants. If your glass shower doors have been used for a while, chances are there’s already an accumulation of soap scum and stains. This is why this treatment is best applied by professionals who will firstly clean and/or restore the surface so that it will look its best once the treatment is applied.

If you need this kind of treatment for your glass features at home or in your office, call us on 0800 485 872.

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5 Things You Must Know About Glass Protection

From countertops to accent walls and shower doors, glass is used in interior design for both decorative and utilitarian purposes. We love using glass to bring in natural light, to open up a space or simply to strengthen surfaces.

The only catch is glass can be a pain to maintain. Keeping those glass surfaces spotless and clear can take a lot of work. Here, we talk about things you need to know about protecting your shower doors, windows or countertops…

Keep them dry

The longer hard water stains or soap residue sit, the harder they will be to remove. And once they have fully set in, it’s next to impossible to restore the glass to its original state.

To prevent stains and soap scum from building up, make sure to dry the surfaces using a squeegee or a lint-free towel after each use. It takes little time and minimal effort. The only drawback is you have to do it on a daily basis, which requires getting everybody at home into a new daily habit.

Acid cleaners can do more harm than good

Acid-containing products are often recommended for shower glass cleaning or window cleaning. Although they work well in loosening hard water spots and stains, they are extremely toxic and can burn you if they get in touch with your eyes or skin. They are also corrosive and can deteriorate stone, natural marble, polished aluminium and coloured grout.

Natural home remedies such as white vinegar and lemon are safer to use and more environment friendly, but they take longer to work and only removes newer stains.

Abrasive cleaners aren’t any better

Scotch brite, steel wool and baking soda can all be used to clean glass stains and grime. These abrasives work well on new stains and small areas of hard water deposits. That being said, older stains and heavy concentrations of build up will require more than scrubbing to be removed.

Abrasive cleaners can also cause scratches on the glass surface, which makes it easier for dirt, stains and soap residue to stick.

Rain repellent doesn’t make glass soap scum proof

You have probably heard of this DIY trick. In theory, it’s an effective solution. But while rain repellent keeps water away, it doesn’t prevent minerals from sticking to the glass surface.

Sealing and treating your glass protects from future damage

While it doesn’t guarantee a no-clean solution, sealing glass and applying shower protection reduces cleaning time by up to 90%.

A professionally applied glass treatment creates an invisible protective layer than repels water and keeps dirt away. So even if you don’t have time for daily shower glass cleaning, you don’t have to worry about etching or soap scum build up. Plus, it makes your glass shower and windows scratch resistant. Even better is the fact that shower protection and glass window treatment comes with 5 or 10 years warranty.

Whether your windows and glass shower are new or older, getting them professionally treated can keep them looking new for years. For more information, speak to us today!

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Methods Of Graffiti Protection

Graffiti is still a common problem for property owners and can be very damaging if not protected against correctly. Glass is especially susceptible to damage and a lot of times can’t be repaired, so the whole section needs to be replaced, which is not cheap.

What can you do to protect against graffiti?

There are various methods you can use to protect your property which include coatings, film and removal methods should you need to remove graffiti that has been applied.

Coatings

There are various types of protective coatings which can be used as a prevention from graffiti damage. The two main types are sacrificial coatings, which can be removed if graffiti is applied, and permanent coatings which prevent the graffiti from sticking to the paint. Newer coatings are made of charged polymeric materials that form a gel on the surface.

Sacrificial Coatings – Sacrificial coatings form a clear barrier over the wall or surface you want to protected. If the surface does get vandalised, the coating can be removed using a high-pressure washer, taking the graffiti with it. The coating then must be reapplied. The materials used to make a sacrificial coating are usually inexpensive, clear polymers such as acrylates, biopolymers, and waxes which means it doesn’t cost a lot to replace. These polymers form weak bonds with the substrate to allow for easy removal.

Semi-Sacrificial Coatings – Semi sacrificial coatings, sometimes known as safety shields, are a penetrating sealer on the surface protecting the surface pores. If the surface is vandalised the coating can be removed using a combination of graffiti removal solvent and a water blaster. This coating is usually reapplied every second attack. It is possible to use only water blasting to remove the coating, however this will cause additional surface erosion.

Permanent coatings – Permanent coatings are more expensive than sacrificial coatings but only have to be applied once if used correctly. They create a protective surface that spray paint cannot bond to, making it easy to remove. If the surface does get vandalised, often all that is needed is a simple solvent and a little bit of manual labour. The surface and the protective coating remains unharmed.

Films

In the case of glass, protective films can be used to guard against graffiti and vandalism. Graffiti protection films are thick, sacrificial films that get applied to the exterior of glass and “take the hit”, should vandalism occur. Then, they can be peeled off and reapplied, saving your glass surface from damage. They work best to prevent paint, writing and light to medium scratching.

If you want to keep your windows and surfaces free of graffiti, speak to us today. We offer graffiti protection solutions and will ensure that your surfaces stay protected!

 

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