We’ve recently been involved with a project where glass has mysteriously broken and immediately the finger is pointed at either the glass manufacturer or the installer. Whilst these two elements of the glass delivery can be at fault, end users frequently neglect to consider a number of environmental and chemical issues that can result in glass breakage over time.
To try and establish the true cause of a breakage, our recommendations are as follows:
1) look at the glass make-up i.e. is it annealed/clear float, laminated or toughened.
2) consider how the glass break has manefested i.e. is it a clean line, does the break meander and curve around the glass, has the glass shattered, is there any evidence of an impact or projectile, is the breakage at the side of the glass, is there any damage to the surrounding area i.e. scratches on framework that would suggest the damage may have arisen as a result of a hard/soft body impact?
3) Look at the glass situation/environment: What QA procedures were conducted when the glass was installed, what activities have taken place in close proximity to the glass, is there a chance of significant temperature differential across a glass pane, have any manifestations stickers been stuck to the glass, is there external brise soleil, is there a radiator or heating grill in close proximity, are there blinds, if there are blind can hot air escape?
So as you can see, there are a whole host of considerations that must be assessed before allocating responsibilities.
www.cwct.co.uk have some great guidance note which we would recommend you read if you want to know more.
To focus on a few common breakage issues, we’ll start with toughened glass and an old favourite, Nickel Sulphide breakages: