Despite the availability of new materials, glass remains one of the more popular materials used in homes and buildings. When it comes to strength, insulation, and most of all, beauty, glass is practically peerless.
However, the material has a few downsides. One particular disadvantage of glass is its inherent nature to attract and hold water, which often carries debris. It also has a property that allows electrical charges to remain on its surface, which then attracts dust and dirt. Often, dust and dirt carry chemicals, contaminants and particulate matter that contribute to staining, weathering, erosion and soiling.
Since time immemorial, people have asked how to keep windows and facades sparkling. Is there really a way to achieve this goal and overcome the natural properties of glass that give it its disadvantages?
In order to better answer this question, it is worthwhile to look at a few critical factors. For starters, you need to be aware of the impact of water, especially rain and coastal areas from oceans and lakes. These contain a cocktail of chemicals that are often left on the glass surface. These chemicals then form a bond with the pores of the glass. After some time, this bond becomes lime scale, rust or mineral deposits which affect the glass’s clarity and makes it difficult to clean it.
One solution used by cleaning professionals to counter lime scale, rust and mineral deposits on the surface of glass is to use cleaning aids which contain acids and alkalis. These chemicals can remove the residual chemicals on the glass. However, that comes at the expense of exposing another layer of pores on the glass. Thus, the cycle of staining and exposing new pores goes on.
Certainly, a lot of glass manufacturers are aware of this issue. In response, they have experimented with new materials, production and polishing techniques. Some have even tried to create self-cleaning glass. The improvements, to say the least, were marginal.
That does not mean that achieving sparkling windows is a totally lost cause. Today, many companies are searching for solutions to this problem. One solution that looks promising veers away from the conventional approach of focusing on preserving or enhancing the glass surface. This new solution, instead, focuses on making surfaces like glass water- and soil-repellent.
This new solution provides a coating or invisible barrier that adheres to the surface of glass and cannot be removed by the use of cleaning agents and materials. This protects the glass and makes it less susceptible to the adhesion of dirt and debris carried by water.