When a home has a broken or damaged window, or a damaged glass insert in a door, you don't want to put off needed repairs. A break in the glass can easily cause a window to shatter, and cold drafts or hot air could also come in through small cracks in the glass, raising your utility bills. If your home has cracked or damaged windows, note a few questions you might have about residential glass repair, so you know the best way to treat this damage, and also know your home's windows are safe and secure.
Can auto glass repair kits be used on residential glass?
Don't assume that "glass is glass," as different types of glass are made with different formulas and actual ingredients. This formulation will depend on the use of the glass, the thickness desired, and so on. In turn, the glass used in a windscreen will be different than glass used for a home window, which will also be different than decorative glass used in a door insert!
Automotive glass will have a higher concentration of various types of plastic mixed in to its formula, to make it thick and tough and able to withstand collisions. The repair kits, including gels and fillers, that are used for automotive glass then won't work on residential glass. Those gels and fillers will also have higher concentrations of plastic, which means that they might not adhere to window glass, and may look very noticeable once they set and dry. Avoid these kits and such products for home windows, and have residential window glass repaired properly, as needed.
If a window is just scratched, can a coating be repaired?
Not all scratches on a window indicate that you need new glass in the frame, as some very minor scratches might only penetrate the coating of the glass and not the actual glass itself. In these cases, the coating might be removed and then replaced, so that the scratch then disappears.
However, don't assume that small scratches on the surface of glass can all be easily repaired. These coatings that are put on residential glass are usually very thin, no thicker than a human hair, so that visible scratches are usually much deeper than you assume. In many case, a visible scratch means that the glass itself is damaged. There may also be dust, dirt, and other debris that have settled into those scratches, causing even more damage to the glass. In those cases, you may need to have the glass itself replaced rather than just having the coating repaired.