Material Conditions Series Part 15: Glass Conditions

Each week we’re bringing you an in-depth look at one of the standard conditions we encounter and document during inspections of buildings and civil structures. 

Part 15: Glass Conditions

Architectural uses of glass include window glazing, glass block, curtain wall panels, and even structural glass. Window glazing may include clear glass, stained glass, faceted or textured glass, and wire-reinforced glass.

Bulged glass panes in a multi-light window

Bulged glass panes in a multi-light window

Typical failure conditions in glass or window assemblies include cracks, putty failure, sealant failure, missing or unsecured glass, and bulging panes (found in multi-light window configurations held in place with metal came, such as stained glass and art glass).

Cracked, loose, and missing glass in a multi-light window

Cracked, loose, and missing glass in a multi-light window

Some components of glass window and curtain wall assemblies – putty and sealant – degrade over time and can be expected to need repair or replacement as part of regular maintenance. Glass itself is resistant to decay, so conditions like cracked or loose pieces of glass are usually caused by the failure of surrounding materials, impact forces, or weather events.

Putty failure in window glass

Putty failure in window glass

Next in this series: Plaster Conditions

Click here to see all posts in this series.

Click here for an index of all posts in this series, or download a pdf of the complete series.

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