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The Effects of Dust on Commercial Glass

Clean Commercial Glass
Dust on the windows of the building in which you do business doesn't make the glass look pretty. If you don't clean the windows yourself, no doubt you've got an arrangement with a cleaning service to wash all that dust off for you. You know that leaving grime all over the windows doesn't make your building look inviting. In fact, it makes your business look unprofessional and even a bit shady.
However, that cleaning isn't enough to really make the glass look good. Central Valley residents, especially those in the dusty southern San Joaquin portion, face a problem specific to the environment there: dust storms and the gradual permanent damage they can cause to glass.
Dust Storms Are Common in the Central Valley
While California's Central Valley usually does not see dust storms on the same scale as those often found in Arizona and New Mexico, it does have its share of smaller storms and blowing dust. This is especially true in drought years as the soil quickly dries out.
Weather systems near the Valley can force winds down the slopes of the Tehachapi and Sierra Nevada mountains, pushing dust up into the air and carrying it north. These systems don't have to be very strong to kick up dust, and it's not unusual to see haze in the Valley from minor dust clouds.
The Valley has gotten some whoppers though, including the monster dust storm of December 1977, which destroyed buildings, buried roadways, broke glass all over Bakersfield, and literally sandblasted cars left outside in estimated top winds of 192 miles per hour. Or the massive dust storm of November 1991 that led to a pileup of more than 100 vehicles on Interstate 5.
In other words, you're not dealing only with some loose dust drifting on the wind - there is the potential for flying debris to pummel buildings. But even if you never experience a massive dust storm, you could still see the effects of constant dust exposure from smaller storms on the building in which you work.
Dust and Sand Can Harm Your Windows
Dust and sand look harmless when they're sitting on the ground. Turn them into projectiles, though, and they can pit glass. In fact, this is a common complaint of coastal dwellers, as beach sand kicked up by winds can pit car windshields, resulting in a spray of tiny dots that contribute to glare when someone drives the car.
Commercial building windows might not have the same glare problems, but they too can suffer that pitting. Over time, the pitting makes the glass look dull and not well taken care of. Another issue is dust being blown into the very corners around the glass, adding to the dingy look.
Cleaning can't really fix this. Someone using a toothbrush to scrape out all of the grime caught in the corners might make the window look a bit better, but the pits will still be there.
Replacing Is the Solution
Eventually, the pitting can become so bad that, even if you can't see or feel the individual pits, you see this dingy, cloudyish hue all over the glass. If your business paints its glass windows for sales and holidays, it can gradually become harder to remove all of the paint as some seeps into those tiny pits.
Replacing the glass is really the only option at this point. You can't sand the glass down.
Luckily, window glass technology has improved substantially. Once the new windows are in, you may see additional benefits like better temperature control and lower utility bills for your business.
Another advantage is that you may be able to get impact-resistant glass, the type used in areas prone to hurricanes. Dust storms are likely to be an increasing problem in the Valley as the climate changes, and impact-resistant glass can prevent a lot - if not all - of that pitting from occurring again.
If you've been thinking that your windows haven't been looking that great lately, even after cleaning, contact All American Glass about replacement. New, clear, un-pitted glass will give your business that cosmetic boost it needs to really draw customers in.