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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Chemicals and Compositional Abrasive Materials for Coated Glass

Low E Glass is usually coated with extremely thin layers of different metallic compounds.   These can be only 40 angstroms deep.  Which is very thin.  Any damage whether mechanical or chemical can be permanent!  In other words once a coated surface has been damaged there is very little chance of bringing it back to like new condition.

Very powerful acids and alkalies should never be used on coated glass.  Even certain organic solvents can be dangerous.  However solvents are usually the safer chemical.  Razor blades and crude abrasives should never be used.  So when coated glass is covered with very thick hard water deposits it could be easily beyond repair.  Very heavy mineral deposits usually require at least a two step process for restoration.  The first step involves grinding.  The second involves polishing.  Glass is easy to grind.  Since it is so thick.  A quarter of an inch thick.  But coatings are measured in billionths of an inch!  Although it is quite possible to develop various polishing techniques that use nano-particle slurrys.  There are also plastic particles of different micron sizes.  These have different hardness and shapes.  So they can be blunt or "sharp".  Whether or not these so called compositional abrasives are capable of doing harm to a coated surface depends on testing.  You would actually have to buy a sample of the coated glass in question and try to damage it.  The same with any "compo-blade" whether that be plastic or carbon based.  And on that note I will leave off.  Because as some of you know one of the hardest materials in the world is based on pure carbon, that being diamond.  Also pencils use graphite which is very soft two dimensional carbon.  Further carbon black particles used in squeegee rubber is even softer.  So we can see from this that carbon based compounds can be extremely hard or very soft depending on how the carbon atoms are arranged.  Alternative particles and or alternative razor blades can be very interesting ideas.

If you have any questions about this post simply send me an email.  henrygroverjr@gmail.com

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Stop Scratching Coated Windows Now !!!


Here is some interesting and VERY important information.  I have just started to write a three part series of articles on Glass Coatings for the American Window Cleaner as a member of the IWCA Glass Committee.  They are being published under the running theme "From the Lab to the Field".  The very first thing that should be addressed by you the window cleaner regarding low e glass coatings is that they can very easily be missed.  Most times you just don't know they are there!  Especially when the windows are covered with either dirt or mineral deposits.  So the very first step should be to clear a test spot and determine whether or not the surface is glass or metal.  Is there a low e coating or not.  Then if there is you should not use anything at all that could scratch.  That can be most any type of abrasive.  Because abrasives that would otherwise not scratch glass surfaces at all could easily scratch a glass coating.  There are so many different coatings out there that they are becoming very difficult to identify.  The AWC articles will address this issue.  Razor blades should never be used on glass coatings.  It is a rather sad revelation also that many window cleaners end up revealing damage to coatings that was done by previous window cleaners.  This also can cost you either a lawsuit or simply a great deal of aggravation.  For this reason it is important to do your best in educating any potential or existing customers.  This is another reason why I am writing these articles/posts.  So you can take this information directly to your customers on your phone or tablet and show it to them.

There are time bombs right now all over the world just begging to be discovered by unaware window cleaners in the form of hidden low e coatings.  Take a real close look at this picture! 



Can you see the black haze on the pyrolytic reflective low e coating?  It shows quite plainly the damage that was done likely by hydrofluoric acid.  There are times when this type of glass coating can be damaged but not show.  Then when HF or a mild abrasive is used a second time to remove stains that have formed again the reflective coating is quickly stripped off. So you wouldn't have a clue before any "visible" damage was done.  This is why it is critically important to first determine if the window has a low e coating and then have it in a legal waiver/disclosure. 

Here  is another very interesting problem that could result in a very expensive lawsuit.  You might use a rather crude abrasive hard water stain remover compound on a reflective hardcoat that did what you thought was a great job.  No scratches could be seen.  All the stains were removed.  If used on plain glass it would not cause any damage.  But glass coatings are another animal altogether.  Once you are done and get paid two years go by.  The hard water spots reform.  Especially because you might have decided not to seal.  It becomes necessary to remove the stains again.  The decision maker however decides to save money and have a quick acid wash done.  The demonstration shows no damage to the glass.  Just a bright clean window at one fifth the cost.  So it is done.  Still looks great from the outside.  Even on a bright sunny day.  BUT.  When the windows are viewed from the inside looking out there are zillions of scratches all over every window!  Now after two years later you get a call.  After all.  It appears that you left the scratches.  And you did.  You didn't use the acid which magnified those scratches fifty times over making them highly visible from the inside looking out.  No you didn't do that.  But try to explain all of this to someone that has no clue what actually happened.  It won't be any easier in court.  Further at best, even if you could explain it, you would likely end up sharing the financial responsibility with the other window cleaner that acid washed the building.

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Written by Henry Grover Jr.
henrygroverjr@gmail.com

Saturday, April 14, 2018

My AWC, WCM, and EClean Articles;...Help Make Them Interactive!

I started writing for the AWC, WCM, and the EClean about a year ago.  All of the articles that are being published in all of these magazines are of the highest quality.  They are just totally fantastic!  The writers are very good.  So I am very honored to have been invited to write for all three of these mags.  The article I have just written for the AWC recently is on Glass Coatings.  It is yet to be published.  At least at the time of this writing.  Reader beware.  This is going to be a very in depth three part series that will leave you with your mouth hanging open.  I will not hold anything back!  For example.  Check out this picture.  It shows a first surface reflective pyrolytic coating that was likely destroyed by hydrofluoric acid.  The actual visible damage might not have been done initially.  Then later it became the burden of an unwitting window cleaner.  These land mines are all over the world!  Want to know more?




Further I am going to change the style of my writing somewhat.  In a way that I think should be very interesting to everyone.  I want to invite all of you in.  Tell me stories.  Good and bad.  I want to know your experiences.  I want to know what you think.  So I will be telling everyone ahead of time about what my articles will be about so you can contribute.  I will let you know through this blog, which is referenced on Robinsons Solutions blog.  Also the WCR Forum.  And the Glass Smart Facebook Group.  Please, please, please send me pictures.  The owners of these magazines love pictures.  If any are used we can give each an attribution.  I can also post your pictures on the Glass Smart Product Review blog, and the Glass Smart Facebook Group.  So come join the noise.

My email is henrygroverjr@gmail.com

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Making Gobs of Money with a Water Fed Pole !!!

The easiest way to do this is to find a way to increase your speed.  It really is all about speed.  Pole up.  Pole down.  Job done.  A repeat commercial or residential exterior only route is the way to go.  WFP speed is dependent on how fast you can get on and off each and every window.  This is dependent in part on whether the glass is hydrophobic or hydrophylic.  Does it bead water or film over such that the rinse actually slowly drains off.  No drops means no spots.  Hydrophobic glass leaves spots.  Which are sometimes silica spots.  Over time they build up until they can just barely be seen in the direct sun.  But what also happens is the glass will become more and more hydrophobic.  The really big question, that window cleaners have been desperately trying to answer, is how do we get the hydrophylic effect;...every time?  Because if this were possible it would dramatically increase the speed and the profit margin.  Now it is true that having the right DI/RO system will remove most of the dissolved solids.  But not necessarily the silicas.  But this still takes more time than just a single scrub/rinse/walk.  Remember speed.  The cost of the equipment is really not that much when you consider how much money you can make with it.  But imagine if you could somehow actually change how your water reacted with the glass.  If it sheeted over instead of beaded up.  Without a DI/RO system.  Or even with such a system!  Is there some way that we could add a device to a filtration system that would diminish the cohesive force of water such that the surface tension of the water would be reduced enough to attain the hydrophylic effect?  Now this can be done with superwetting synthetic detergents.  I have done it.  I can even sheet a window that has been treated with Rain X.  You can't get any more hydrophobic than that.  Also it doesn't take much of the superwetter to do it.  Probably only five or ten percent of the Dawn that you would put in your bucket.  But what if, yes what if you could accomplish the same thing WITHOUT any chemicals?  That is what one company claims they have done.  Is this actually possible?  Is it possible to break the hydrogen bonds of water molecules without chemicals?  Or is this just a total farce?  Is it a lie?  When I first heard about this I was very skeptical.  Then I began thinking.  Well I know that Jehovah my God has already done this on this beautiful Earth.  It happens every day all the time as a part of the natural design.  Have you ever wondered why rivers never freeze up solid even at very low temps?  Water freezes because of hydrogen bonding.  Fact.  Not a theory.  When water is moving and the molecules are in a turbulent state the bonding of each one to the other is much more limited.  So the dynamic inertia of the water molecules is greater than the cohesive force of water.  Even when water drips down into a bucket at 20 to 25 degrees it leaves long shards of ice around the edge.  But where the water drops fall at the center, the water is still in liquid form.  Heat is actually another form of inertia.  You could say it is the collective inertia of all the water.  When the temperature of ice reaches 32 degrees it will thaw.  No chemicals needed.  Also as the temperature of the water goes up the cohesive force is diminished even more, and the surface tension is hence reduced.  Low TDS water does not necessarily have low surface tension.  Soap will work better with it.  But it will bead up on hydrophobic glass just the same.  Would you like a real simple test for determining the surface tension of water?  Here it is.


Now there is a device called Tech7 that is currently being sold to the WFP window cleaning market which supposedly lowers the surface tension of water.  It also has a filter that removes dissolved solids at the same time.  There aren't any pellets or a membrane.  The Hydronix CB-25-1005 filter from Chino Hills CA is really not that special.  The link for the filter that Tech7 uses is http://www.hydronixwater.com/  

Here is a video I pulled up made by Hydronix.


Also here is the Facebook page for Tech7.


I have received a single filter unit with the "activation chamber" just the other day.  My intention is to test it out.  Especially on a hydrophobic window.  To see if it is indeed able to reduce the surface tension of water without any chemicals as is the claim.  I will be writing about the results in the Glass Smart Mirror.  This is my final online subscription newsletter that I just started producing once a month.  It is sent by email and billed by email also.  Using PayPal.  The cost is 15 dollars per issue.  To inquire about the Mirror just send an email to henrygroverjr@gmail.com

Written by Henry Grover Jr.
henrygroverjr@gmail.com

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Glass Smart Lab

I have begun to rebuild what I had 23 years ago. Downstairs around my pellet stove. I had every acid, alkalies, solvents, superabrasive powders, many commercial products, and glass taken from buildings around the country. I even had glass taken from the World Trade Center before it was destroyed. Hundreds of glass squares were wasted and taken to the dump. This was where I learned everything I know. There and in the field. If you are just experimenting in the field you are limited. Cuz you can’t waste the glass. Simple. But if you buy a small mirror plate for five bux you can do anything you want to it. This is advanced testing. Marc Tanner started doing this kind of testing years ago. He works with Starfire glass. I prefer mirrors. Just personal choice. I will never forget meeting this man down in PA once. He was also testing this way. It was through him that I learned how HF causes orange peal and banding. Stage two dynamic surface etching. I get excited as I write this. Real excited. Those were the days. The early IWCA conventions. My affiliation with the big names in our industry. Never would change any of it. Now I am back working with manufacturers. The lab is going back up. Already I am learning things I didn’t know. Such as how to create glass surfaces that scratch with incredible ease. And use these surfaces to test various commercial coatings for scratch resistance. Which is the subject of the April issue of my final newsletter series, “The Glass Smart Mirror”. The lab will be where I do most of my videography. I am working on a video series called, “Breaking Glass”. My focus will be the Glass Smart Mirror. This is going to be the ONLY way that I will make any money from all of this.  It will be sent and billed by email using PayPal. Journalism has always been my greatest love along with doing the research and making new friends.

So come go with me friends!

Written by Henry Grover Jr.
henrygroverjr@gmail.com

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Explosive Profits With Nanovations NG1010






Nanovations Pty Ltd is a manufacturer of innovative product solutions.  It was founded by a group of  entrepreneurs in early 2000 and became one of the pioneers in commercializing Nanotechnology and advanced products in Australia. They claim they were the first company in Australia manufacturing and implementing Nano-scale glass coating technology. The first large scale building applications were done in 2004.  Again it is claimed that these coatings still work well and have never required a reapplication for the last ten years.

https://vimeo.com/261834739

In 2006, the research in ultrathin coatings and the manufacturing of such was combined under the new brand Nanovations. The first high rise building in the world was coated shortly after, in Sydney, Australia.
In 2012 Nanovations introduced the next generation of automotive windscreen treatment which offers advantages over competing products, with better performance and functionality on today’s markets.  This product is formulated with an inorganic sol-gel technology.  They are currently exporting more than 95% of their products to more than 40 countries.
Again Nanovations Pty Ltd claims they are the only manufacturer of inorganic Nano scale glass coating technology in Australia. Nanovations has expanded into the USA through Nanovations USA located in Florida.  The contact information for this company is listed at the bottom of this post.  Click on this next vimeo link for the very latest video of Marc Tanner applying the NG1010 to a window.

https://vimeo.com/256660706

Consider this interesting piece of information.  The  SOCAR TOWER in Baku, Azerbaijan (check out the picture below)  was designed by the world leader in design, production, and installation of architectural envelopes and curtain walls, the Permasteelisa Group. Here is the link to their company. 

http://www.permasteelisagroup.com/ 

Further, Nanovations NG 1010 was chosen after extensive evaluation by glass laboratories in Europe, which indicated superior performance of this technology.  When you’re spending 200 plus million on a structure with a glass fa├žade, properly treating the glass surface is vital.  None of us would deny that!  Incidentally, the Permasteelisa Group was the engineering firm responsible for the curtain wall of the new APPLE Campus in California.  Both the SOCAR Tower and the Apple Campus would be of interest to all window cleaning companies.
When looking at the Nanovations coating technology the engineers likely were looking at ease of application, cost, stain resistance, coverage rates, scratch resistance, coating hardness, abrasion resistance, UV resistance (longevity), nanoscale thickness, and how easy it is to clean/maintain.   But.  You be the judge.  Just call them up and ask for a sample.  Then apply it to one of your accounts.  Show your customer what it will do.  I will be developing a line of very short videos demonstrating products like this.  These videos will come in handy when you want to pull out your phone and show a potential customer real fast what your company can offer.  They will help you make sales and dramatically increase your profit.  The Nanovations coatings such as their NG 1010 can explode your profits.  If you just simply get involved! Be a beta tester and tell other people through the social media we have available.  The WCR Forum and all the Facebook Groups.


Socar Tower
Image result for new apple campus

                                                        Apple Campus



                             Apple Campus

Image result for new apple campus

Apple Campus


John W. Mangham Sr.

Search Automotive Technologies, LLC
Nanovations USA

Phone: 561.630.0747 
Fax:  561.630.8448
Cell:  561.707.6456
Skype:  John.Mangham5

Written by Henry Grover Jr.
henrygroverjr@gmail.com

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Dynamic New Way to Market Your Business !!!

If you would like to receive these posts directly in your inbox just type your address in the box at the top right, "Follow by Email".  You need to get this information as soon as it is available because it will change the way you do business and instantly increase your profits that day you receive it.  If of course you put it into practice.  When you do put it into practice you will have learned "A Dynamic New Way to Market Your Business".

The running theme title I have for the American Window Cleaner is "From the Lab to the Field".  The focus of this theme is the scientific study and application of information gained in the lab to field activities.  A case in point would be the study of how water and temperature affects the molecular species of soda lime glass surfaces.  Also how this chemical change affects how easily glass surfaces can become scratched.  It also affects how easily point indent fractures develop.  I call these PIFs.  Every scratch begins with a PIF.  To apply this to the field we need to look at the conditions of humidity in the field.  Windows in a very hot wet environment can easily become prone to scratches.  Also scratched glass can crack.  So the structural integrity of windows can be seriously flawed if for no other reason just because of the condition of the surface!  That is REALLY big news.  This IS application.  Although it still IS quite boring to most people!  Are you dumbfounded and surprised that I just said that?  Well the simple truth is that it is.  And to further prove it what do you think you will get if you were to show people the illustrations depicted here?  

Image result for point indent fracture

Now to turn this around we need to first look at the conditions in the field.  From the field to the lab so to speak.  I remember one case where I was shown a foggy appearance at the bottom edge of the outside of several windows on a house.  It could not be wiped off but was permanent.  The woman also said that all of the windows would fog up in the early morning.  This could be wiped off.  It was condensation.  This woman obviously had too much time on her hands.  All she did all day was look out the windows.  But nonetheless I still had to figure it out because I was being paid to do that.  The key to figuring it out was that the windows were "acid washed" with hydrofluoric acid.  To prove that the acid caused the effect I needed to make application "in the lab".  Of course I didn't have a lab.  But I did have a kitchen loaded with about 2500 chemicals and abrasives.  Also I could buy a brand new sheet of glass and expose it to HF in different ways.  In short I had to find out if I could duplicate the conditions I found in the field, but in the "lab".  Which I could and did do.  This was the first time that I learned how HF will change the surface of glass in such a way as to make it very hydrophylic, and actually attract condensation.  It happens almost instantly.  This is why some window cleaners using water fed poles will first apply a product based on a glass etchant, then apply a pure water rinse immediately after.  It makes the glass hydrophylic so that the rinse water drains off much better without leaving any spots.  It was also the first time I was able to duplicate a stage one and two static etch.  In other words a "vapor etch" where the acid rises as a vapor reacting with the glass and leaving the reaction byproducts on the surface as a white haze.  So you guys who have have been talking about how HF reacts with the tin side of glass, should at least consider that your individual case study might not be the result of this phenom. But didn't I say at the beginning of this paragraph that we were going to turns things around?  What I meant was when we learn how to do things as we have just discussed we should then show them to our potential customer.  I mean quite bluntly we need to stick them in their face.  That means we must etch a plate of glass right in front of them.  We need to show them how we can "scratch proof" a mirror.  We need to show them how the wrong solvents will break a piece of plexi in two in only thirty seconds.  These kind of demos are great for contractors who care about this stuff.  And when you do these things, watch their face.  When you see the smile you will have accomplished your purpose.  This works even when you are just cleaning glass.  Never leave a potential customer without cleaning their most dirty window in and out. Then watch for the reaction.  If they like what they see, you stand a much better chance of getting the job.  

Friends I don't have an atomic force microscope, or a scanning electron microscope.  I don't even have a high power light microscope.  I am definitely NOT a chemist.  Just one very crazy but curious old window cleaner who has learned to look at problems in a different way.  Knowledge of the devices used for testing and monitoring relative humidity, or determining the coefficient of friction are fantastic.  They have given us a great deal of insight.  I will forever applaud the IWCA Glass Committee for their research with Penn State.  But we need to make application of this knowledge in the field for it to change our businesses and change our lives.  To do this we absolutely must demonstrate what we know.  And by doing this, only then will we have learned a dynamic new way to market our business.  Come go with me friends.   

Written by Henry Grover Jr.
henrygroverjr@gmail.com

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

WindOCoat Protection against Scratches

Imagine a product that can be applied to windows BEFORE the construction begins.  The glass is first cleaned, then the liquid product is brushed, rolled, or sprayed on.  In a short time it dries to a film.  Now concrete, silicone caulk, stucco, paint, stain, etc. can get on the window.  When it comes time to clean the window all you simply do is peal off the film in one sheet taking with it all construction debris.  The window is now totally clean.  No need to reclean it because it is clean.  Well this product already exists.  And it is called WindOCoat.


Image result for windocoat                                    Image result for windocoat

If you are interested in trying out a sample just use this contact information below and always use the code GlassSmart618 to get a free sample.  Although there will be a small charge for shipping.

General Chemical
12336 Emerson Drive
Brighton, MI 48116
855-475-5600
sales@generalchem.com
Code for Free Samples GlassSmart618

Once you have tested this Flagship Product I just ask that you write about it on every social media platform for the window cleaning industry and draw attention to my blog where there will be more useful info published on a regular basis about this product and many others.  Along with a great deal of information regarding Glass Surface Maintenance And Restoration Technology.

To receive these posts in your inbox just type your email address in the box to the upper right here, "Follow by Email".

Also if you would like to sign up to be a beta tester just send your full name, business name, shipping address, email, and phone number to my email.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.
henrygroverjr@gmail.com

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Selling the ECloth to your Customers

Micro-Fiber Cloths are made from a blend of 100% polyester or polyester and polyamide (nylon).  The highest quality products are woven.  The very highest quality fabrics used for cleaning have a split fiber as depicted here.  It is split during manufacturing resulting in multi-stranded fibers. The split fibers actually grab the dirt and absorb liquids. There is no lint left behind like what happens with paper towels.  Again the split fiber is critical to the efficacy of the product.  Those micro-fiber products that do not have split fibers might be very inexpensive but they will not be anywhere near as effective. 




Most manufacturers will not mention that their product uses a split fiber.  To know whether it is or not just run it across the bottom of your hand.  If it is a high quality product it will catch your skin.  Another way is to wet a surface with a little puddle of water and try to push it with the cloth.  If it is micro-fiber the water will be absorbed.  If not you will simply move the water.

How the E-Cloth Works This is a video link


This is another video      


The ECloth Micro-Fiber is a high quality product with a dual polymer split fiber for cleaning glass.  It uses both polyester and polyamide.  Imagine micro-fiber on steroids.  Very smooth so as to maintain total flatness. This is necessary for glass.  Not so much other surfaces.  The glass cleaning cloth is a killer for mirrors and car glass.  I think it even sucks up water better than cotton towels.  Also for inside WFP work it should be a wonder product.  But you will want to buy one to try it out.  Just click on the link here in this post.  The company has an entire range of different products that can be used on other surfaces. You can purchase the glass cleaning cloths in bulk at a reduced cost and actually make a profit off your advertising.  Just load them in ziplock bags.  Then put your business contact info on the outside.  The contact link is  ECloth for Glass Cleaning Always remember your customers have customers.  And your customers will talk.  This is a great product for storefront accounts.  They will be able to use it to touch up their front doors, cooler doors, display cases, glass countertops, mirrors, and anything else made of glass.  The ziplock bag will be your business card that will be on display to everyone that uses the ECloth.  Whether it be a commercial account or a residential customer.  As for the product you should resell it since it will actually save your customers money.  They won't have to buy any more window cleaner.  It is totally green.  And will help to keep the glass perfectly streak free in between your visits. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Scratch Protection;...Breaking News!

There are so many myths surrounding this subject.  It seams like every sealant/glass coating manufacturer claims their product resists scratches.  Well guys;....I have just done it with Dawn!  So maybe they are right.  Time will tell.  It is an easy test.  I will tell you the story.

All you need to do for the test is take a simple plate of glass vertical or horizontal.  It doesn't matter.  Then polish it with a three to five micron compound.  I used my product SKRUB.  My Betas are quite familiar with this product.  I use a two by two foot mirror that I set flat.  Then I use a random oscillating sander with a felt pad.  Here let me show you a video.



This procedure shows how to convert hydrophobic glass to hydrophylic.  That was its intent.  But it also shows how easy it is to convert a glass surface to one that is VERY prone to scratches.  Since my affiliation with the IWCA Glass Committee I learned that all scratches begin with a PIF.  That is a Point Indent Fracture.  Also that rough glass is much more prone to scratches than smooth.  And that glass which is exposed to high heat/humid conditions, is also much more likely to scratch.  The simple solution is to just coat the glass.  Even if it is with only a one molecule thick film.  But the right one. Chemistry IS important.  The IWCA has also shown this with help from the Penn State Materials Lab.  And one that will last.  I mean just Dawn will work.  Spray a soapy solution in a small circle and buff it in with a paper towel.  That is all you have to do.  But when you soap it hard with an applicator, and squeegee off all the residue, you go right back to a surface that is prone to scratches.  It really is quite fascinating.  If you use a compound with the machine such that the glass sheets water perfectly as shown in the video here, then lightly run a dry fingertip across the surface, you can easily feel the roughness.  It looks crystal clear.  And it is.  But it is really rough.  All that is needed is a spot of soapy water.  I also applied a nano-coat product from another country that creates a hydrophobic surface.  It works really well.  And is supposed to last for two years.  Much longer than any other hydrophobic treatment that I have yet heard of.  This also works very good at protecting against scratches.  If applied correctly of course.  To test these surfaces for scratches I used the point of a small three by three inch glass square.  Glass scratches glass much easier than rocks, or metal.  Do you want to know what this product is so you can use it in your own business?  Than become a Beta Tester!  Just send me by email your full name, business name, email address, shipping address, and phone number.  I only ask that you write all about the results on Social Media.

There are benefits to being a Beta Tester you know.  You get the inside edge on many flagship products that no one else even knows about.  This gives your company the competitive edge over your local competition.  You also will have the opportunity for extra streams of income.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.
henrygroverjr@gmail.com

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Destructive Power of Hard Water Spots

Hard Water Spots begin invisibly.  You just simply cannot see them.  However you can bring them into view when you fog the clean glass with your breath.  Fogging the glass will also tell you if you have completely removed all of the mineral deposits by polishing with a superabrasive.  The fog will not reveal anything.



Now as time passes the spots will become heavier.  Then they will become visible in the direct sunlight.  As more time passes they will become much easier to see.  Even on cloudy days.  Then they will become heavier and heavier until they are like braille.  If they were removed when they first showed up, and the glass was sealed with a quality sealant, the windows could be effectively maintained at a reasonable cost.  But if allowed to get really thick extreme measures will be needed to "restore" the windows to original clarity.

  

Each new spot usually forms directly on top of the previous spot.  This is because dry spots catch water drops.  Which drops will dry in the sunlight.  As water drops dry/evaporate the minerals become more concentrated.  All drops dry from the middle out.  Such that the outer edge becomes loaded with mineral deposits.  The outermost region of each spot has the most minerals.  This is also the part of the drop that attains the highest pH just before all of the water evaporates. It is the area where a dynamic stage two etch is most likely to happen.  Owing to the very high pH.  This can actually be seen sometimes as a clear distortion of the glass when it has been polished.  The clear distortions will take on the exact shape of each spot.  This is not theory.  I have proven it on a piece of dark glass.  Dark tinted glass is more easily etched by hard water.  It is also the most difficult to restore.  Transparent glass is easier to clear.  Then low e windows that have been coated on the first surface/weather surface are the easiest to restore.  Low e coatings can be damaged also by hard water spots.  These coatings are very thin.  So the mineral deposits can literally eat right through them.



The bottom line here is to only hire a window cleaning company that is Glass Smart.  They must be spot wise.  Hard water spots can come from the garden hose, sprinkler systems, concrete, brickwork, exterior stucco, and more.  Once they begin your window cleaner should recognize them.  They should be immediately removed and the glass sealed.  Then the windows should be cleaned again in six months.  The sealant should be checked and any new spots should be removed.  At this point it will be much easier to remove new spots and rejuvenate the sealant.

Hard Water Spots can be quite destructive.  If allowed to build up to a thick scale the cost to renew or restore the glass to the original clarity can cost as much as one quarter the cost of replacement.  Not to mention the cost of restoring any anodized aluminum frames.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.
henrygroverjr@gmail.com

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Testing Sealants Against Alkali Attack

If you charge someone tens of thousands of dollars to remove hard water spots/stains from their windows you better be able to guarantee your work.  Because no one is going to want to spend even close to that kind of money every six months just to have clean windows.  We on the other hand don't want to spend a great amount of time just to keep them clean.  The best way to do this is to seal the glass surface.  But seal it with a product that will stand up to the ravages of the high pH of hard water drops.  We want the absolute best.  But how do we know which product IS the best!

pH resistance is not determined by whether the sealant is hydrophobic or hydrophylic.  It is true however that a water drop will attain its highest pH during the last few seconds before it completely evaporates.  This is because the water in the drop attains the greatest concentration of mineral salts around the outer edge of the water drop.  Just before the drop poofs away it becomes a water ring.  This is the reason the water spot is more of a spot ring.  If you study these pictures of different water spots you will see clearly what I mean.  The middle is a dry basin with very little mineral deposits.  When polishing the windows the most difficult part of the spot to remove is where the greatest concentration of minerals are.  That being the outer edge of the spot rings.  So a hydrophobic surface will encourage the formation of water spots.  Whereas a hydrophylic sealant will not.  It will cause the minerals to spread out evenly making it more easy to remove.  However if the hydrophobic sealant is much more resistant to pH attack then that would be the better sealant to use.  But if the hydrophylic sealant is even just close to being as resistant to pH attack, then that would be the better choice.



The best way to find the best sealant/product whether it be hydrophobic or hydrophylic is to put several of them to the test on the same plate of glass over the same amount of time.  So clear the window with a polishing system.  The bare glass should sheet over.  Glass is naturally hydrophylic.  It is only hydrophobic if it is contaminated with hydrocarbon or other hydrophobic residue.  Next tape off a number of squares.  Then apply the different products, one per square.  Wait six months and try to remove the newly formed mineral deposits/spots.  First with an applicator and squeegee.  Then with more aggressive methods such as 0000 steel wool.

Another way to test for the best sealant is to polish a brand new plate of glass.  This will make the glass totally hydrophylic.  It takes about 30 seconds per square foot.



Then seal the entire plate with a hydrophobic sealant.  After this apply a few splotches of fresh concrete.  It only takes a couple days for the concrete to harden.  During this time the pH of the concrete reaches 9 to 9.5.  Which is very high.  It will literally eat right through most sealants.  Next push off the concrete then run tap water over the glass.  If the concrete has eaten through the sealant you will see the water sheet over the glass only where the concrete was.  If not you will have discovered a high quality sealant that is resistant to alkali attack.  Test out the other sealants in the same way.  When you find the best hydrophobic sealant all you need to do is test it against whatever hydrophylic sealant you might have.  To do this just follow the instructions given for the first experiment.  Give it a good six months.  The maintenance cycle will depend on how big the building is.  Also how intense the stains are.  

These tests will give you the ability to offer a guarantee.  You will know exactly how much time it will take to remove the stains, and how much time it will take to keep them off.  The tests will also tell you exactly which sealant you want to use.  Although it still must be factored in I wouldn't care too much about the expense of the polishing compound or the sealant.  The greatest expense will be in the time.  Time is everything to us.  The time will determine the cost.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

DIY Self Cleaning Products

Window Cleaning Companies can now get into the technology of applying self cleaning coatings to window glass.  This is fast becoming a specialty line of work that only the Window Cleaner is truly qualified to take on.  It is another service that can substantially increase your bottom line.  The chemistry and technology exists right now.  If you chose to not get involved you will miss out.  Lets check out the technology of making glass dirt resistant and hence "self cleaning".  We will also look at some eye opening videos that demontrate what is now being done.

Self cleaning glass is either hydrophylic or even hydrophobic.  Most of us are familiar with the former which is coated in the factory with a titanium dioxide chemistry.  This type of coating is water loving.  Pure water drops should spread out and not bead up.  The idea is that first there should be no spots if there are no drops.  The rain should hit the glass, spread out, and "drain off".  TiO2 is supposed to also be photocatalytic.  Which means the energy of the Suns UVC transfers to the dirt by means of the TiO2 surface causing the particles to break up and dissolve in the rain.  Then as the rain drains off the glass it carries the dissolved dirt with it.  Self cleaning coatings based on TiO2 are usually applied in the factory by a vacuum sputtering process.  We could not duplicate such a process in the field on old glass.  However there are now DIY products that can be applied in the field.  Check out some of these educational videos.










This product comes from Denmark and is obviously also based on a TiO2 chemistry.  If I were to apply it for testing I would first polish the glass with a cerium or optical silica compound so as to remove all hydrocarbon residue.  Which tend to make glass hydrophobic.  Then I would apply Shine On and wait to see if it really does photocatalytically remove all dirt and hydrocarbons that would cause the surface to become hydrophobic.  This would be a very effective test to see if these coatings really do work.  I would also do a side by side test on the same plate of glass.


The other selfcleaning coating is water hating.  It is designed to purposely cause water to bead up.  This effect is intended to cause the water drops to "roll off" the window when rain hits it.  The more hydrophobic it is the better it works.  The best example in nature of a hydrophobic surface is the lotus leaf.  This is actually a superhydrophobic surface.  The water drops hardly make any contact with the surface.  So much so that a superhydrophobic surface is considered a totally different animal, although the effect is very similar to a hydrophobic surface.  This type of surface is self cleaning in that the water drops actually pick up dirt as they roll down the window.  This acitivity can be easily demonstrated.  I have included a link to a couple videos showing that here.











Although again I should interject the question, does it really work in the field.  I have done things on glass in my basement that I could not duplicate in the field.  So I am always in question of what people create.  Even when a product does work in the field I always ask questions.  Like how well does it work?  Or does it really work better than another product that I can buy off the shelf?  I get it that education is necessary before someone can correctly apply products.  I would never put a squeegee in the hands of a homeowner expecting even adequate results.  But why make out like your product is better than everyone else's and demand a premium price just to get in?  You know pay to pay.

So lets put these different products and coatings to the test.  Then when we know the results we can speak confidently from experience to our customers and they will believe us.  We will believe us.  So lets start by setting up the first experiment.  Because our work as Window Cleaners is absolutely changing my friends.  We are cleaning surfaces that are not glass surfaces anymore.  We also are being given the ability to alter glass surfaces ourselves.  Products are coming onto the market that allow us to transform window glass.  We can make it selfcleaning by adding a tatanium dioxide hydrophylic coating.  Or make it selfcleaning by adding a superhydrophobic coating.

Keep up with this technology by staying in touch through this blog.  To receive every post as it is written just type your address in the box at the top right, "Follow by Email".

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

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henrygroverjr@gmail.com