Could You Be Using the Wrong Type of Glass for Your Installation?

15 July 2019
 Categories: Business, Blog


If you're a home builder and have been around for some time, you may have built up a considerable reputation in your field. You know what you're doing, work with a great team of craftsmen or women and always employ the best technique. Still, you may have come across a problem as of late when individual panes of glass shatter without any obvious reason. You'll want to get to the bottom of this of course, as it will undoubtedly be a frightening experience for the owner or resident and create uncertainty that you would much rather avoid. What could be going wrong?

Tracing the Issue

While glass is a very brittle material, it is nevertheless designed to cope with the typical strains of everyday life. Without impact, it should definitely last for years and any spontaneous breakage is a cause for concern. In this case, an incorrect type of glass may have been supplied and this could have led to the failure.

Dealing with Impurities

Sometimes, toughened glass is used, especially in floor-to-ceiling windows or overhead glazing, but this may not be the right approach. Impurities may have remained in the glass after manufacture and nickel sulphide, in particular, can be particularly problematic.

This type of impurity has a different characteristic to the rest of the glass and may expand or contract at a different rate. Consequently, those impurities may be set into a different state when they were treated at the factory and may recover to their original state at a different rate to the remainder of the glass.

In the meantime, the glass may be set into its frame and subject to everyday temperature variation. However, when the impurities in question do return to their initial state, this can cause an unexpected expansion and trigger a failure.

Other Potential Issues

While this is one area to look at, it's also important to ensure that the right category of glass is fitted for the individual location. In other words, the glass needs to be thick enough to resist the prevailing wind and installed correctly to account for contraction and expansion.


As an established home builder, you will always want to maintain a good relationship with a quality building supplier. When you do so, they will help to ensure that you always get the quality building supplies for the situation, which will make your job a lot easier. Talk with your suppliers about an alternative to toughened glass to see if this can fix the issue.