protection of the art glass:
i have repaired far too many panels, due to the fact there
was no safety glass installed. art glass is not designed to be
the sole barrier between your interior and the exterior. it is
ornamental artwork and could use some protection.
door panels especially receive abuse each
and every time the door closes, more so when it slams. the door
stops immediately, but the art glass wants to keep going. over
time, the metalwork within the panel weakens, eventually to a
point fatigue causes the glass to loosen or break. safety glass
helps keep the art glass in place during door operation.
safety glass prevents most flying obstacles from hitting and
damaging the art glass from the outside. it also helps save the
glass from breakage when someone pushes on the glass to open or
door, as well as adding a more formable barrier to anyone
thinking they can pop through the art glass to reach in and
unlock your door.
sealing out the environment:
i doubt an art glass panel in an opening by itself can ever seal out
water for the life of the panel. many times, a seal isn't 100% from day one.
water finding it's way onto the panel, will eventually leak in and around the
bottom border channel, anywhere else not 100% sealed correctly, and through
the panel itself, as it's typical that a leaded art glass panel in a door by
itself, will not stay completely sealed to withstand water intrusion forever.
once water reaches the border channel, it can disintegrate over a short period
of time, causing panel fatigue and damage to whatever the panel is mounted in.
art glass panels caulked in by them selves will cost more to
repair, if and when they need it, due to the extra work involved in removing
the damaged panel and the risk of breaking additional pieces during the
removal process. safety glass is far easier to seal into an opening with
an immediate 100% seal. the art glass then needs no caulking to close it into
the opening, thus making it far easier to remove, if needed.
by it's very name,
safety glass offers safety. art glass is weaker than any safety glass and
therefore, offers less resistance to a person falling into the panel. pushing
or falling against art glass protected by safety glass on the outside, may
cause the art glass to break, but it will generally prevent greater personal injury and less damage to the art glass.
safety glass removes the need
to repeatedly clean the exterior side of the art glass. exposed art glass can
be a nightmare to keep clean, due to the entrapment of dirt and debris in and
amongst the lead work. it can take hours to thoroughly
clean an exposed panel, whereas
safety glass is a quick spritz and a wipe.
downsides: i can think of only three downsides to having
safety glass in an installation.
1) standard tempered glass or the more
expensive impact glass does add to the over all cost. just how much depends on
the size and installation requirements. it is almost always less expensive
than a single repair.
2) there will be a
reflective surface on the outside of your installation. while it makes no
visual difference from the inside or at night, some people do find this
an annoyance during the day from the outside.
3) over the years, fogging
may occur in between the art glass and safety glass. however, this is a rare
occurrence. it has been my experience, that fogging occurs primarily when an
attempt has been made to seal in the art glass along with the safety glass,
without allowing the space in between to 'breath'. a small amount of trapped
moisture can then appear as a fog on the glasses.
i feel that these issues do not compare to the protection, safety, and savings
that safety glass will offer in the long run. i can not stress enough, the
importance of adding safety glass to most any exterior exposed art glass