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Posted by on 9:16 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’ve ever thrown a ball through a home window as a child, you’re probably aware of the danger that shards of glass present. Typical windows often break into dozens of these sharp, dangerous pieces that make cleaning up after an accident difficult. If you’ve experienced this, you might expect that auto accidents would result in a literal explosion of sharp projectiles lacerating everything in the area. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. That’s because auto glass is made out of laminated safety glass. To understand why this is such an important safety feature in modern automobiles, you need to have a basic understanding how this glass is made. Manufacturing Traditional Glass Glass, as you may or may not know, is made from liquid sand. Even on a hot summer’s day, you’ve probably never encountered liquid sand in your life’s adventures. That’s because the melting point for every type of substance is different–and sand’s melting point is approximately 3900 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, this melting point is reduced when sand is mixed with sodium carbonate. However, this also causes the resulting glass to dissolve in water–a useless material to be sure. To combat this, limestone is added to the mixture as well. When this mixture is cooled, the result is the typical glass that you use every day. Drawbacks to Traditional Glass This basic type of glass is well suited to protect homes from the elements while allowing for a beautiful view. It’s also great for the dinner table. Where it lacks is in it’s durability. Traditional glass is very brittle, and will often break when it encounters even a slow-moving projectile. This is made worse when exposed to the typical speeds encountered when operating a motor vehicle. Often, when dealing with traffic and motorways, cars moving in excess of 50 miles per hour or more encounter objects moving in the opposite direction at a similarly high speed. That’s why even a small pebble can cause major damage to your car. Tempered Glass As glass became more and more widespread in it’s use, scientists began playing with additives to change the properties of the finished product. For example, when lead is added to glass, it often tends to sparkle. Through experimentation, glass became a product that was suitable for a wider variety of uses than just home windows. Eventually, scientists began experimenting with the heating and cooling process as well. This led to the discovery of tempered glass, which is rapidly heated and cooled–making it 4 to 5 times tougher than typical glass. It also breaks into smooth round pebbles, making it ideal for constructing the side windows in your automobile. Laminated Safety Glass However, even small, round pebbles can cause severe damage if they strike your face at high velocities. That means even tempered glass isn’t ideal for the front windshield of your car. For windshields, glass that doesn’t shatter at all is required. Laminated safety glass is made by bonding two sheets of glass together with a heated plastic adhesive. When this process is repeated with multiple layers of glass, the result is an extremely durable product. More importantly, the addition of the plastic sheets prevents the glass from shattering into the jagged shards that you might expect from a typical glass window. Instead, the windshield will hold shape–even...

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Posted by on 11:03 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The charm of an old-fashioned wooden window can add a lot of warmth to a home. However, as with a lot of things in older homes, wooden windows can present some significant challenges for homeowners. One of the trickiest repairs to make on an old window is replacing broken glass panes. In some cases, buying a new window may make the most sense depending on the age and condition of the old window. However, it is definitely possible to replace broken glass yourself; it takes patience and using the right tools and materials to be successful, but the end result is often worth the effort. Below is how you do it: Tools and materials you will need Replacement glass pane – replacement glass panes are available, cut to size, from a local glass repair or supply store. Window glazing putty – a quality, brand-name, linseed oil putty works well and can be purchased from home improvement and hardware stores. Putty knife – use a plastic blade knife for working the putty into the edges. Glazing points – these small, metal pins push into the sash and hold the glass pane in place; they are also available at home improvement and hardware stores. Measuring tape Flathead screwdriver Thin chisel Adjustable pliers Needle-nose pliers Compressed air Masking tape Cut-resistant gloves Safety glasses How to replace the glass 1. Remove the broken shards of glass – wearing your eye protection and cut-resistant gloves, use pliers to pull out pieces of broken glass from the sash grooves. Use your screwdriver to pry loose stubborn pieces, but be careful not to crack or gouge the wood or shatter neighboring panes of glass. 2. Clean out the grooves – once the glass shards are removed, scrape out the inside of the groove with a thin chisel. Pull out any old glazing points with your needle-nose pliers so the interior surface is smooth and clean. Use a blast or two of compressed air to remove fine particles of glass, but be sure that you continue to wear eye protection to prevent getting small pieces of glass in your eyes. 3. Measure from groove-to-groove – you will need to take precise measurements of the distance between grooves on both the vertical and horizontal dimension. Subtract one-eighth of an inch from both dimensions, and provide these reduced dimensions to the glass supplier for use in cutting the new pane. 4. Apply putty to the sash – after your new pane is cut, lay the sash flat on a well-lit workbench or other flat, firm surface. Make sure that the sash is lying so the rabbet, the thin strip of wood that supports the glass, is on the backside. Take a small ball of glazing putty from the can and work it with your bare fingers until it is evenly mixed with the oil. Roll the putty in your hands to form a long “rope” about one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter. Push the putty rope into the groove all the way around the interior of the sash; use more putty if your rope isn’t long enough. 5. Seat the glass pane – once you have placed your putty rope, lay the glass pane on top of the rope and gently push it down so it sits firmly in...

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Posted by on 9:58 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Of your five senses, your sense of smell is probably the most powerful. Your nose is more sensitive than either your eyes or your ears. That may be why your sense of smell is connected to your memory. Your sense of smell can come in handy when it comes to detecting problems with appliances – like your heater – in your home. Your nose is able to pick up on problems that aren’t visible and that can’t be seen, and because smell is connected to memory, you’ll probably be able to make the connection between the smell and the problem after you’ve experienced it once. Here are some common smells that you might detect from your heater, and what those smells mean in terms of heater repair. Rotten Eggs Smell If you have a gas heater, you should be on the alert if you turn it on and detect the smell of rotten eggs. This is sulfur, and if you’re smelling it, it means that somewhere in your heating system, the gas is leaking. As a matter of fact, that smell exists specifically to warn you that you have a gas leak somewhere. Natural gas is actually odorless – the sulfur smell is a chemical called mercaptan that is added in order to let you know there’s a problem before you succumb to the effects of the gas. If you smell rotten eggs while running a gas heater, don’t wait around or try to locate the source of the leak. Even turning a light on or off or using the telephone could be dangerous in a house where gas is leaking. Leave the house immediately, then call the gas company for help. Burning Smell Usually, homeowners encounter a burning smell shortly after turning the heater on for the first time in the fall or winter. Sometimes you can smell it immediately, but in other cases you may begin smelling it only after the heater has been on for a few hours or even a few days. There is good news about this smell – most of the time it only means that your heater is dusty after sitting around unused for several months. The burning smell may not be the most pleasant odor to put up with, but if you can grin and bear it for around 45 minutes, it usually goes away on its own as the dust burns off. However, if the smell persists, it may be a sign that some of the insulating material inside of the heating ducts has come loose. While this is not usually a fire hazard, because insulation is fire retardant, you might still want to have it removed in order to get rid of the smell. Fishy Smell A fishy smell might occur when you first turn your heater on, or it could come out of nowhere after you’ve been running your heater without incident for a while. This is one of the more difficult smells to pin down, because it has several possible sources. It could be that a mouse or other small animal has crawled into your heating ducts and died. Some homeowners report that a decaying pest produces a fishy smell as it goes through your air vents. Having your ducts cleaned out can eliminate this problem. However,...

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