Your storefront glass says a lot about your business. After all, customers see your glass before they see your products, staff, and services. So, when you have storefront door damage or your storefront glass breaks, you’ll want to fix it as soon as possible. Not only because of first impressions but also because broken glass can hurt your employees and customers.
Repairing or replacing storefront glass windows and doors is a job for specialists; it’s not a project you, or your untrained staff, should attempt.
What To Do When Your Glass Storefront Has Been Damaged
Here’s what to do when you discover broken storefront glass: Call RCI Doors™ right away to safely board up your opening until new glass can be safely installed.
1. Ensure Safety
Whether it’s inside or outside your business, broken glass can injure people, damage property, and allow unlawful access to your business. So when glass shatters or cracks, set up barriers, immediately, to keep customers, staff, and vehicles away and out of danger.
If the glass is only cracked, don’t try to tape or board up the pane. That could cause unnecessary injuries and further damage to the window.
2. Look for the Cause
Window specialists like the staff at RCI Doors™ can fix storefront glass no matter what caused the damage. But you still want to know how the glass shattered or cracked. Knowing the cause influences your next steps:
- If high winds, a falling tree, or extreme temperature fluctuations broke the window or door glass, your property insurance coverage may pay for the repairs. Contact your insurer to start a claim. You may need to take pictures of the damage. If you have a local agent, he or she may come see the damage in person.
- If an accident — or intentional vandalism — caused the damage, call law enforcement before calling insurance. While your policy may still cover the damage, the police will need to open an investigation and file a report.
3. Clean Up and Prioritize Safety
When the police and your insurance company say it’s OK, you can start cleaning up the area. Keep all dangerous areas roped off while you clean up the broken glass. Wear gloves and other protective gear while handling broken glass.
If you see additional damage to your door and window framing, more glass could break. Keep everyone away from the area. If you have a lot of foot traffic in or near your business, assign a staff member to make sure customers don’t cross safety barriers.
What Causes Storefront Windows and Doors to Shatter?
Usually, the direct cause of a broken window or door pane will be obvious, especially if bad weather, vandals, or a collision caused the damage.
But, sometimes, the obvious cause isn’t the only cause. Sometimes, improper installation, age, or existing damage you’ve never noticed contributes to the problem by making your windows more vulnerable.
Other times, someone installed glass that’s not suited for a commercial storefront. Frequently, lack of proper maintenance can also make windows and doors more susceptible to damage.
That’s why a lot of business owners call commercial window and door contractors to assess their store’s glass, framing, and installation before the glass breaks. RCI Doors™ offers this kind of regular maintenance that can extend the life of commercial windows and doors.
With maintenance in mind, we’d like to offer some answers to frequently asked questions about protecting storefront doors and windows.
Common Questions When Considering Storefront Glass Repair and Replacement
How Long Do Storefront Windows Last?
When properly installed by qualified professionals, storefront glass windows should last about 15-20 years. Regular maintenance can add additional years to the lifespan of your doors.
How Do I Protect My Storefront Windows?
The right protection for storefront windows depends on your preferences and unique needs. Business owners who have suffered multiple break-ins might want to install bars or grates over their glass. Or, roll-down shutters can protect glass after hours without blocking the glass during business hours. Other businesses prefer to protect the glass itself by installing films, laminates, or glazing shields, all of which can help prevent shattering.
How Do You Protect Glass from Breaking?
Some kinds of glass windows resist shattering. Laminated glass, for example, resists shattering on impact. This kind of glass may be too heavy for your existing window frames, though. It’s best to hire professionals to install the glass properly. Security window film can be applied to existing glass. Films won’t prevent shattering, but they can help limit a shattered window’s damage and mess.
What Coating Makes Glass Unbreakable?
Be wary of salespeople who say their glass can’t shatter. As common sense tells you, glass, by its nature, is breakable. That said, security films and laminates can make glass shatter resistant. Even when this kind of glass breaks, films can hold the glass somewhat stationary, creating a deterrent for thieves and limiting the potential for customers to get hurt on broken glass.
Prevention is the Best Way to Avoid Costly Repairs
If your glass is broken right now, we understand: It’s too late to think about prevention. Instead, it’s time to make sure nobody gets hurt and then call your insurance agent or the police.
But if you’re not already dealing with an emergency, you can take steps to avoid storefront window and door problems in the future.
Start by calling a certified professional window and door company to make sure your glass is installed correctly and adequately sized for your business.
For businesses in Greensboro, Asheboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, and the surrounding areas of North Carolina, RCI Doors™ proudly offers this service.Schedule Commercial Service