How not to get taken for a ride by cowboys when it comes to glass polishing.
Glass polishing has been around for as long as glass itself. It has relatively recently grown into a new industry treating surface damage on clear flat glass (such as windows, doors, table tops etc). The technology itself has come a long way in a short time and these advances allow us to provide the very best in glass surface treatments. Some glass polishing companies and ‘one man bands’ are highly professional but there are a number of rogues in the marketplace providing poor quality work at extortionate rates who should be avoided.
So how do you decide who to hire? Here’s Renew’s advice:-
5 things to remember when hiring a Glass Polisher:
Ignore the hype.
Many different websites claim to have made efforts to provide only reputable trades people – However many of the websites fail to do anything to regulate the people they accredit. Check-a-trade.com for example was featured on BBC Watchdog in 2014 for failing to publish the negative reviews in a timely manner among other complaints – The issue is that such websites are paid for by the tradesperson on the assumption it gains them business. Whilst these websites may seem to give some credibility to their trades people there is no guarantee that the company will do a good job – the accreditation standards for their badges are generally a little low and sometimes only demonstrates the firm’s ability to pay them money to be listed. If you need advice speak with friends for a personal recommendation, research a reputable company yourself and ask for references. If you are still uncertain or worried about who to use or what polishing technology is suitable then contact The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) (www.ggf.co.uk) who can provide valuable advice on how to manage your glass problems in the safest, most cost-effective way and to select the right contractor.
If you can know what you’re paying “All in”
Where possible always request a ‘fully inclusive fixed price’ for the damage you want treated; it should be detailed and include everything you need to pay for. The price you are quoted should be the final price you pay and get that confirmed in writing. Do not accept any treatments on an hourly or day-rate basis unless you are totally comfortable with the company and the reason for paying a ‘rate’ rather than by a fixed price. Glass polishing is labour intensive and if charged by the hour you run the risk that the job will almost certainly take longer than first advised. By knowing what you’re paying you can avoid unforeseen costs such as travel costs or additional material costs some firms might charge.
Know what you’re paying for.
Not all companies work towards the same standards. The Glass and Glazing Federation outlines the following standards for its members: –
• Stand in the room no less than 2 metres away from the sealed unit and look directly through it.
• For toughened, laminated or coated glasses, stand no less than 3 metres away.
• Where it is not possible to stand at the right distance then stand as far away as you can from the sealed unit.
• Do so in natural daylight, but not directly towards the sun and with no visible moisture on the surface of the glass.
• Exclude 50mm wide band around the edge of the glass from the check.
• Glass must be viewed at an angle of 90º
GGF member contractors are vetted so you know they are able to deliver what they say they will – some even work beyond the GGF standards! Re-new, for example, inspects it’s glass at 1 metre away so is a better visual standard than most – the advanced scratch removal system we use allows us to ensure a higher quality finish. By confirming the finished quality standard you guarantee you know what you’re getting. If you don’t you could end up paying for glass polishing even though some damage may still remain.
Hold guarantees to account
As part of the quality assurances made above some companies may make guarantees that their methods are “Guaranteed distortion-free” All glass polishing systems have the potential to leave distortion on the glass. If a company claims “distortion free” treatments then ask for a written guarantee. If they leave a distortion; don’t pay until they remove it or replace the panel at their own cost.
Are they qualified?
Check reputable business qualifications and standards. Unlike some of the qualifications offered, reputable accreditations such as CHAS and ISO accreditations have high standards which can assure you as to a company’s competence. If you want to know what standards they guarantee you can normally view them online – membership to the GGF is also a strong indicator that companies are reputable but don’t assume that all non-members are not suitable. If you are in doubt, ask for proof of accreditations, adequate insurance cover and references, they are always a good start.
Is the system safe to use?
When I ask this I’m not asking whether the system is going to cause damage to the operator or those around him – that should obviously be a requirement (I hope!). Some treated or coated glass may require specialists or may alter the quality of the glass. For example, not all systems are able to maintain the safety performance of toughened glass – if you need a specialist glass polished be sure to ask for assurances that this can be performed effectively. Renew Surface Repairs is one of the only U.K companies to be able to effectively polish toughened glass. Renew’s glass polishing system has demonstrated that it does not alter the safety characteristics of toughened glass by The Glass & Glazing Federation. You can be assured that our process will not affect either warranty or your insurers T & C’s should the glass subsequently fail.
If there is any question as to the contractor of choice the GGF can provide further details.
If you want to speak with Renew Surface Repairs regarding our services please call 0800 999 7920 to request further details.