Repair scratched shopfront glass, no replacement needed

Vandals scratching graffiti, or their ‘tag’ marks, into the glass of shopfronts is becoming an increasingly expensive problem.

It leaves the premises looking unsightly and can be offensive to customers. Many property owners wrongly believe the only solution is to have the glass replaced.

As for your insurance, even if it covers the damage there is probably a policy excess in force and a likely increase to come in next year’s premium. There is an alternative solution. In most cases it is possible to repair the damage, without removing the glass or disturbing the window display. For many years, Reface™ Ltd have been carrying out scratch removal and other specialist renovation treatments to glass for prestigious commercial organisations throughout the country – and they are now offering this expertise, nationwide, to retail outlets of all sizes.

The repair process, which is carried out by experienced technicians, involves abrading the glass to remove the scratches, followed by ‘grading’ which prevents visual distortion and then, finally, repolishing the glass to restore its original clarity. Many insurers welcome this technique over the expense of glass replacement, some will even agree to waive the policy excess and in many cases the work can be carried out for less than the policy excess. The actual cost of repair will vary according to location, the area to be renovated and depth of the scratches. A recent example is a south London grocery store. The damage was inflicted on an area of approximately 200mm by 600mm and the entire repair process cost less than £350. The only time the process cannot be used is in exceptional cases where the scoring is so deep that the glass has been structurally weakened.

Some areas have become particularly prone to repeated shopfront vandalism and where this is the case, it may be possible to place a sacrificial membrane over the glass after scratch removal. This membrane protects the glass from being scratched again, but the vandals still think they are leaving their mark. The membrane can be replaced for even less expense than the scratch removal process.

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