Homeowners often find themselves pondering over the best choice of material for their windows, and they are usually struggling to choose between glass and plexiglass. Even though glass tends to be cheaper, plexiglass is economical in the long-run as it is super-resistant to scratches, shattering and all kinds of erosion, along with allowing more creativity and versatility.
In this article, we will walk you through the benefits of plexiglass windows, alongside exploring some home tips and maintenance tricks for ensuring the longevity of plexiglass.
Why are Windows with Plexiglass the Best?
For centuries, traditional glass was the only material available for creating windows, furniture, and home fixtures, but modern inventions, like polycarbonate sheeting and acrylic sheeting, such as plexiglass, have presented innovative alternatives. Over the years, plexiglass windows have gained a powerful surge of traction, and they are increasingly popular for glazing windows, doors and more.
Let’s walk you through some of the major reasons why plexiglass windows are a terrific choice:
• Economical & Budget-Friendly
Whether you are choosing plexiglass
for your office or home, as a budget-conscious consumer you can rest assured that plexiglass is a much more economical alternative for glass. Acrylic plexiglass is a processed form of plastic, and it is manufactured through a cheaper and energy-efficient process. Moreover, it is much easier to transport and process as compared to glass, which reduces the overall costs.
Another factor that will influence your budget is the variety of acrylic sheeting you are investing in, for instance, normal and clear plexiglass sheeting will cost less, however, colored acrylic sheets, plexiglass mirrored sheeting, Lucite block, and others will cost more. Furthermore, plexiglass helps you avoid the unnecessary expenses of films, coatings and more, as you can pick out impact-modified plexiglass with features such as UV-filtering, UV-transmitting and much more.
• Shatter & Erosion Resistant Window Glass
Plexiglass is the ultimate choice for consumers who want their windows to be super strong and impenetrable, which is usually a requirement when one has large dogs or lives in an unsafe neighborhood amongst other reasons.
Plexiglass windows are 17 times stronger and durable as compared to their glass counterparts, and it requires a massive amount of force to break them. More importantly, using plexiglass for the windows also ensures that no one will be injured if the window pane breaks. Plexiglass is truly distinctive with its dynamic shatter-proof ability.
• Versatile & Trendy Choice
Plexiglass windows allow homeowners and entrepreneurs a great deal of creativity in their interior design, and they are extremely versatile and easy to use. Plexiglass sheeting is much easier to cut, and you can cut them with any given tool, for instance, a table saw, or evens a router. It weighs much lesser than glass, which makes it easier to cut, transport and install.
If you want to try DIY plexiglass window project by creating a designed window, or even an accent window, plexiglass is a much favorable alternative to traditional glass, which is simply not practical as it is too rigid and easily broken. On the other hand, plexiglass consists of flexible polymers, which will allow exploring your creativity and cutting them into all kinds of customized shapes and sizes. You can also pick out plexiglass sheeting in a variety of styles and colors, including black and white, fluorescent sheets, and more.
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• It Gives More Transparent Look
Homeowners often worry that plexiglass windows will block the light and deny clear light transmission, plummeting their house into darkness. Truth be told, plexiglass is much more transparent than traditional glass, and it works wonders at eliminating all reflections and glare. It allows 90% of the light to pass through into the premises with greater clarity.
It’s true that glass reflects more light, but as the glass gets thicker, it causes more discoloring, however, and plexiglass ensures the clarity of light regardless of its thickness.
Once we examine all the benefits and advantages of using plexiglass instead of traditional glass
windows, it is evident why plexiglass is such a popular choice amongst homeowners, construction firms and developers. By no means does this indicate that traditional glass windows have lost their appeal and functionality, but in fact, it is clear that plexiglass is a much more cost-efficient, creative and durable alternative.
Ways to Cleaning, Fixing & Maintaining Plexiglass Windows
If you want your plexiglass windows to enjoy a long life with greater durability and a squeaky-clean appearance, it is important to take care of its cleaning and maintenance needs.
• Eliminate Dirt & Dust
It is important to eliminate all the dust and dirt that clings to plexiglass, and you can use your vacuum cleaner or blow dryer to make it squeaky clean, just be sure to use it on the coolest setting. Excessive exposure to hot air will only damage the windows. Be sure to hold the vacuum cleaner or hair dryer several inches away, and keep running the air across the surface.
Be sure to eliminate all the large and small particles of dust, and avoid scrubbing off the dust with a cloth as it will leave behind scratches on the surface of the plexiglass.
• Washing Plexiglass
Make a solution with dish soap and water, and pour this solution over the plexiglass. Avoid excessive scrubbing; just allow the solution to sit atop the surface before washing it off with running water. If you are concerned about damages, you can always do this trick by spraying the mixture over the plexiglass, and holding it at a 45-degree angle so the mixture can run across on all sides as evenly as possible.
Quell the urge to scrub and allow the mixture to run across the surface and eliminate all the particles of dirt and dust so that it is ready to be wiped.
• Steer Clear of Alcohol
Be sure to avoid all harsh products containing ammonia, aromatics, and alcohol, and most commonly used household washing products, such as Windex, contain alcohol, which can cause grave damages to the surface of plexiglass and plexiglass window frames.
We strongly urge you to avoid all harsh cleansers, gritty polishes, and dry-cleaning liquids as they will also cause damage. It is best to use gentle mixtures, such as soap and water, but if you want to invest in a specialized plexiglass-based product, you can pick out Novus or Brillianize.
• Use a Microfiber Cloth
It is extremely important to use a gentle, microfiber cloth to wipe off and clean plexiglass in order to avoid scratches. Plexiglass windows have a tendency to attract a lot of dirt, dust, and grime, and if you use a normal tablecloth or even paper towel to clean it, it will cause scratches.
Microfiber cloths, on the other hand, will clean the surface without penetrating into the pores, and hence, won’t cause any kind of scratches or damages. If you cannot find microfiber cloth, you can use other non-abrasive fabrics, such as cotton flannel, terry cloth or even jersey cloth.
• Scraping Tools
Since plexiglass attracts and retain a lot of grime and dirt, it is important to invest in a sharp scraping tool, or even a razor blade, which can be used to scrape off all impurities. It is important to be extremely careful and gentle while removing the grime and caked dirt, which is often retained by the plexiglass after a thunderstorm or hurricane, even prolonged delays in cleaning.
Be sure to keep the razor or scraping tool at an angle that doesn’t exert too much force into the plexiglass and cause damages. A razor blade will also help you even out any jagged edges and shave off tiny pieces to achieve the shape you want. However, it cannot be stressed enough that razor blades and scraping materials need to be used with care as they can cause injuries.
Restoring Plexiglass Windows
It is important to note that since plexiglass sheets are made with acrylic, they tend to be more transparent; however, they are prone to scratches and a build-up of dirt, grime, and dust. If their cleaning needs are denied for too long, for instance, if your family travels aboard for a long period of time, the windows will appear dirty, grimy and old.
Luckily, restoring plexiglass back to its pristine and transparent condition is very easy and you can scrape off all the dirt and grime with this buffing solution.
• Cleaning the sheet
Create a gentle mixture by mixing in some freshwater with one spoonful of detergent
or dishwashing soap. Use a sponge to gently clean the plexiglass with circular motions of the hand. This will help you eliminate the accumulated grime and dirt, and then, you can use a fresh microfiber cloth and water to wipe off the detergent.
• Sanding the Plexiglass
Once the plexiglass is completely dried, you need to start sanding it, and this can be achieved in three simple steps. First of all, take 150-grit sandpaper, and follow it up with thicker 400 grit sandpaper, and an even thicker, 600 grit sandpaper.
The sandpaper will work wonders at eliminating all dirt residue and tiny scratches from the plexiglass. Be sure to do the sanding process with extreme care, and use the sandpaper in small sections. We strongly recommend you to use nose mask and goggles to avoid the plastic dust and sand from causing health troubles.
• Buffing Up
Once the sanding process is complete, you need a buffing wheel or a microfiber cloth to expose the sheet to the buffing solution. You need to be gentle and patient, and apply the buffing solution with circular strokes. This will restore the transparency and shine of the plexiglass window, and you can pick out a high-quality buffing solution from your nearest hardware or home improvement store. A mild and gentle buffing compound is generally recommended when dealing with plexiglass as opposed to highly concentrated compounds.
Once the buffing solution has done its job, it is important to clean and dry the plexiglass sheet, and drying normally takes an entire day. Given the condition of your plexiglass window, this process can take less or more time. However, if the plexiglass window is quite old and filled with scratches, grime, and dirt, you might need to repeat the entire process more than once to get the best results. Just, be sure to allow the plexiglass sheet to dry out completely before you begin the new session.