Return to the Windows Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Posted by eleena (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 22, 13 at 17:33

Is there such thing?

We have a long patio/porch on the back of the house. We never use it as it's either too hot or too cold/windy outside, with very few days in-between.

I want to close the patio without changing the looks. A wall of sliding glass doors would be perfect and will make the space very useable.

However, that side of the house is very windy and is facing the woods. With frequent strong winds, the patio gets hit by all sorts of debris, including small tree branches.

Is there any way to protect the glass or make the outer pane of something (relatively) unbreakable?

I know that several window companies offer storm windows (and doors?) but they are cost-prohibitive at the moment. Plus, I don't think they'd work because - unlike one window or one door - the exposed area is too large.

I have tried to Google and saw some info on using Lexan and some companies offering it.

But I don't know anything about those companies and don't even know if it is a good idea.

Thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Tempered glass is surprisingly strong to direct impact.

Normal debris should not break it and anything that hits it hard enough to break it is probably damaging other parts of the home.

Here is a link that might be useful: Breaking a car window...or trying to.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

+1. Tempered glass is going to be your best bet. Lexan scratches very easily and will look terrible pretty quickly as such.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

I find it really hard to believe given how many tempered glass tea pots, French presses, and tea cups I broke w/o trying to. LOL.

We have ceramic tile countertops and DH broke several tempered glass items by just accidentally banging them on the countertop, even w/o applying any force.

What gives? :-)

Oh, and if only the outer pane would be Lexan, why would it be scratched if nobody touches it?

This post was edited by eleena on Tue, Jan 22, 13 at 20:51


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Certainly it would not be scratched by people if they aren;t touching it, however all of that debris that you cited as the reason for needing something stronger would certainly do the trick ;) .... In a past life, I installed auto glass including glass in heavy equipment like cranes, skid loaders, etc. It was a regular occurrence for lexan or plexi-glass to be requested, only to get a call two weeks later when they could no longer see through it due to heavy scratching. Replacing laminated glass once every couple months due to breakage ended up being more cost-effective ;)


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Tempered glass is more subject to fracture and breaking when you shock the edge of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Baseball and Golf ball


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Tempered glass is stronger, but still has a special weakness.

Any scratch that is deeper then the temper layer instantly causes the item to shatter completely into 'crumbs' of glass.

You can shatter a tempered car window using just a self sticking center punch.
The little dimple from the punch it all it takes to make the whole window fracture completely to crumbs.

Edges are a very vulnerable to scratch damage with tempered glass.
The temper layer is often very thin at the edges of the piece.

It is a huge safety feature, since the 'crumbs' are not large enough to be a hazard if they fall on someone (unless they get into and eye) since they are so small and light.

A shard of plate glass (often 1/4 inch or more thick) falling from the top of a window when the bottom portion breaks up can do serious damage.

It has razor sharp edges and significant momentum if it fell far.

It will easily cut clean to the bone in a person it might strike.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Hi for intrusion and safety, in the UK, a mix of Laminated and Toughened glass is recommended (Used as a Double Glazed unit). As has been mentioned toughened glass can shatter if hid in the right place, into small fragments.The fragments are not sharp like normal glass so toughened glass is usually used as a safety feature (Safety). Laminated glass if hit hard tends to stay in one piece, the glass has a flexible film laminated (stuck) in between two outer layers of glass, and if broken the Glass remains stuck to the inner plastic film. It is fairly strong and keeps the integrity of the opening in tact against intrusion (Intrusion). Glass, on it's own, can be quite strong if thick enough. It's going to depend upon how deep your pockets are as to what you use, considering many buildings are "covered in glass" it's just down to the right combination of cost, use, safety and integrity.

The process for toughening glass can differ significantly which can affect the final strength. For example, fully tempered glass is about four times stronger than annealed glass.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

In the US laminated glass is rarely seen in window units.

Its use is mostly restricted to automobile windshields to help contain occupants and make sure debris cannot penetrate the windshield.

A few newer cars are using laminated glass for side windows.
I saw a Mercedes a few weeks ago with a cracked front passenger window that was obviously laminated glass and NOT tempered glass.
It had the regular breakage pattern of plain glass but was being held intact by the plastic layer.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

I would not say that laminated glass is "rare" in window units. Most manufacturers offer it a package with it, primarily for sound control and/or security. That said, obviously it is not as common as regular glass.
Either way, it would not be a good choice for this scenario because it will be no more resistant to breaking then standard glass, and certainly less so than tempered.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

True but the opening would not be compromised if it were to break and her house would not be exposed to the elements. So in a way while still breakable her interior would still be offered protection!


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

That is a fine point... I guess it depends on whether the OP's motivation for stronger glass is to offer more resistance against breakage, or to offer additional protection of the interior if/when it does break. Obviously, I interpreted it as the former :)


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

And I do not disagree with you as her question kind of could have been interpreted either way as I was even going to say the same thing about the laminated glass after your and wow's first two responses but then I was uncertain of her end goal.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

This is what you need....!!!

In all seriousness, tempered glass is great and laminated glass is great. Tempered laminated is probably the best but I am not sure most manufacturers have it.

You can probably get the standard tempered glass unit and have some of the 3M coatings applied overtop. They do have a near bullet proof (pistol caliber rounds) film.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Thank you!

I am sorry if I didn't state my question correctly.

While I am concerned with safety as will have small children playing there, my original question was mostly pertaining to longevity of the glass units comprising the external wall.

Tempered glass windows are expensive (I know, I just had one installed in my LR :-) and I don't want to keep replacing them, kwim?

If the chances of them breaking are high, I'd rather not do it all - as I do not have disposable income.

WoW,

Can the 3M coating be applied as DIY?


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Your original question is slightly vague as to whether you are talking about doors or windows. If these are doors or windows that are close to they ground, you are going to need tempered glass regardless by code. Storm doors, patio doors, etc come with it by default.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Not usually on the coating but it is modestly priced last I checked.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

"I would not say that laminated glass is "rare" in window units."

Tempered is far more common than laminated.

Bullet resistant relies n many layers of laminated glass to hold together.

It can be many inches thick if you want to stop rifle caliber rounds.

Greater than 6 inches with many layers of 1/8 inch glass is used.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Fri, Jan 25, 13 at 10:32


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

HomeSealed,

The title says "doors" and I also said in the post that I wanted "a wall of sliding glass doors"??? :-)

Yes, I understand it has to be tempered but I was wondering if one pane can be made of tempered glass and the other - of some transparent plastic.

What about plexiglass used for framing pictures?

I was told it is a different grade than regular plexiglass and won't scratch easily.

WoW,

Could you please clarify your statement?
Did you mean by "Not usually on the coating but it is modestly priced last I checked" that it cannot be DIY'd but it is not expensive to get done?

I am not trying to save $$, just don't know what kind of business applies the coating. Is it done by the window/door company?

Tx!


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Touche! Lol...


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

The specialized films (i.e. 3M storm or bullet protections) are normally applied by certified installers.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

The 3M coatings do have a learning curve the first time you use them. The coatings are not cheap , last I checked price it was about the same as adding tempereed glass. Polycarbonate and acrylic are the two types of clear plastic used in place of glass.Polycarbonate is the type you would wznt since it almost unbreakable, though it does scratch easier and cost a bit more. I would just use tempered glass that comes with the doors and use the money saved to repair the glass if it does break. The thermal properties of the door would be lost using Polycarbonate and prone to scratches.I think the tempered glass would hold up your needs, but if you are getting Darth Vader like flying debris you would need polycarbonate or would have to look into something that would go in front of window to protect it from netting to shutters.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Thank you everyone!

What is netting?


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Todd is referring to something like a set of hurricane shutters or protective netting.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Oh, I think that is exactly what I need.

Thank you every one for very helpful discussion!


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

Good luck.

Let us know how it works out and please tell your friends about GardenWeb.


 o
RE: Unbreakbale "glass" door for porch?

I asked my window guy for a quote on tempered glass doors first. But even if comes back with an amazing price, I have to postpone, I am afraid. First things first as our kitchen has completely fallen apart and needs to be remodeled ASAP.

But I keep dreaming of that sun-room ...


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Windows Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here