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Historic Structural Glass

Early Manufacture & Use

Historic Installation

Exterior Installation

Interior Installation

Reasons for Damage

Maintenance & Repair

Repair of Cement Joints

Reinstall Glass Panels

Removal of Glass

Replacement of Glass


Reasons for Damage to Structural Glass

 Although deterioration of pigmented structural glass itself is rare or unheard of, failure of the mechanical support system which bonds the glass modules to the wall is almost always the cause of failure, cracking, slipping, or loss.

Damage is usually attributable to one or a combination of the following:

  • Deterioration of the Joint Cenemt
  • Hardening and Failure of the Mastic Adhesive
  • Impact Due to Accident/ Vandalism

Deterioration of the Joint Cement

 Historically, the cement joint between glass panels was intended to provide an integrated, watertight surface. Unfortunately, the traditional joint cement did not possess a long lifespan. Cracked or open joints have been the consequence, usually resulting from improper original application of the cement or from the normal thermal expansion and contraction cycle associated with weathering.

Cracked or open cement joints then accelerate deterioration of the masonry substrate and/or the mastic adhesive bond by allowing water to penetrate the internal system. Water entering the system weakens the bond between the mastic and the masonry substrate or rusted the anchoring shelves. This causes the individual glass panels to gradually slip away from their original positions and fall.



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