Clients are sometimes surprised to hear there may be a two week lead time on replacement glass orders. We’d like to explain why:
Glass comes in many different forms for a variety of reasons, and different glass is required for different installation situations. This could lead to variations in the amount of time it will take for your glass order to arrive and be ready for installation.
Cypress Door & Glass has listed the three most common glass ordering lead time challenges below. While there are very few challenges which may arise during the ordering process, these tend to be the most common ones we face. Keep in mind that there are about four or five large glass distributors in the Philadelphia area. While all of them have their strengths and weaknesses, no one can guarantee that all of these challenges will be completely eliminated from your ordering process.
The #1 reason glass has a longer lead time is for tempering.
All glass that is 18″ or less from floor height, within 24″ to the left or right of a door, and any glass within 60″ of a staircase, is required to be tempered. Other factors that require tempering are the safety of the installation technician and durability, which you can read more about by clicking here.
Once glass is tempered, you lose the ability to cut it. Even if the most skilled technician attempts to cut tempered glass with a glass cutter, the glass will simply break into a million pieces, which we call “dice.”
It is because of this that we must order a specific cut of glass, and then wait for it to be tempered before it can be shipped and installed. Cutting an existing piece of tempered glass to size is impossible.
Another common type of glass that will have a longer lead time colored or shaded glass.
There are a few big players in the glass manufacturing and glass distribution world, and they all have their own proprietary shades of glass. When we see a broken window that’s not “clear,” we need to put our glazing investigation caps on and try to figure out who made the glass, what shade it is, if the shade is still available and, if not, if we can match it with a replacement glass unit.
There are countless shades of LowE and reflective glass coatings that can become very challenging to match. Cypress Door & Glass will often recruit a local glass sales rep to look at a broken unit and offer some glass replacement suggestions. These sales reps have typically been in the glass trade for many years and have seen all the different types of glass out there. It is because of this that they are a valuable resource.
3. Busy Time of Year
Sometimes our glass distributors are very busy and they get backed up. This tends to happen at the beginning of the summer when new glass construction is in full swing, and at the end of the summer when contractors are trying to close up their building openings before the cold winter sets in.
What Are Our Options?
So, what options do we provide to help get your replacement glass as soon as possible?
If your door glass is broken, Cypress Door & Glass stocks most standard door lites in our shop, as well as in our repair vans. We can remove your broken glass and install a new clear tempered glass lite into the door with our emergency repair services. We also stock insulated units.
If you have a single pane glass in a door or window that is cracked or broken and requires replacement, we can typically replace the piece with a custom cut piece of laminate glass. Laminate glass is the same type of glass that is found in the windshield of your car. If you’ve seen the aftermath of a car crash, then you know this glass holds together (even though it breaks) which offers safety and strength. Laminate glass is an acceptable replacement solution rather than tempered because it offers a level of protection that keep pedestrians safe should there be glass breakage. Cypress Door and Glass typically stocks laminate glass in our shop so it can be cut and directly replaced very quickly. We take things a step further and stock laminate sheets on our service trucks so the repair can happen right away.
Of course, when all other options do not work, we can board up the door or the window until a replacement can be acquired. This typically happens on an emergency board-up call, but occasionally we see customers schedule glass board-ups through our customer service dispatcher days after there was a break-in or other accident.