4 Factors That Shorten The Life of Commercial Glass

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4 Factors That Shorten The Life of Commercial Glass

What are some of the factors that can shorten the lifespan of commercial glass?

A common factor that is neglected when purchasing or renovating any commercial property is the condition of the windows. Similarly, once new windows have been installed, one of the first questions professional window installers get from clients is “How long will these windows last?” In short, there is no set lifespan windows have. A number of factors contribute to their lifespan though and once you are aware of these, you’ll have a better window into their lifespan (pun intended).

Poorly Installed Windows

When it comes to the long-term health of windows in your commercial property, it starts on day one when they get installed. Correct window installation helps to ensure they fit accurately and according to manufacturer recommendations. These two factors are what keep your windows performing at their peak and lasting for years to come. 

When installed properly, windows will literally seal out the outside weather and provide an energy-efficient interior environment. Crucially, they prevent water from seeping in, which will obviously cause damage. Professionally installed windows fit snuggly so that they won’t move with time.

What materials were used to make your windows?

Window materials are different, each with their own needs for maintenance and care. If they aren’t properly cared for with routine scheduled maintenance, then a window’s life expectancy will be significantly reduced. If they are properly maintained though any wood, fiberglass or vinyl windows will last for a number of years.

Wood windows

These windows usually need the most maintenance and will take extra effort on your end, but if they are maintained, wood windows are well regarded for their longevity. This is why you see so many original wood windows on old and heritage-listed buildings and homes. By having professional maintenance scheduled for proper window care, you’ll be investing in the long lifespan of your wood windows.

Fiberglass windows

This is a low-maintenance material and may even look like wood. Fiberglass has outstanding strength and endurance, even in extreme weather conditions. Usually they only require some regular cleaning and inspection, otherwise there’s not much you need to do to preserve their appearance or energy efficiency.

Vinyl windows

These are the most affordable windows and it’s important to know that low cost doesn’t always mean low quality. Vinyl windows are made with non-corrosive compounds to provide excellent strength and prevent warping due to weather conditions.

Weather and Climate

Windows are made to be durable in changing conditions but constant exposure to them will make them deteriorate over time. Storms and conditions like hail can do great damage to windows, no matter how old your windows are. If you operate somewhere prone to extreme conditions, the performance and lifespan of your windows can be shorter than in others:

Extreme temperatures

Frequent temperature changes cause windows to warp, move in place and even change shape. When this happens they will leak air, costing you energy efficiency.

Salt spray

This is particularly a problem in coastal properties as salt is corrosive. When the salty air comes off the sea and settles on your windows it will deteriorate your window exteriors gradually.


UV rays from direct sunlight cause faster window wear. So for buildings with only some windows facing direct sunlight, these might need replacing sooner than others on the other side of the building.


Places with high humidity or precipitation see more moisture built up on windows. This excess moisture can cause discoloration, persistent fogginess, cracking paint/finishing and warping of frames or trim.


This might seem like an obvious factor, but while windows are designed to be opened and closed, this can contribute to their lifespan also.

Seals can wear over time. You might even hear them make squeaking noises when they are rubbing against the frame. If a window uses a crank to open then the crank may also wear from being operated. Latches and locks will also stiffen over time that further contributing to a window’s lifespan.


To finish up, once you consider these 4 factors for your commercial property, you’ll have a better idea of how long your windows will have left. What is also extremely important to remember is that if your property is in need of new windows or window repair, is to remember Select Glass & Windows. Their team of window installation professionals can be there quickly to evaluate what you need to be done, how much it is going to cost you, and the time to get the job done to the highest industry standards.

If you’d like to schedule your free estimate give us a call at (703) 348-3517 or click here to contact us.

If you’d like to learn more about The Three Types of Windows That Require Safety Glass just click here.

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