Installing a glass front on your building brings in light and makes your commercial venture more inviting to your customers. Once you have a glass front in the form of storefront or curtain walls installed, you need to maintain it to protect the interior of your business from the elements.
Storefront Vs. Curtain Wall
Commercial storefronts and curtain walls have distinct differences in the architecture of your building. Given the parameters of your project, you will know whether you need the former or the latter installed or repaired. Since neither storefronts nor curtain walls bear the building’s load, you can install and fix them with little worry about your structure’s integrity.
Curtain walls typically span several stories and have self-draining systems. The glass has attachments in front of the slab, which prevents floor heights from limiting how much glass the curtain wall uses.
Storefronts, on the other hand, have a maximum of 10 feet in height and can only have an installation on the bottom three floors of a building. Unlike curtain walls that self-drain because the glass sits outside the framing, storefronts require proper sealing to keep moisture and air out of the interior of the building. Interior moisture moves through the sill flashing and out of the building via weep holes in the glass. End dams prevent outside water from getting into the building.
Both curtain walls and storefronts have glass components and aluminum framing.
Find out more about our commercial glass offerings, including installation and repair of storefront doors and curtain walls.
Glass Storefront Installation And Repair
The glass used for the storefront must have the strength to withstand wind and impacts while allowing those inside to see out clearly. Part of the appeal of the glass portions of storefronts is how much light they bring into a building, reducing energy needs for lighting. Since we use insulated glass, outside temperatures have less of an effect on indoor comfort compared to glass storefronts made without insulated glass.
If you need a glass storefront with doors, let us take care of the installation. We can install the glass on-site by putting it in between the floor and the upper level. With glass only installed between floors, storefront glass has a 10-foot height limit.
Installation of glass storefront and doors requires fabricating the frames and installing the glass panels within them. Two methods prevail in the industry when constructing the mullions for these architectural features — shear block and screw spline.
Shear block storefront systems also go by the name of can systems. These have shear blocks installed on the vertical frame pieces. Horizontal portions fit into the blocks, and the installer screws them together.
Screw spline installation systems have two parts that interlock together. Tracks, called the splines, in the horizontal framing portions precisely hold the screws the installers use to connect the vertical mullions.
Sealing around the edges of the frames, installing water diverters and inserting end dams on the sill flashing all are critical components of preventing water from getting into the building. Our installers follow these rigorous procedures to keep your building protected from rain and air seeping into the interior and causing severe damage.
Installing the glass and sealing around it with vinyl completes the project.
As with the framing, the vinyl must provide a tight seal around the glass to protect against the elements.
The many steps required during the glass storefront installation ensure that you have a beautiful and functional storefront door that will last for years and improve your building’s aesthetics. To ensure its longevity, though, you will need occasional repairs as time and the elements cause natural wear to the system.
For storefront and glass door installation in them, you need a local team. Installation varies around the country for expansion allotments based on the local climate. That’s why you should rely on our experience at Garrety Glass if you’re anywhere in the Harrisburg, York or Lancaster, Penn., areas. We know the local requirements for commercial storefront doors and more.
In addition to installing glass storefront doors, we also repair them. One of our most frequent requests is fixing leaks in the system. Our team members will diligently find any sources of water or air leaks from the storefront. By re-caulking the seals, we effectively stop the leaks, saving you money in future water damage repairs.
We also can fix any damage to the glass on your storefront or the door.
Contact us for commercial glass repair if you notice cracks or other damage to the glass on your storefront doors.
Glass Curtain Wall Installation And Repair
Curtain walls differ from storefronts in their size. While storefronts have a limit of 10 feet, curtain walls can stretch multiple stories. Because these features are so much larger, installation differs in some ways from storefronts. While both can use a shear block or screw spline to connect the mullions, glass curtain walls have another pair of installation methods based on how much of the portions the installers construct on site.
Glass curtain walls that incorporate glass doors can be stick-built or unitized. Installers piece together the former on-site, while for the latter, they create and glaze large panels in the factory for later installation. Typically, unitized curtain walls come in prepared panels one floor tall and one glass lite wide.
For systems glazed on-site, where the installers put in the glass makes the system interior or exterior glazed. Access often determines which of these glass installation methods the team uses. For upper levels of high-rise buildings, exterior glazing reduces the impact of the work inside. However, exterior glazing requires scaffolding, a man lift or swing stage to reach the appropriate level for installing the glass and framing. For lower levels or those where barriers prevent access to the outside, installers use an interior glazing method.
When installing curtain walls, the method used to prevent moisture entry into the building can vary.
- The most reliable way, pressure-equalized rainscreen, uses pressure between the glass and air barrier to force water outside the building.
- The next most effective means of keeping water out is water-managed systems. These systems include weep holes and drain systems, but don’t have air barriers to use pressure to keep water out. Often, curtain walls that use screw splines to create the frames use water managed systems for moisture control.
- A third means of keeping moisture out is face-sealed. This method requires regular upkeep of perfect seals around the glass and at junctures of the mullion parts.
All three ways will occasionally need maintenance and repairs, but this last method likely needs more because it relies solely on the integrity of the seals to keep out moisture without backup measures.
Installing the curtain wall and glass doors in it will give your building an open, airy look from the front while letting in more light. Talk to us about what your building needs for glass doors or curtain walls.
If you have curtain walls and glass doors in them, you will eventually need to schedule repairs.
Leaks account for one of the most common reasons business owners require repairs.
If you have exterior glazed curtain walls, the repair team members will use scaffolding or a swing stage to reach the glass to make repairs or replacements. Interior glazed curtain walls that need either repairing or replacing only need ready access to the glass from inside the building.
For water getting inside, as with storefronts, our team will find the leaks and re-caulk the area. Precise seals are so integral to keeping moisture out that resealing the area around curtain walls will dramatically curtail leaks. We can fix leaks and do other repairs to the glass on your business’ curtain wall or around the glass entryway.
Aluminum Storefront Installation And Repair
Aluminum entrances include doors installed in storefronts or curtain walls. If you need an aluminum-framed door for your business, let us know. We have experience with the installation and repair of these entrances for commercial and retail applications.
A new aluminum framed door offers you higher corrosion resistance in many environments. Sealing during installation plays a significant role in how well the frame resists wear from the elements. If your storefront door has exposure to deicing agents or sidewalk salt, you may need repairs to keep it looking great, as these extreme conditions can wear the coating on the aluminum. Plan for repairs of the seals and surface if your doors will have likely experience such damage.
Let us know whether you need an aluminum door installed in your storefront. We can install the door at the same time we put the glass into the system.
You need a quality, experienced team to install the storefront door, because sealing properly around the door makes a difference in how well the entry keeps moisture out. Additionally, if you want to further control your interior climate, you want insulated glass panels inside the door to help reduce thermal transfer through the closed door.
Typically, sealants around the edges of your doors will last 10 to 15 years. However, physical damage can reduce this lifespan at any time. If you have a gap in the door frame, you may feel a draft near the door or notice water seeping into the building.
Gaps around the door from the natural wear of the sealant can occur at any time. Unless you have these recaulked, you can use more energy to heat or air condition your building. Moisture getting into the building can cause expensive damage inside from mold or mildew growth. Getting leaks repaired quickly should be a priority for your business. The same should hold if you have aluminum entries in curtain walls.
Aluminum Curtain Wall Installation And Repair
Aluminum entryways in curtain walls need specialized installation and repair to prevent water seeping into your building. The addition or integration of a door into your curtain wall requires knowledge about the system the wall uses to prevent water entry. Our professionals have experience with all types of commercial glass installation and repair, including in the aluminum entryways installed in your curtain walls.
If you need an aluminum entry installed in your curtain wall, let us know. We can also add an entryway when putting in the glass curtain wall for your building. Just as we do for installing aluminum doors into storefronts, we properly seal the door to keep moisture out and warmth inside.
Protecting your building’s energy efficiency means having aluminum entries with thermal protections such as insulating glass and thermally broken frames. Discuss with us your expectations for entry doors installed in your curtain walls.
Doors get regular use and may need repairs, especially around the seals. For example, a standard-duty door may last for 250,000 cycles, whereas one rated for extra-heavy-duty will last four times longer. This lifespan does not include the seals around the doors or the surface of the aluminum frame, which may wear out sooner.
The seals will also need recaulking to stop leaks. With our extensive experience working with commercial glass, our team at Garrety Glass knows how to find and repair leaks around the doors and glass in your aluminum entryways in curtain walls.
Due to weathering, you will eventually need cosmetic touchups of your aluminum frames around the door and curtain walls. Corrosion may occur due to road salts used in winter or from extreme weather conditions. More often, however, damage occurs during the building’s construction. The raw edges of other architectural features can wear the finish from aluminum framing used for entryways, curtain walls and storefronts. Painting the aluminum can restore its appearance.
What Our Clients Say About Us
Complete Commercial Glass Solutions
At Garrety Glass, we install and maintain all types of commercial glass and we have a team of experts dedicated to division 8 construction. Among our services are installing and repairing both curtain walls and storefront doors. For more than 15 years, we have helped business owners get the glass they need for the inside and outside of their building and entries.
We started with residential glass, but more than half our history has included commercial projects. When doing commercial projects, we have experience working with a variety of interested parties. We have discussed our products with general contractors, property managers, building owners and others who want high-quality glass storefronts or doors for their buildings.
Contact Garrety Glass Today
Glass is in our name, and it’s what we have built our business on. You can trust our factory-trained employees to install and service glass in your business to our highest standards. For more information about our commercial glass services or to schedule a consultation, contact us online at Garrety Glass.Contact Us Today Call Us: 717-741-9949