Why sandblasting designs can be dangerous | WindowArt

Tasteful and creative sandblasting designs can transform your windows and glass features into works of art. However, there are some important safety considerations you should take into account when deciding whether or not to sandblast your windows.

Sandblasting weakens glass.

Sandblasting is done by etching a design into glass with the use of chemicals and machines. Using high pressured sandblasting techniques, the top surface layers are removed from your glass. This is how the frosted, textured look of sandblasting designs is achieved. Unfortunately, sandblasting can leave glass up to 2mm thinner, which weakens your glass.

Large glass windows already pose a safety risk. When weakened by sandblasting, the risk of your glass breaking – and shattering – is increased. If you are considering sandblasting a large glass surface, you should first carefully consider the safety risks, especially if you have children who will be doing things like running around or playing cricket in the garden.

Unlike sandblasting, the application of vinyl window frosting actually strengthens glass by adding an extra layer of durable film to the surface. In fact, window vinyl makes your glass surfaces shatterproof by holding the pieces together should there be an accident.

Off-site installation poses a safety risk.

Etching sandblasting designs onto glass requires the use of special machines and chemicals. Sandblasting is a very messy process. Because of this, most sandblasting is done off-site at a factory. Having your windows or glass doors removed and taken away for treatment is not only inconvenient and time-consuming but also poses a safety risk for your home or office.

Frosted window vinyl, on the other hand, can be installed on-site to existing glass with very little fuss and will give your windows the same sandblasted effect.

On-site installation poses health risks.

In the unlikely event that sandblasting designs can be done on-site, there are health risk factors that need to be considered. Sandblasting is usually done by blasting silica sand onto glass at high pressure. This has an abrasive effect that removes layers of glass in the form of a fine dust. This dust has been linked to serious respiratory diseases and can be very harmful if inhaled. Having sandblasting done on-site also exposes you to the chemicals used in the process. Apart from these health concerns, sandblasting is also extremely messy and the resultant dust can be difficult to properly clean up afterwards.

There are no health risks associated with the installation of window vinyl decals. Window vinyl can be quickly and easily installed on site with no mess and no exposure to dangerous machines, chemicals or dust.

Sandblasting designs don’t block out dangerous UV rays.

We’re often caught off guard by the sun when we are in our homes as we don’t think that wearing sunscreen is necessary while indoors. However, the large windows and skylights of modern architecture allow sun to stream into our homes. While this certainly makes for a bright and attractive interior, it also exposes us to the sun’s harmful UV rays. With South Africa’s beautiful weather and long, sunny days, the damaging effects of the sun are real concerns.

Sandblasting designs are often used to provide some shade to inhabitants as the opacity of sandblasted glass doesn’t allow as much light through. However, sandblasted glass does not block out UV rays, leaving us at risk.

Frosted window vinyl blocks out bright glare the same way that sandblasted glass does. However, window vinyl has the added benefit of also blocking out dangerous UV rays.

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