How Durable Is A Glass Fence?

Posted on: 14 August 2018

Glass fences provide you with a beautiful view of your surroundings while enjoying the pool, while simultaneously providing you with more security. If you are installing a glass fence for security purposes, you might wonder how durable it can be.

The Thickness of the Glass

The thickness of your glass fence will affect how durable it is. If you choose a frameless glass, you will need glass that is thicker. Even in very extreme weather, glass fences are durable and can last a lifetime. However, glass fences can scratch as a result of pet and wildlife activity. However, there are glass polishing systems that will remove some scratches and restore your glass to a better condition.

Tempered Glass Vs. Annealed Glass

The glass used for glass fencing is tempered. This is a type of glass toughened through chemical and thermal processes. The outer surface of the glass is compressed and the inner portion is placed under tension. The great part about tempered glass is that it does not break into shards. Instead, the glass breaks into chunks that are much less likely to cause an injury. In fact, the glass is six times stronger than normal glass. In fact, tempered glass is often used in situations where the glass must be explosion-proof. 

Annealed glass, which is used for windows and other less intense applications, has almost no internal stress and forms microscopic surface cracks. Any tension applied to the glass is magnified across the surface and propagates a crack. The crack is then able to spread at the speed of sound. Because annealed glass is fragile, it will break into irregular and sharp pieces. These pieces of glass are a health risk that can easily be fatal. For this reason, your pool must never use this type for glass fencing and contractors will typically use tempered or plexiglass.  

The Plexiglass Alternative

A less expensive alternative to tempered glass is plexiglass. UV rays and salt from the air cause the plexiglass to transform from clear to cloudy, which isn't a problem with tempered glass. Also, plexiglass is more likely to scratch when being cleaned. However, in other ways, plexiglass is as durable as tempered glass.

Maintenance Required for Tempered Glass and Plexiglass

Outside of the issues faced by plexiglass, glass fences typically remain in good condition without the need for a lot of maintenance. They do not need to be stained or painted regularly. 

To learn more about pool glass fencing, consult with a contractor in your area.