Glass shower doors enhance and highlight the beauty of bathroom designs. Whether a sliding shower door or a swinging door, both are great ways to show off trendy showers. But like all mechanical things, there can be problems that come along with these doors. It can be as minor as a loose screw, or as major as having the glass shatter mid-shower. Hopefully, you never end up with a shattered shower door, but just in case you do, it’s good to know the do’s and dont’s when handling a broken glass door. Fixes can be as easy as tightening a screw, but especially when working with glass; it’s better and safer to seek professional help.
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Sometimes all your shower door needs is a good cleaning. Years of soap and hard water build up can take a toll on your shower door. If your sliding shower door isn’t sliding as easily as it should, the track might be full of build up. The same goes for doors with hinges. There might be build up around the hinges as well, causing your door to not open or close as easily as it once did. Before contacting a professional, try giving the track, hinges and door a deep clean. Using an ammonia based cleaner, give all the areas of the shower door some much needed love. Something as simple as this can often times fix a less-than-perfect door. But if the problem persists, there are other factors to consider.
As history would have it, water and metal don’t mix well together. Shower doors live in a damp climate, which subjects the metal parts of the shower door to rust. Over time, the screws, hinges, shower track and even track parts can become corroded with rust. When this happens, it’s important to contact a professional. They can replace these parts, and if you have a warranty on the door, you may not have to pay anything at all! A professional will know what to use, and will be able to use manufacturer-approved parts. When dealing with shower doors, don’t try to replace parts yourself. Replacing things like screws and tracks mean that the door most likely will have to be temporarily removed. This is not the time to do-it-yourself.
What do you do if your shower door does shatter? If you are in the shower when it breaks, lay a towel down to avoid walking on broken glass. See if you can get assistance to clean the glass.
Once you’ve successfully navigated your way out of the danger zone and dealt with any injuries, it’s time to call a professional. The professionals will be able to replace the shower door, leaving you with little to worry about. But this will definitely get you thinking, how did my shower door break in the first place? If it was never forcefully broken, meaning you didn’t smash it on purpose, then how does a perfectly “normal” piece of glass just burst?
Most glass shower doors are put through a process called tempering, where its tensile strength is altered during a heating process. This makes the glass much stronger against direct impact, but weakens it against side impact. Meaning, if you were to drop the glass on its side, it would instantly shatter. Odds are you haven’t dropped your shower door on its side, but it may have experienced side impact from everyday use. This can cause small fractures in the glass. While one fracture may not seem like a fatal blow, over days or even hours, these seemingly small fractures can grow, causing your shower door to “spontaneously” shatter.
Shower doors do not always break because of fractures though, the door could be installed incorrectly or a simple piece of hardware could be missing, causing the door to fall off, or causing a small fracture due to misuse.
The good thing is that tempered glass is made to break safely. Because of the heat treatment process, tempered glass is considered safety glass. It’s actually the same glass used in your car and on your phone screen. When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into a ton of little pieces, rather than a few larger jagged pieces of glass. Even though you may still have a few little cuts and scrapes, it’s far better than the risk of being impaled with a large jagged piece of glass – especially in the shower.
If you’ve tried to clean your shower door and hardware to no avail, if you notice a crack in the glass or even if the door shattered, it’s time to seek a higher power: your local glass professional. They will know how to go about replacing your door, and if you have a warranty, it may not cost you a dime! Don’t know who the closest shower door dealer is to you? That’s where glass.com can help. Showering is an important part of your daily routine; don’t let the stress of a broken shower door get in your way.
Glass.com attempts to provide accurate information but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted. You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. All content is provided on an informational basis only.
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