Whilst all glass fencing is supposed to incorporate toughened safety glass, which is highly strong and impact resistant, there are a number of occurrences that may cause the panels the shatter. Whilst the fencing should break into many tiny square pieces as opposed to jagged shards, there is still a chance that someone may become injured on one of the fragments. In this article, we have outlined some of the reasons that breakage could occur.
Even though the panels are impact resistant, if something heavy were to hit them with enough force they could shatter. This is unlikely to happen during an ordinary day, but if a vehicle were to collide with the fencing (for example) breakage would surely occur. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent such heavy impacts, especially as they are likely to occur without much notice.
If your glass fencing has been improperly installed, you may also find that its chance of breaking increase significantly. The most common mistake made during installation is using the wrong frame or spigots. These are supposed to hold the panels in place, but if they aren’t designed for outdoor use they could quickly corrode. If they are the wrong size for the application, they could simply drop the panels.
This is generally a problem that arises with DIY installations, as fencing contractors know the importance of using toughened safety panels. Some homeowners, however, are unable to find this sort of glass or try to lower their costs by going with a cheaper option. The problem with other panels is that they haven’t been toughened, which means that they can shatter quite easily with the right amount of pressure.
Sometimes, exposure to the elements can have a significant impact and even a chemical reaction with components in the glass fencing, causing it to fail and shatter. This is not generally a problem with newer panels, but older ones may have been treated with technology that is now obsolete. Direct exposure to sunlight for extended periods has been known to cause the panels to crack and even shatter.
It is not unheard of for faults to occur in the various components at the time of manufacturer. Whilst some of these faults are obvious, others are not noticeable until they cause the component to fail. If your fencing has a fault (in the spigots, frame or even the glass itself), it would not be surprising for the panel to eventually fail. Cracks, for example, can allow the elements to wreak havoc on the inside.
As you can see, there are a number of reasons why your glass fencing might break – even if the correct panels and components have been utilised. Whilst doing everything by the book will ensure that your fencing is as safe as possible, it is important to remember that this isn’t foolproof. You need to have an idea of what you will do in the event that your glass shatters – do your children know not to touch the shards? Do your pets?