If you’ve never installed a bulletproof glass barrier before, you might be in for some surprises! Because ballistic glazing is heavier and thicker than standard glass, it’s more difficult to work with and requires special know-how when you’re installing in the field.
In this blog, we outline the steps installers and glaziers can take to make their project go off without a hitch.
Plan Your Bulletproof Glass Installation Project Carefully
Plan out how you will complete the bulletproof glass installation ahead of time. This includes the number of people you’ll have on-site, the amount of time you’ll need, and all the tools and equipment you’ll use.
Most Bullet Guard installs take one to three days with two to four people. These highly-trained craftsmen should know what’s arriving, where it needs to go, and how to get it there. Remember, glazing is very very heavy. You may not be able to move it using familiar methods.
Double Check Tools, Materials, and Space Before Getting Started
Once you receive the shipment, inspect materials before beginning the installation. If there’s an issue, point it out to the manufacturer right away. This prevents product failure later on and protects your team from being held accountable for damage that wasn’t your fault. Then, double check your materials, your tools, and the master plan to make sure you have everything you need to get started.
After you’re confident in the materials’ condition, lay out your channels according to the top-down, overall view of the system to ensure they match. Make sure everything matches the plan, verifying color, height, and other details. An important step in this process is to ensure the threat and secure sides of the glass are oriented correctly. You don’t want to install a barrier backwards!
Finally, make sure your workspace is ready for the installation. Double check that there are no light fixtures or outlets that are in the way of where the barrier needs to go. It’s rare, but it happens.
You Cannot Cut Bulletproof Glass in the Field
If there’s a sizing error, a quick cut on the fly won’t solve the problem. Ballistic glazing is often made of several layers of glass, polycarbonate, and special adhesives. Cutting the product down to size not only damages the polished edge, but can cause irreparable damage to those layers (especially if you’re working with an insulated glass unit IGU, which includes interior air-gaps). Again, if there’s a size issue, contact the manufacturer.
Steps to Take to Make the Bulletproof Glass Installation Go Smoothly
Once you’re ready to begin the bulletproof glass installation, there are a few tips that will make the process go more smoothly:
- Lay out the U channel that will accept the glazing
- Mount all the framing and channels in the specified opening
- Peel the protective sheet off each panel. Clean them thoroughly with the cleaner provided by Bullet Guard
- Consult the documents that came with your order to identify where each window will fit within the system
- Install each window, along with any support system required by the engineering plan
- Install any system accessories, such as package exchangers
When you’re done, clean all glazing again using the same specialized cleaner. You’re ready to step back and admire your handiwork!
Be Careful About Which Cleaners and Solvents You Use on Ballistic Glass
It’s extremely important that you do not use a conventional cleaner or any other product on the glazing. Some solvents are commonly used in the installation process, and it’s all too easy to accidentally apply them to the window. These liquids can damage the glazing, causing what’s called “crazing,” a fine spider web of cracks on the surface of the bulletproof glass.
Installing Bulletproof Glass or a Bulletproof Barrier? Bullet Guard Can Help
Working with glazing has a learning curve. If you’re unsure about a job, would like more resources, or more information on Bullet Guard’s installation capabilities, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We’ve been manufacturing and installing bulletproof glass and other ballistic barriers since 1976 and are ready to help you with your project. To get started, give our office a call or send us a message. We look forward to speaking with you!