Does the SunClean Product Actually Help?

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InfoSponge
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Does the SunClean Product Actually Help?

#1 Post by InfoSponge » Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:56 am

Does PPG SunClean actually help to reduce dirt buildup on window exterior glass? Or is it an option they add just to get more $$ out of me?

Dan

#2 Post by Dan » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:00 am

The answer to your question is YES - however it is a qualified yes. If you get the self cleaning glass dirty it will over time self clean. It takes a very long time to self clean and not everything will self clean without a lot of manual help. On a normal residential home I would not recommend the self cleaning glass. If you had a building with a glass facade I would think that self cleaning glass could save a lot in glass cleaning.

WindDoze
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#3 Post by WindDoze » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:23 pm

I believe the SunClean glass needs to be activated in order for it to work correctly. This requires washing the glass with a vinegar and water solution once after the windows are installed. I was told this by a company rep who was pushing us to sell SunClean to our customers. We've sold it a few times and haven't had any complaints from customers that it doesn't work.

Dan

#4 Post by Dan » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:14 pm

I've been told that the glass needs about a week exposed to sunlight to become activated. Most window manufacturers I know that handled the self cleaning glass dropped the option as nobody was ordering the glass so they had glass going bad in their facilities.

FenEx
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#5 Post by FenEx » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:39 pm

Although SunClean is claimed by some help, I personally still see it as more of a gimmick. I prefer SonClean... I give my son a bottle of Windex a couple times a year. It's very effective and economical too.

WindDoze
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#6 Post by WindDoze » Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:16 pm

LOL...

How much does that option cost? My windows are kind of dirty right now...

FenEx
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#7 Post by FenEx » Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:46 pm

"How much does that option cost?"

Well... since you put it that way.... I retract the economical part.

Oberon
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my two cents

#8 Post by Oberon » Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:24 pm

Basically, there are currently two different types of glass on the market described as either self-cleaning or easy cleaning. Self-cleaning glass has a special photo-catalytic coating applied to the surface of the glass...actually nitrogen enhanced titanium dioxide.

Easy-cleaning glass on the other hand has a coating of silicone dioxide or essentially a glass layer on the glass.

Both coatings are hydrophilic which means that they "like" water, which sounds odd at first glance, but a hydrophilic coating will cause water to sheet and flow off the glass. A coating, such as Rain-X, is actually hydrophobic which means it does not like water. Because it repels water, a hydrophobic coating will actually cause water to bead up on the glass which means that it will leave dirt and mineral deposits behind when the water evaporates.

Conversely, hydrophilic coatings actually make the glass really slippery and water slides right off carrying the dirt along with it.

The primary difference between the two types of coatings is that the titanium dioxide coating chemically reacts with the ultraviolet rays in sunlight to oxidize organic material on the glass. This process, called photo-catalysis, breaks down dirt and other organic materials and prevents them from sticking to the glass. It actually works, but please note I said organic molecules. The titanium dioxide coating does not break down inorganics.

The folks that produce glass with the titanium dioxide coating like to say that their glass is self-cleaning. Those folks that produce glass with silicone dioxide like to say that their product requires less cleaning. Unlike the titanium dioxide coating, the silicone dioxide coating does not react with the sun to break down the organics.

Ultimately, there is some concern in the industry about the term self-cleaning. There is concern that eventually, even the titanium dioxide windows will need to be cleaned because of a build-up of inorganics, both from exterior sources, such as "dirt" in the air and even minerals in rain or home-sprinkler water that will build up on the glass. This is especially true if the homeowner sprays off the windows with a garden hose and the homeowner has hard water.

Either way, both are pretty good products and both will very much make window cleaning easier...but the term self-cleaning is a bit misleading and there is actually some trepidation in the window industry concerning the use of the term "self-cleaning". Some manufacturers are concerned that if consumers are not happy with glass labeled as self-cleaning then the industry as a whole will look bad.

Watch for the next generation in self-cleaning glass…it will be coming to a window near you in the not to distant future.

Good call FenEx! I liked your solution best!

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