Glas-Weld, Crystal Clear Window Setting Up Dealer Network for IG Window Repair

Glas-Weld Systems and Crystal Clear Window Works (CCWW) have developed a strategic partnership under which the two companies will jointly market their glass-scratch removal and failed insulating glass (IG) repair services through an authorized dealer network.

Canadian-based Crystal Clear plans to appoint 250 dealerships in the U.S. over the next 12 months, and will offer its repair services for failed IG units as well as Glas-Weld's Scratch-Weld glass scratch removal system.

Glas-Weld will provide training services for dealers in a new 3,000-square-foot facility at its headquarters in Bend, Ore. The two companies will jointly market the business opportunity for authorized CCWW dealerships and provide training and certification in the new Glas-Weld facility.

The CCWW training curriculum has been developed by a training company that has provided instructional design and development programs for such technology companies as Microsoft and Sun Microsystems. The program will train, certify and license CCWW dealer technicians as well as provide training on best practices for marketing, sales and business administration. The Glas-Weld training center has the capability to train 10 technicians per week with two instructors.

CCWW's IG repair technology process has been used in Canada for over 100,000 repairs with only a small percentage of warranty work being required, according to company officials. The company provides a complete refund for serviced windows if they cannot be fixed.

The CCWW insulating glass repair process is designed to eliminate the moisture and subsequent fogging that occurs in defective thermal-pane windows with the ability to restore both optical clarity and R-value. Repair prices are generally half the cost of replacement for an IG unit.
"With over 250 million failed units in the United States annually, the market potential for CCWW dealerships is huge. By repairing windows rather than replacing them, we hope to keep as many windows out of our landfills as possible and reduce the out-of-pocket costs to consumers by 50 percent," stated Mike Boyle, president of Glas-Weld Systems, Inc. "We are so confident in the process that the work is guaranteed for 20 years."

But not everyone is as confident about the new process.

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) had Crystal Clear Window Works make a presentation on its process at its meeting last year in Kissimmee, Fla.

Margaret Webb, executive director of the group, said that there are "some concerns" about the process. "There is no technical information on which to assess it, and it doesn't investigate the original cause of the failure," she stated.

The process certainly may be able to get rid of the fog in a failed IG unit, she pointed out, but without investigating the original cause of the failure the fog may come back or the unit may fail for other reasons.

"Some units fail because they are poorly glazed and the resulting stress can cause failures to occur; some fail because the unit is poorly installed; some fail because the weep holes are blocked and it is standing in water," she explained. "Without investigating what the cause of the unit failure was, it would be more difficult to say it won't fail again in the future."

Webb also said that it would give credibility to the process if the company would test the units it has repaired to be sure they are in compliance with the ASTM E 2190 standard.

She also made the point that because the process drills a hole into the top and bottom of the unit and the top hole becomes a vent, any gas that is in a unit would be lost.

Webb says that based on the presentation and the opinion of IGMA members, the process may work on some IG units that have failed.

"Sure it may, but it is not going to be the solution for all failed units," Webb said.

How It Works
Here is how the supplier explains the system: The Crystal Clear process involves the installation of a patented Defogger valve. The Defogger valve becomes active when sunlight increases pressure in the window by evaporating water droplets.

The pressure expels water vapor through the valve, drying out the window. Once the water is gone the Defogger valve remains dormant, sealing the enclosed air space. In this state the thermal R-value of the window is identical to any other window. What you end up with is a vented window, which is guaranteed not to fail and is backed up with a 20-year written limited warranty.

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