If you have fine oil paintings in your living room, then you should protect them from the damaging UV rays of the sun. The pigments in the paint will fade over time due to a process called photodegredation. While curtains and other window treatments can help to block the light so your paintings do not become damaged, this does not allow you to view your artwork under natural light, like the artist likely intended. If the windows in your living room are old and damaged, then you should think about replacing them now with custom types of glass. Keep reading to learn about the types of glass you should choose.
If you want a simple solution to your UV sunlight problem, then you can choose to have low-emissivity glass placed in your living room. This type of glass has an extremely thin metal coating that helps to reflect certain wavelengths of light. Specifically, the metal helps to force both short and long wavelengths away from the glass surface. Short wavelengths are between 300 and 380 nanometers long and consist of UV rays. The longer wavelengths are infrared rays that are about 780 nanometers long. Visible light sits in between the short and long wavelengths and passes through the metallic coating. This allows for good light visibility.
Not only will the transparent low-e coating help block the harmful rays of the sun, but it will keep heat inside your home during the winter. The glass does this by reflecting heat energy back into the home.
There are two different types of low-e coatings that can be chosen. The first type is called pyrolytic. This coating is placed on the glass as the glass pane itself is being created. The metal film bonds to the hot glass and creates a hard and fused surface over the top of it. This type of glass is ideal if you live in an area that experiences cold winters, because the pyrolytic coating will let a small amount of infrared energy into your house. This will help to heat your home. The second type of low-e coating is called MSVD and it is applied to sheets of glass after they are already formed. A vacuum sealing process forces the coating over the glass. These coatings reflect all UV and infrared rays and are a good option for warmer climates. Make sure to consider the climate around your home when choosing the window coating that is best for you.
Laminated glass is another option that can be chosen if you want to block the sun's UV rays. Laminated glass is often called safety glass and it contains three separate layers of material that are sandwiched together. Two pieces of tempered glass make up the outside layers, while a thin interlayer sits in the middle. The interlayer or middle part of the glass is made out of a material called polyvinyl butyral or ethylene-vinyl acetate. These clear vinyl-based materials bond the two layers of glass together. This gives the glass excellent strength, and this is one reason why laminated glass is your best option if you live in an area that experiences hurricanes or tropical storms.
Not only does the interlayer of the glass provide strength, but it also reflects UV rays. You should know that laminated glass will meet your needs in terms of reflecting the sun's rays that can damage your paintings. However, the glass is more expensive. It is likely to cost between $23 and $211 per square foot. Low-e glass is typically formed from float glass. If you want a tempered piece of this glass, then you are looking at a cost of $14 to $70 per square foot. Keep these costs in mind when choosing the custom glass for your needs.
For more information, contact a company like Wildwood Glass Company Inc.