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Self cleaning glass cost guide
by
Checkatrade

Self-cleaning glass is exactly what it sounds like – a genius invention. Based on clever chemistry built into the glass, your windows, glass doors, skylights and conservatories can literally clean themselves with the power of sunlight. In this self-cleaning glass cost guide, we look at average prices in the UK.

What is self-cleaning glass?

Self-cleaning glass has an extremely thin layer of a special substance that reacts to the UV rays in daylight in a very special way. The chemical reaction causes any dirt to be broken down so that when any rainwater (or any liquid for that matter) hit the glass it will slide off, along with any dirt particles.

In effect, the self-cleaning glass has a non-stick effect so that they remain clean without the need for manual cleaning.

How much does self-cleaning glass cost?

ItemStandard Cost £
Double glazed self clean, Activ (Clear) sealed unit, outer glass and inner glass 4mm. cavity width 4mm 1200mm x 1200mm £181
1000×1500 triple glazed self cleaning glass skylight with timber kerb£700
Standard double window labour fitting £300

Costs are usually calculated according to the size of the window or glass area needed. The average cost of a double glazed self-cleaning glass unit of 1200mm x 1200mm with 4mm glass is around £181. For a 1000mm × 1500mm triple glazed self-cleaning glass skylight with timber kerb you’re looking at a cost in the region of £700.

On top of the cost of the self-cleaning glass, you’ll also need to factor in the price of installation by an expert glazier. The installation cost of installing self-cleaning glass for a standard double window is about £300.

As a guide, self-cleaning windows cost around 20% more than standard glazing. Therefore, it’s worth reviewing your budget and considering the overall cost of installing self-cleaning windows and other self-cleaning glass. The total price you pay for self-cleaning teams could be a lot more than regular glazing that you get cleaned regularly by a professional team.

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How does self-cleaning glass work?self cleaning glass

There are actually two different types of self-cleaning glass: hydrophobic and hydrophilic. Both of them work in very similar ways in that they create a non-stick effect on the glass, allowing water droplets and dirt to roll off. The main difference is that hydrophilic glass coatings have an extra ingredient that allows them to chemically break down dirt.

Hydrophilic self-cleaning glass

Normal glass is what they call hydrophobic, which means it repels water and forces it to form droplets on the surface of the glass. The droplet then run off, leaving dirty streaks from rainwater. With hydrophilic self-cleaning glass, the titanium dioxide coating causes the water to spread out evenly across the surface of the glass in a very even sheet.

Rain that hits dirty self-cleaning hydrophilic glass will spread across it neatly and evenly before rolling off. The result is like magic – the glass dries without any streaks or smears.

Hydrophobic self-cleaning glass

The way hydrophobic self-cleaning glass works is by combining an ultra water repellency with the power of chemistry. The titanium dioxide acts as a photocatalyst, which means it uses the energy from the sun’s UV rays to cause a chemical reaction that breaks down any dirt lying on the surface of the glass.

The broken down dirt is much easier for rainwater to wash away – or you can hose the glass yourself during bouts of dry weather. For hydrophobic self cleaning glass to work most effectively, the surface needs to have an inclination in order for the droplets of water to roll off.

The benefits of self-cleaning glass

  • A solution for clean windows that lasts as long as the glass itself.
  • Your windows, glass doors and conservatories stay cleaner for longer.
  • Ideal for keeping glass clean in hard to reach spots.
  • No more paying for professional windows cleaners.
  • Using less water and cleaning products is good for the environment.
  • Any manual cleaning is a lot quicker and easier.

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FAQs for self-cleaning glass

How long does self-cleaning glass last?

If it’s well-maintained, self-cleaning glass will last as long as the glass itself. Looking after self-cleaning glass takes a lot less maintenance than standard glass, but keeping it in good condition will help you get the most out of it.

Is self-cleaning glass worth it?

Self-cleaning glass makes cleaning your windows, skylights and conservatories a lot easier, but you do still have to clean them manually on occasion. If you’re looking for a solution that keeps your glass cleaner for longer and you’re happy to pay extra for that benefit, self-cleaning glass is a good option for you.

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