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How To Fix The 3 Common Types Of Scratches That Affect Your Home's Windows

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Over time your home's windows can develop scratches and gouges. This type of damage causes glares when the sun hits the windows, plus they are unsightly and trap dirt. There are a few different types of scratches, and each has different repair protocols. 

1. Superficial Scratch

A superficial scratch doesn't cause major structural damage, but it does pose a cosmetic issue. They are usually caused by abrasion, such as using an abrasive cleaning cloth. Superficial scratches are also common in windy areas where sand and debris are often blown against the window. You usually can't feel the scratches with your fingertips, but you can see them when the angle is right.


A glass service can often repair superficial scratches if there are no special coatings applied to the windows. The general method is to use increasingly finer levels of grit to buff the window smooth again. Since the scratches don't penetrate deeply, this method can be quite effective.

2. Surface Gouge

A gouge is deeper than a scratch, but it still doesn't penetrate deeply into the glass. You may be able to feel a gouge when you run your fingers over the window. While cleaning and sandblasting can cause some surface gouging, gouges are more often caused by flying debris, such as items kicked up by lawn equipment when working near the home.


Shallow surface gouges are also typically repairable as long as there isn't extensive gouging over the entire window. Glass fillers are usually used for gouges. Your repair tech will use a resin or acrylic filler, which is forced into the gouge and then cured quickly with a UV light. They then buff the area to ensure the filler matches the rest of the window. The repair is nearly invisible unless you know just where to look.

3. Sub-Surface Damage

A deeper scratch that penetrates through the top layer and embeds deeply into the glass is a type of sub-surface damage. These are typically caused by rock strikes or similar impacts that hit at an angle so that the window is scratched deeply rather than shattered. You can easily feel these types of scratches due to their severity. Over time, cracks may begin to radiate out from the scratch.


Sub-surface scratches are the most severe type of window glass scratch, and they can't usually be repaired successfully. These deep scratches can compromise the structural integrity of the window, leading to further cracking or complete glass failure. Replacement of the window is recommended for sub-surface damage.

Contact a glass window repair service to learn more.