Glass barrier installation and what you need to know about sneeze guards

As you probably know by now, the COVID-19 outbreak has turned our community—along with many others throughout the United States—upside-down. Many health professionals and business analysts alike believe that the effects of this viral outbreak may be with us for months and even years ahead. These experts predict that—even when businesses reopen and customers return—people will be more cautious and take more precautionary measures to ensure they do not inhale or spread germs. Businesses will need to invest in glass barrier installation and sneeze guards.

In other words, tomorrow’s customers may emerge from their homes with new expectations of what businesses need to do to protect them. For restaurants and bars, this may mean spacing out seating so that people can enjoy meals at a distance away from other patrons. For barber shops and hair salons, this may lead to appointments and limits on how many customers can be in the shop at one time. While this is a difficult time for many businesses, many of our local storefronts and their customers will adapt with time.

At Residential Glass, we’re doing our part to help other local businesses here in the Pittsburgh area adapt to this new normal. Our team is standing by and ready to install sneeze guards and glass in local businesses when they reopen.

Why is glass barrier installation necessary?

Like many viruses, COVID-19 is spread through water droplets expelled when a symptomatic individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets can then be inhaled by another person, who may become infected. This was a driving force behind the “social distancing” guidelines and staying 6 feet away from others: at this distance, the odds of this transmission happening are extremely low.

However, think about going to the grocery store, the bank, or the checkout counter at your local pizza place. These places are not naturally set up for this recommended distancing. While all these businesses can take steps to sanitize surfaces, reduce touch-interaction—such as eliminating the need for a cashier to physically touch a shopper’s card—and keep ill employees home, there is always going to be a risk to the customer and employee at this critical juncture.

This is where glass barriers come into the picture. A glass sneeze guard, inserted at the checkout counter between the customer and the cashier, can protect both against the potential spread of germs. This, in turn, accomplishes the following:

  • Provides a physical barrier to virus spread that can be easily sanitized.
  • Puts your customers at ease while checking out.
  • Protects your employees from the spread of COVID-19.
  • Allows the customer and employee to still see each other and talk to one another.

Does my business need sneeze guards?

If your business involves any kind of face-to-face or close interaction between your employees and your customers, yes.

Glass barrier installation has been the norm in self-service food businesses for decades.

Glass barrier installation has been the norm in self-service food businesses for decades.

Of course, self-service restaurants have been well-accustomed to sneeze guards for decades. They are actually a federally mandated safety regulation to prevent the potential contamination of food by customers. While there are no regulations in place regarding glass barrier use for other businesses, it’s more than likely businesses will feel pressure from customers to move toward greater protective measures.

All of these businesses, along with many others, can benefit from glass barrier installation:

  • Grocery Stores: Still open as an essential business, many grocery stores have already erected glass barriers at checkout lines, forming an effective barrier between the customer and the checkout clerk. We’ll also continue to see the expanded use of self-checkout stations—sanitized by an employee after every customer use.
  • Banks: For security reasons, most banks and credit unions already have teller windows with built-in glass barriers. However, more banks are now installing barriers on banker desks to protect people who are meeting one-on-one with bankers to review their mortgage or apply for a loan.
  • Retail: In addition to having employees keep their distance from customers while shopping, retail checkout counters are moving toward a glass barrier model. Some stores may even explore the use of new technology to aid in checkout, including using a mobile cash app to pay for purchases.

Invest in your business’ future

There’s a temptation to think that all this will pass, and that storefronts that invest in glass barrier installation today will regret it six months from now when the COVID-19 outbreak is a distant memory. Truthfully, we don’t know what path this virus will take—no one does.

However, given that this is one of the most significant and visible pandemics in U.S. history, many social scientists believe that COVID-19 could have a profound and lasting impact on society. The new normal, when customers return, could be very different from how things were in January before all this started.

We recommend reaching out to our team to get a free quote and learn more about glass barrier options for your business. We’d be happy to talk through your options with you and provide you with insight to what other local businesses are doing.

Our team is ready to help your business through the COVID-19 outbreak

There’s no other way to put it: our entire community has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 outbreak. As Pittsburgh’s people and businesses adjust to a new reality of social distancing, our team is also taking precautions to protect the homes and businesses we do work for. In this article, we’ll review some of the specialized services we’re offering businesses at this time, as well as what you should know about COVID-19 and how you can help support local businesses more generally.

We’re ready to help your business adapt to a changing world

First, we want to note that our team is taking all recommended precautions needed to protect your home or business during this outbreak. Second, you should know that we’re offering two services essential to local businesses at this moment in time:

  • Glass Sneeze Guard Installation: Our team can install glass sneeze guards in your place of business to protect your employees and customers from COVID-19 transmission. A long-time staple in food service, many other companies—such as grocery stores, banks, and retailers—are now installing sneeze guards at their checkout counters.
  • Board Up Services: If your business has had to temporarily close during this outbreak, have our team out to board up your storefront and protect it from both the elements and from potential threats. Give us a call to learn more about our board up services here in the Pittsburgh area.

What you need to know about COVID-19

Perhaps more commonly known as “coronavirus,” COVID-19 is a novel virus that has spread around the world in just a matter of months. There are a few factors that make COVID-19 so virulent. First, because it just recently jumped from animals to infecting humans, we have no pre-existing immunity against it in the way we do against other diseases. There is not yet a vaccine to protect people against the virus. Second, accidental transmission is incredibly likely. An infected individual can be contagious and spread the virus to others for several days before they have symptoms. In fact, some people who catch COVID-19 never show symptoms at all.

In total, experts now believe that about 80% of people infected with COVID-19 have mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms. However, some people—including the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, and people with compromised immune systems—are more at risk of developing severe symptoms that require hospitalization. It should be noted that otherwise healthy, young people can also become seriously ill. Current social distancing and “stay at home” directives are currently aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 so that our local hospitals and medical professionals are not flooded with severe COVID-19 cases. This helps to save lives and, eventually, slow the spread of the disease to a crawl.

You can do your part to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. Here’s where to start:

  • Avoid Public Places: Stay at home when possible, and only go out to go to work or to get essential supplies. When you do go out, keep six feet from the nearest person, do not touch your face, and wear a protective mask over your mouth and nose.
  • Take Precautions: When you get back home, thoroughly wash your hands in warm, soapy water. Sanitize anything you might have touched—especially your phone. If you are feeling ill, stay home and do not go out.
  • Stay Informed: Check the website for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for the latest up-to-date information and recommendations for how to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Local and state health officials may also have recommendations.

Here’s how you can support local businesses

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global problem with a pronounced local impact. Throughout the Pittsburgh area, small and local businesses are being negatively affected by the virus and its fallout. If you are able, we encourage everyone to support local businesses in any way that you can. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Buy local, shop local: Many storefronts have seen a drastic drop in foot traffic and sales. Whether you’re shopping for essentials or looking to get someone a gift, please consider shopping local and supporting these businesses and their employees.
  • Order out: While some restaurants have temporarily closed, many others still remain open and are preparing to-go and delivery orders. If you’re able, take a break from cooking and order out from a local restaurant. Not comfortable ordering food at this time? Call them and ask if you can purchase a gift certificate. This allows you to support them now and you can use the gift card once the outbreak is over.
  • Be patient and kind: From restaurants and grocery stores to essential services, many businesses are feeling the stress of doing business a whole new way. Their employees are in the same position. A simple “thank you” can go a long way. Remember: we’re all in this together. Together, we’re #PittsburghStrong.

At Residential Glass, we want to give special mention and thanks to our local first responders, medical professionals, and everyone else putting themselves in harm’s way to help our community through this outbreak. You’re amazing, and we greatly appreciate everything you’re doing.

Finally, a big thank you goes out to our customers. We appreciate your continued business and support. Our team will continue to meet your glass repair and replacement needs throughout this crisis and beyond.

When can a window be repaired, and when should it be replaced?

Are your windows cracked, perpetually foggy, or have other issues that need to be addressed? Since your windows help control the temperature in your home, it’s important to keep them in good condition by repairing or replacing glass windows as needed.

But, how can you tell if your windows just need a few repairs or if they should be replaced completely? Here are a few things you should know before making the important repair or replace decision for your commercial glass door, home’s glass window, or other important window!

What kind of window damage can be repaired?

Most homeowners are surprised to discover that most window problems can be effectively repaired. Replacement is generally only needed in cases of severe window damage, such as the damage that can occur after extreme weather.

We specialize in both window replacement and repair here in Pittsburgh, PA.Here are a few common window problems that can usually be repaired by the professionals at Residential Glass:

  • Foggy windows
  • Broken or chipped glass
  • Cracked glass
  • Warped window panels

If the damage involves only the window panes, it’s usually possible to repair the window by replacing the glass. Installing new glass is usually quicker than waiting for a company to replace your entire windows.

So if you’re dealing with a shattered window that’s been damaged by a baseball, debris, or even a thief, the last thing you want to do is wait for your entire window to be replaced. If speed is important to you, replacing the glass is probably the best way to go.

How can you tell if your window needs replacement?

Badly damaged windows can’t always be repaired. In particular, if the damage affects the window frame and not just the glass, total replacement may be necessary. Here are a few situations that usually require window replacement:

  • Inoperable, rotting, or damaged exterior casing
  • Water leakage
  • Severely damaged window frame

In cases like this, repair may still be an option, or total replacement may be necessary. It’s best to have a professional come look at your window to assess its current state and provide you with a service recommendation.

Is it more affordable to repair or replace windows?

Homeowners are often surprised to learn that window repair is up to 75% more affordable than window replacement. That’s why it’s generally better to get your windows repaired whenever possible rather than dealing with the expense of full window replacement.

The cost of your particular repair service depends on a variety of factors, including the degree of damage, the size of the window, and the type of replacement glass you need. That’s why we offer free estimates here in the Pittsburgh metro area.

Call us to get a free estimate from our team

If your windows are damaged, it’s wise to get them repaired as soon as possible. After all, your windows keep your home, family, and belongings safe from what’s outside. At Residential Glass, we can handle all types of glass jobs, including small residential projects and large commercial projects.

We start all projects off right with a free quote. Contact us today or give us a call during business hours.

What are the benefits of replacing single-pane windows with dual-pane windows?

If you have air leaks throughout your home and an uncomfortable energy bill every month, your windows may be to blame. In the past, single-pane windows were the standard. Learn how replacing single-pane windows with dual-pane windows can make your home more energy-efficient and convenient.

At Residential Glass, our team specializes in residential glass installation. To request a free quote from our team, contact us today.

If you want to improve your homes comfort and energy-efficiency, replacing single-pane windows with dual-pane windows is a great decision. Get a free estimate from our team at Residential Glass.

If you want to improve your homes comfort and energy-efficiency, replacing single-pane windows with dual-pane windows is a great decision. Get a free estimate from our team at Residential Glass.

Reduce the noise pollution in your home

Barking dogs, honking cars and loud leaf blowers can be irritating sounds, particularly if they are an everyday occurrence in your neighborhood. Single-pane windows allow much of this noise to filter into your home and affect your sleep, relaxation and concentration.

Modern, dual-pane windows increase the insulation and noise barrier of your home. Replacing your current windows with dual-pane upgrades reduces the noise in your home and allows you to sleep easily and relax on a sleepy Saturday morning.

A single-pane window prevents you from enjoying the privacy in your home that you need. At the end of a long day or in the middle of a sleepless night, restore the sense of peace and quiet that you deserve.

Lower your monthly energy bills

Part of the innovation of a dual-pane window is the increased energy efficiency. Glass isn’t a particularly effective barrier, so your climate-controlled air can easily escape. Dual-pane windows dramatically increase the energy-efficiency of your home through the use of argon.

Argon is a clear, slow-moving gas. Two panes of glass trap a layer of argon in between them to prevent heat from transferring quickly between the outdoors and your home.

This improves the efficiency of your home in summer and winter. At Residential Glass, we’ve seen up to 30% energy savings by replacing single-pane windows.

A related factor with old windows is cracked glazing. Glazing around your window can crack and become compromised over time. If you have single-pane windows, they may be old enough to have glazing issues.

Old glazing not only decreases the energy efficiency of your windows but also allows moisture to enter and rot the wood frame. It’s time to restore your home’s exterior with quality, double-pane windows.

Take down your inconvenient storm windows

A storm window is a precursor to double-pane windows. Similar to a double-pane, a storm window uses a second pane of glass to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

Unfortunately, a storm window only traps air in between the two panes. Unlike argon, air transfers heat quickly. While it’s an improvement to a single-pane window, it won’t offer the same savings as a double-pane upgrade.

For a better setup, replacing single-pane windows with dual-pane windows just makes sense. Storm windows require you to open up both the exterior and interior window to enjoy fresh air, making them more inconvenient than a standard, modern window.

Enjoy beautiful, affordable windows with Residential Glass

Modern windows come in virtually any size, shape and design. Opening, closing and screening windows has never been easier. Choose a beautiful double-pane replacement that enhances your home’s curb appeal while improving its energy efficiency.

If you’re ready for the energy-efficiency of dual-pane windows in your home in the Pittsburgh area, contact our team at Residential Glass. Find out how you can easily swap out outdated windows and start saving money on your energy bill.

Here are the latest commercial glass trends for the 21st-century workplace

Gone are the days of windowless cubicles, gray carpet, and beige walls. Modern interior designers frequently suggest sliding glass doors, frosted partitions, exterior plate glass, and interior glass panels to create a more welcoming environment for daily employees and their visiting clients. A growing number of Americans now work from home due to the convenience of the internet. Still, others make the commute to work but are looking for a way to get business done in an appealing atmosphere. Here are some of the latest in commercial glass trends to consider for your office property.

The latest commercial glass trends for the workplace

More Light

Modern offices use glass strategically for skylights, atriums, terrariums, and art installations. Workers are more productive and happier to come to work when they get regular sunlight and have clear sightlines as they move around the office. For example, instead of installing drywall along the long back side of a meeting room, a glass partition provides significantly more light, both in the meeting room and deeper into the office core. Managers desire this because they see greater returns on investment.

Glass-enclosed offices are just one of the latest commercial glass trends to keep an eye on.

Glass-enclosed offices are just one of the latest commercial glass trends to keep an eye on.

More Collaboration

Workgroups are also moving toward high-functioning professional teams instead of expecting purely solo work. This calls for round tables, face-to-face seat arrangement, open-concept floor plans, and wifi-enabled vestibules. Well-chosen glass placement can facilitate important conversations, meetings, and interviews without artificial, prefab walls and barriers.

Privacy Features

Office building glass doesn’t have to be crystal clear or transparent. While modern offices trend toward open collaboration, privacy is still a significant need, especially at the C-Suite level. Frosted glass and mosaic installments make it possible to have confidential conversations and productive solitude while still refracting needed sunlight and creating harmonious morale in the workplace.

Acoustic Comfort

Cubicles from the ’80s and ’90s were certainly ugly, but their carpet and vinyl did provide echo-dampening and noise control. Office building interior glass installations also meet this need by neatly sealing joints with soundproofing brackets and braces. When coupled with a glass thickness of at least half an inch, conversations happen in comfort and confidentiality. Those with their own offices can have discussions on speaker, video, or conference calls without disturbing other professionals, but the light still gets in.


Glass can break, of course, but tempered, high-quality glass is significantly more durable than drywall which is prone to crumbling, wall torque, exterior humidity, and interior water damage. Glass is a much more sustainable solution, requiring only basic spot-cleaning and dusting. Repairs are much cleaner and faster, with no asbestos, sawdust or loud machinery creating havoc.

What we offer

Residential Glass serves the wider Pittsburgh area and provides superior professional advice, repair, and glass expertise for your workplace. Learn more about our services, including:

  • Cost-Saving Expertise to Help You Repair Before Replace
  • Experience With All Glass Sizes, Shapes, and Types
  • 5-Year Glass Warranty and Lifetime Labor Warranty
  • Same-Day Installation Service (when possible)
  • Free Quotes for Window Replacement
  • Business Consultation on Security Upgrades and Curb Appeal
  • Troubleshooting Climate Control and Weather Resistance

Contact us today to receive a free quote from our professional glass technicians.