Employing any tradesman or contractor can be stressful, especially if it is a field that you know little about. Most people will never have heard about glass polishing until they have a scratched glass problem, and to be fair, why should they?
We have put this little guide together to help you find the right glass polisher for your scratched glass repair and to aid you in getting the best service, results and value for money.
For most people, your first port of call to find any tradesman is usually Google. Typing ‘scratched glass repair in …..‘ or ‘glass polisher in …. ‘ into Google will bring back results of people in your area.
That’s the easy part. Now you need to establish if the glass polishers at the top of the list have the necessary skills to undertake you repair. This is the hard part.
Until recently, there have been no recognised qualifications in glass polishing or scratched glass repair, making it difficult to establish a bench mark for ability. The Guild of Glass Polishers, working closely with The Glass & Glazing Federation have released a set of training and assessment qualifications, specific to glass polishing, in an effort to protect industry users from substandard repairs and to aid in the development of the glass polishing industry.
These qualifications can also serve YOU as an industry customer, helping you to easily identify a trained and suitably qualified glass polisher. Simply ask them if they are a qualified glass polisher or look on their website for their qualification stamp.
There are 3 grades of qualification;
Qualified Glass Polisher – This is the minimum standard of qualification – showing that this person can repair most types of scratch damage from any flat glass surface. This person will be able to repair: Cleaning Scratches, Scraper Scratches, Trowel Scratches, Graffiti Scratches, Acid Etching and Mineral Deposits.
Although the temptation is to always employ the most experienced or highly trained person, a qualified glass polisher is more than capable of providing you with an excellent standard of repair.
Qualified Senior Glass Polisher – A glass polisher with this qualification will be able to remove any form of scratch damage from any glass surface in any situation. This person will also be able to remove weld or grind spatter damage and sandpaper scratches (to within 5mm) from any glass surface. They will also be able to repair windscreen glass, one of the most difficult types of glass to repair correctly. Senior polishers are also able to undertake site assessments and to manage individual glass polishing projects.
Qualified Master Glass Polisher – This is the highest qualification in the glass polishing industry. A Master Glass Polisher is a true industry professional. Being able to repair any form of scratch, mineral or spatter damage from any glass surface, they are also qualified to train and assess glass polishing skills, manage large and multiple glass polishing projects as both working and non-working supervisors (Black Hats), to create Risk Assessments and Method Statements, and to undertake Damage Assessment Reports.
Individual vs Company
This is quite important. The qualifications above relate to the indiviual glass polishers. As many glass polishers in the U.K work as single tradesmen, these qualifications relate directly to their skill.
A company that employees multiple glass polishers may have non-qualified persons working alongside qualified glass polishers. There is nothing wrong with this, after all, people need the opportunity to learn their skills. The problem comes when companies claim that their staff are trained when they are not. Qualified glass polishers may be charged at a premium, although we do not agree with this.
Anyone with a qualification in glass polishing is invited and encouraged to be a member of The Guild of Glass Polishers. Companies that offer glass polishing services are also invited and encouraged to become members.
We get to know our members personally, we know their capabilities and their working practices, their strengths and their weaknesses. We learn from their strengths and work with them on their weaknesses. This allows us to confidently recommend the services and practices of all our members, giving industry users, YOU, confidence in their abilities.
The Guild Stamp of Distinction
Any glass polishing company that carries a Stamp of Distinction has been assessed by The Guild of Glass Polishers and proven themselves to be industry professionals. It shows that they and their staff are qualified or registered as working towards their qualifications, that as a company they are commited to offering the best service, quality and value for money, that as a company or an individual they possess the correct insurance cover, health and safety qualifications and any additional plant machinery qualifications needed to operate correctly on your project.
A Guild Stamp of Distinction is a mark of professionalism in the glass polishing industry and gives you the additional security of our independent, Guild backed warranty on any works carried out by a Guild member.
So, if your glass polisher is a sole trader, look for their qualification stamp. If they are a company, look for their Guild Stamp of Distinction, and if you need any clarification, call us and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.