Fiberglass was invented in 1932, and its creation was actually an accident. Games Slayter, an Owens-Illinois researcher, discovered the material when he unintentionally directed steam toward glass fibers. This caused them to melt together to create the material we know today. Since then, fiberglass has been used in everything from bath tubs to boats, and that necessitates services like fiberglass repair in Glendale. Learn more about this material to see how it is repaired.
During manufacture, fiberglass forms through layers of glass fibers. Just like with its accidental discovery, these fibers melt and mold together. Filaments cross each other and build strength in the material from all directions.
However, since fiberglass contains these fibers, it is flexible too. You may notice that when you step into your fiberglass tub or shower, you feel a bit of give. This is the fibers flexing to accommodate your weight and prevent breaking under it.
When it wears out
While it offers a wide range of tension and flexion, fiberglass does wear out after being subjected to constant use and pressure. As it goes through this process, the fibers start to break and holes form in its surface. Some fiberglass bath tubs also contain a cloth reinforcement (also made from fiberglass) that will need to be repaired or replaced too.
The interesting part regarding fiberglass damage is that it will appear more like a tear than a crack. That is due to the nature of fiberglass and how it breaks down. As it is fibrous, its aging process is more like how your clothes wear out than the way your car sustains rust damage. Repairing it is more like weaving than filling holes in your wall.
What is involved with fiberglass repair
Repairing fiberglass involves helping the fibers reconnect, which makes the weaving analogy apt. It is a process of filling and bonding to restore the tension and flexion properties. This re-bonding application helps fiberglass restore its original strength.
Once the fibers reconnect, the final step involves hardening so the surface adds another layer of protection to the once-damaged area. Sometimes, customers will order resurfacing at the same time to not only repair their fixture, but also give it a like-new look.
Can I do the repair myself?
There are kits available for fixing fiberglass bathroom fixtures. If you catch the damage early or it is not that extensive, it is likely that you can effectively fix the damage yourself. Be sure to follow each step and allow enough time for your repair to dry. We recommend not using the fixture for 48 hours after repair and protecting it from dust particles. If debris sticks to the repair spot while your bathtub or shower is drying, it can affect the surface.
However, if there is extensive damage or multiple cracks, you may wish to contact a contractor. Not only may it be necessary to repair the damage, but your surface may require refinishing, too. Making a do-it-yourself repair when the damage is more serious can also result in higher repair costs in the future, so if you are not sure whether this is within your capabilities, it is best to call in a professional.
Do you need help with fiberglass repair in your Glendale home? Call A-1 Porcelain & Fiberglass Service to arrange a visit and estimate.