The best thing you can do is get a scratch waiver written up. Maybe have a lawyer look at it in trade for cleaning their house. Then every big job you do, make sure it’s signed with the understanding that scratches, EVEN IF YOU CAUSE THEM, are not your responsibility. That’s assuming you know what causes scratches and have taken all possible care. If you use a fresh razor and you take all care and the glass still scratches, then it’s just crappy glass and not your problem.
Trust me, it’s better to walk away from that $10,000 job than to have to deal with replacing $250,000 of Old Castle garbage.
My waiver reads:
The Client and [THE COMPANY]acknowledge that there are widespread problems with poor quality
glass scratching during construction and window cleaning, [THE COMPANY]will not be liable for any
scratches on any tempered glass.
It is accepted and understood by ALL parties that properly used razor blades are standard tools
and techniques for window cleaning and can safely remove limited amounts of debris (plaster,
paint, texture, tape, stickers, etc.) from quality glass, without scratching the glass surface.
Furthermore, it is accepted, the use of razor blades will be employed on all window cleaning
and no other cleaning method will be offered by [THE COMPANY]to remove debris from any glass
For new construction, if Builder/Owner does not choose to have window cleaner use razor
blades, Builder/Owner must cover all glass during entire construction process, which would
protect glass from any construction debris and eliminate the need for [THE COMPANY]to use razor
blades and scrapers to clean the glass.
The Builder/Owner hereby releases [THE COMPANY]for any liability associated with scratches on glass
and agrees to indemnify [THE COMPANY]for any claims made associated with scratched glass.
But before you decide to just use my waiver, you’d better get a lawyer to look at it for loopholes in your state. And specifically ask whether you’re covered even if you scratch the glass.
Now, are you perfectly covered? Nope. But it just puts another layer between you and a lawsuit. Maybe the insurance will cover everything, maybe not. Just put the waiver between you and having to find out.