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Old 22-10-2020, 14:42   #1
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Question What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

In March we left our boat on a mooring in Grenada. We just got back to her last week.

When we left, our side windows were pristine - they had been newly installed just a year ago. Now look at them.

We did not use any chemicals on our roof. We did not do anything, in fact, as we were gone for six months.

The areas that look like drips are not sitting on the surface of the lexan. They look like very superficial very fine crazing. It looks like something has dripped down the windows and caused the lexan to craze. It does not wash or rub off.

So,
a) what happened to cause this?
b) can it be fixed? Can it, for example, be polished out, and if so, how do we actually do that (never having tried to polish out scratches before).

All suggestions appreciated!

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Old 22-10-2020, 14:54   #2
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

Perhaps the company/person who chose and installed the product can enlighten you and replace or repair. There should be some form of warranty on a product installed a year ago.
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Old 22-10-2020, 16:16   #3
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

Bird poop? That stuff can be very acidic.
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Old 22-10-2020, 16:20   #4
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

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Bird poop? That stuff can be very acidic.
Thatís what I think too. Bird poop left on for a week or two to etch the Lexan then washed off in the next rain.
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Old 22-10-2020, 16:36   #5
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

Yeah, it'll do the same to acrylic too. We've got crazed spots on our dodger windows courtesy of the local wildlife. Fruit eaters, including bats, seem to be the worst.
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Old 22-10-2020, 16:44   #6
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

On a crossing of the Indian Ocean some years ago, in a lead-up to very strong winds, a group of large sea-birds chose my boat as a place to ride it out. They seemed to know it was coming. At first I thought it was quite cool, I was single handing at the time and it felt quite friendly.

It took me 2 days to scrub the shyte off the boat. Have never allowed birds to alight on my boat for even a minute since. The etched marks were still on the decks when the boat was moved on.
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Old 22-10-2020, 17:02   #7
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

Lexan is very tough, hard to break. That’s because it’s so soft. It’s also very easily scratched. It’s not used for aircraft windshields for that reason.
it’s so soft I’d be surprised if you could polish it out, I would try extremely fine plastic polish, anything courser will likely scratch it badly.

Good luck.
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Old 22-10-2020, 17:17   #8
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

Try toothpaste
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Old 22-10-2020, 17:22   #9
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

I agree that the bird poop sounds the most likely. Just surprising to see so much of it running down the windows like that.

Any other suggestions on how to polish it out? I miss my beautiful clear windows!
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Old 22-10-2020, 17:25   #10
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

Meguiar's #17 clear plastic cleaner

Follow up with Meguiar's #10 clear plastic polish if you are picky

https://www.marvgolden.com/meguiar-s...0586a8c4dd2b65


If that doesn't work you'll have to start with something like 1600 grit wet & dry sandpaper and work your way up from that
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Old 22-10-2020, 17:36   #11
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

to me that looks more like staining from gelcoat caulking that happens over time when the waxes oxidize out of he gelcoat. you're going to need to put in some elbow grease to get the stains out. you'll need to use something very gentle like toothpaste as lexan scratches easily.
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Old 22-10-2020, 17:43   #12
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

The boat was painted with awlgrip a couple of year ago, so no more oxidised gelcoat around.

Also this all happened pretty rapidly - just over the 6 months we were away.
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Old 22-10-2020, 17:45   #13
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Meguiar's #17 clear plastic cleaner

Follow up with Meguiar's #10 clear plastic polish if you are picky

https://www.marvgolden.com/meguiar-s...0586a8c4dd2b65


If that doesn't work you'll have to start with something like 1600 grit wet & dry sandpaper and work your way up from that
How do you use that stuff (or toothpaste)? Just rub it in with a soft cotton cloth? Or use and electric buffer? Really have no idea how to go about that.
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Old 22-10-2020, 18:04   #14
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

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How do you use that stuff (or toothpaste)? Just rub it in with a soft cotton cloth? Or use and electric buffer? Really have no idea how to go about that.
Noel, many years ago part of a job I had included the removing of scratches and polishing of full face masks used in escape and survival equipment. They were a polycarbonate type (not sure which), the bad scratches were polished out with very fine wet and dry followed with a product called goddards glow, (similar to brasso) then toothpaste. Both liquid products were rubbed in a circular motion using terry toweling rags and a final buffing with a clean cloth.
Time consuming but it worked.
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Old 22-10-2020, 18:07   #15
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Re: What the heck happened to my Lexan windows? And can it be fixed?

Lexan is amazing for absorbing impacts, yet is a very soft material. This makes it extremely susceptible to scratching. It also yellows with age fairly rapidly in warmer climes. I've read that there is lexan material available with a scratch and UV resistant coating. You might want to check that you don't have this type of composite material installed as cutting the surface back too far will likely destroy the coating, if this is the case.


If it was me, I'd probably clean it as best I can and leave it at that. If you want to polish it you can do it by hand with polishing or microfibre cloths although a mechanical polisher like those used for car finishes may help. Don't get one that spins too fast or might generate too much heat when polishing and melt the surface of the plastic. Also note that auto stores sell a kit for restoring plastic headlights. Bit expensive no doubt as a kit, but it will come with full instructions that will apply equally to your application.
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