Why Do Windshields Crack?

Windshield repairs can be a hassle, especially if you put off fixing the damage. A windshield crack can get bigger and impossible to repair over time, so it’s best to seek repairs as soon as the damage occurs.

Avoiding road conditions that can lead to windshield damage is the safest and most convenient option. We have provided a list of potentially hazardous conditions below in order to make you aware of what to look out for while driving to help prevent a windshield crack.

Top Reasons Auto and Truck Windshields Crack

  1. Gravel Roads – Debris from gravel roads as well as gravel itself can fly up and hit your windshield. Keep a safe distance when driving behind other vehicles on gravel surfaces and avoid driving on unpaved roads if at all possible.
  2. Driving Behind Construction Vehicles – Construction vehicles, like gravel roads, often have dirt, debris, and other materials in and around their load. It is best to keep a safe distance when driving behind these trucks or switch lanes if you can.
  3. Poor Glass Construction – If your windshield was manufactured with poor quality glass, as some are, even the slightest stress can cause it to crack. You will need to have the glass replaced with a higher quality material when seeking repairs.
  4. Poor Installation – If your windshield was installed improperly or does not fit the frame of your vehicle, it can become loose and be a serious safety hazard. Accelerating at high speeds on the expressway will cause it to vibrate in the frame, resulting in possible damage. Repositioning or replacement will fix this problem.
  5. Accidents – If you live in an apartment complex or a neighbourhood with teens or young children who run and play ball outside, it’s likely that a ball or frisbee may come hurdling toward your vehicle on some unlucky day, causing damage to the windshield, not to mention to the body of your car. Parking in your garage, if possible, is a sound and precautionary solution.
  6. Temperature Changes – Extreme temperatures and sudden fluctuations from hot to cold can cause stress to the glass, resulting in a windshield crack. Be wary of the temperature in your area and use tactics such as slowly warming up your defroster as well as not parking in direct sunlight in order to prevent damage.
  7. Sunlight – Similar to the caveat above, heat causes the outer edges of your auto glass to expand faster than the centre of that same glass. This will cause it to crack and require repairs or a full replacement. To avoid this situation, simply park your car out of direct sunlight or in a garage, if possible.
  8. Pressure Changes – Stress cracks occur when pressure fluctuates. This kind of damage can be caused by travelling at extremely high speeds, from objects pushing up against the windshield and the least likely, but still possible, from nearby explosions.
  9. Hail – Hail causes chips and cracks in your front windshield by hitting the glass head-on at high speeds with immense force. Drive slower or pull off the road if it starts to hail to prevent damage.

How Does the Cold Affect Windshield Replacement?

Cold weather extends the time it takes to repair or replace your windshield.

When we’re repairing or replacing your auto glass during the winter, the time the job typically takes is extended. In the cooler temperatures, the resin for your windshield repair or replacement takes longer to cure. This happens for a few reasons.

1- The UV lamp we use to cure the resin may not receive as much power in the cold weather. The lamp we use receives power from the cigarette lighter or power outlet, which receives less power in the cold.

2- When our UV lamp is receiving less power and is already cold, it won’t emit enough UV radiation to cure the resin at a normal rate.

3- And, regardless of the first two reasons, resin will never cure as quickly in Winter weather as it does in warm weather.

By warming up our UV lamp a few minutes prior to curing we can keep the extended time down to just a few extra minutes.

We have to keep the resin warm, which can take some precise action.

During the windshield repair and replacement process, we have to keep the resin warm. We even have to preheat the windshield before adding the resin. Keeping it around 70 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically we will preheat the windshield using your vehicle’s heater. This is a precise process because your windshield can’t get too hot or too cool, so we have to work to maintain a stable temperature on your windshield in the midst of the Winter winds.

We have to remove any moisture in the windshield cracks.

If there is any moisture present in the damaged area, it must be removed. When snow and ice, or even just condensation, get inside a crack or chip in your windshield it can cause big problems. As the temperatures drop, trapped moisture could freeze and expand, putting pressure on your windshield and causing more cracks and damage. So we have to be thorough and ensure the crack we’re repairing is completely free of moisture.

Ultimately, we have to be careful not to add extra stress to the auto glass on your vehicle when we’re repairing or replacing it. And while we are available to come to you for a repair or replacement of your vehicle’s auto glass, it’s best to do the job inside.

The Difference Between a High and Low Quality Windshields

The Difference Between High and Low Quality Windshields

Front View Of Car Windshield And Windscreen Wiper Blades

You’re on the road this summer and a rock bounces up and puts a big crack in your windshield. No big deal, you can you wait until winter to fix it, right? No.

A car’s windshield acts as one of its most important safety features during an accident, rollover or collision. In a collision, a properly installed windshield keeps you in the vehicle and acts as a backboard for the passenger side airbag. In a rollover accident the windshield supports the roof of your vehicle and prevents it from collapsing and injuring the vehicle’s occupants.

Okay, so it’s time to replace the windshield, but what are the choices and how important is this really? There are two types of auto glass: OEM glass (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and non-OEM glass, or what many people refer to as aftermarket glass. OEM suppliers are trusted by auto manufacturers like GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to provide quality controlled windshields that are a perfect match and fit for their vehicles. OEM glass suppliers spend hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development, using computer-assisted engineering and design programs (CAE and CAD) to ensure quality windshields for their vehicles. Each OEM windshield goes through rigorous and thorough surface contour and optical quality checks as it moves down the assembly line. Auto glass parts produced by OEM Manufacturers consistently fit better and adhere to the same standards for fit and finish as the glass that is originally installed when the car is built.
There are significant quality differences between original equipment manufactured windshields and aftermarket auto glass. So why then, would anyone go to a shop that uses aftermarket glass when you need to replace your windshield? The after market shops will tell you that their product is the same quality as an OEM windshield. Wrong. Non-OEM auto glass manufacturers make copies of OEM auto glass parts. These copies have to vary slightly from the OEM part due to the fact that OEM parts are patented and the designs are protected and trademarked. Non-OEM suppliers must make significant differences in their product so that they do not exactly copy the glass used by GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, etc. to avoid being sued for copyright fraud.

Many auto glass shops use non-OEM parts because they are significantly cheaper to buy. These savings are not always passed along to the consumer, nor is the consumer told the parts being installed are of a lesser quality. Aftermarket glass parts also are not accepted by new car manufacturers for warranty claims and violate the repair requirements of many leasing contracts. It is common after installation for non-OEM or aftermarket parts to have fit and finish problems like air leaks, water leaks and stress cracks.

“Almost 70% of the automotive windshields that we see (that have been previously replaced) were improperly installed,” says Nik Frye, Vice President of Sales for Glass America. “This is important to note, because in a front-end collision, the windshield can provide up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle. In a rollover, that number can be up to 60%. If customers use OEM glass, a high quality polyurethane adhesive system with a one hour cure time, and a trained, certified technician – then this will greatly improve their chances of getting a safe windshield installation.”

auto glass window cleaner tips

Most over-the-counter window cleaners contain ammonia, which can create problems for your auto glass:

  • It streaks.
    Not a good thing when you rely on your windshield for a clear, unobstructed view of the roadways. And who wants to put all that effort into cleaning to drive off in a car with streaky windows?
  • It fogs.
    Having trouble with glare? It may be your chosen window cleaner.
  • It’s bad for your tint.
    Window tint should never be cleaned with ammonia-based cleaning products. Ammonia breaks down tint, and over time can cause it to peel.

Other items that can damage your auto glass

Beyond common window cleaners, your application method of choice can also damage your automotive glass.

  • Sponges
    Sponges may be great for scrubbing your pots and pans, but they’re not so gentle on your windshield, and can break down and ruin glass (and definitely your tint) over time.
  • Towels
    Your standard bath or hand towel may also be too rough for glass surfaces in your car.

What should I use to clean my auto glass?

For both internal and external car window surfaces, specially formulated auto glass cleaner is recommended, alongside microfiber cleaning cloths, which are safe for all the surfaces of your car. Less harmful for your auto glass and the environment, an array of safe, auto glass cleaning options are available.

How to clean auto glass – and avoid common mistakes:

  1. Don’t mix mediums.
    Whichever cloth you use for glass surfaces, use it for that and only that to avoid introducing hard-to-remove grease and grime from other surfaces or cleaners.
  2. Clean windows and mirrors last.
    Wash and dry your car first to prevent the dragging of dirt from other soiled surfaces on your car over windows. Keep extra microfiber cloths on hand as only clean cloths will yield superior glass care results.
  3. Take cover.
    Pull the car into shade before cleaning auto glass to prevent cleaner from drying too quickly and complicating cleaning efforts.
  4. Spray cleaner on the cloth, not the windshield.
    This prevents overspray onto painted surfaces.
  5. First things first.
    Clean the front windshield, then the rear, as these surfaces are essential to your view of the road. Start on one side, and when finished move to the other. When cleaning side windows, don’t neglect the top – open or roll down windows to ensure against overlooked surfaces.
  6. Use a pattern.
    Cleaning the outside with horizontal strokes and inside with vertical ones (or vice versa) can help you easily identify and rectify streaks.
  7. Don’t neglect your wiper blades.
    Clean them last with a separate cloth (they are often quite dirty) to prevent streaking during use.

5 More Tips for Your Windshield

1. Safe following distance

Aside from the normal dangers of following the car in front of you too closely, when there is salt and cinders on the road, following too closely greatly increases your chances of something bouncing off the road and hitting your windshield.  When this happens, a small stone chip is likely to end up turning into a large crack.  If you have it repaired quickly, you’ll decrease your changes of needing a windshield replacement.

2. Clean and change the wipers

After repeated use, the wiper blades become dirty and blunt. The dirt and sand which gathers on the wiper blades needs to be cleaned frequently. The wipers also need to be replaced every few months so that they do not cause scratches on your windshield. You can easily clean the wipers with the help of a rag soaked in washer liquid.  One of the insurance companies we represent allows us to provide new windshield wiper blades with every windshield replacement.  Ask us for more information about this program.

3. Leaving your wiper blades up before a snow or ice storm

Don’t do this!  Every winter, we get a lot of windshield replacement work due to wiper blades falling and hitting the windshield.

4. Ice Scraper use

During the winter months, another common source of windshield damage is from people scraping ice from their windows.  Being too aggressive with scraping and hitting the windshield with the scraper are the two most common causes for the breakages. The other type of damage that can happen is the surrounding trim parts and rubber moldings. This year, we helped a couple in Broomall with two windshields on their Honda’s.  One was a Honda Accord and the other a Honda Civic.  We won’t use any names (to save from embarrassment).  Pro tip – Don’t use a snow shovel to clear snow and ice from your car . . . unless you want to create the need for a windshield replacement.

5. Use the right cleaner

It is important to wipe the glass of the windshield manually from time to time to clean the dirt that has been left behind by the wipers. For this purpose, you should use cleaners which do not contain ammonia. Ammonia destroys the tint of the glass. You should go for a window cleaner and cotton towel to clean the windshield without causing streaks or scratches.
Following these tips can help you to keep your vehicle’s windshield clean and strong.  Here’s another great tip for a really thorough cleaning – I just did this recently on my own car and the results were incredible.

Prevent your windshield from fogging in the rain

Why do windshields fog up in the rain?

Windshield fogging is caused by condensation on the inner surface of the windshield, and not the outside. So wiping down the outside is useless. Condensation happens on the windshield because of the high humidity inside the vehicle, and the fogging is because of the temperature outside is colder than inside your vehicle. Think of how moisture that gathers on the outside of your drink, this is the same scenario.

How to properly get rid of fog on the windshield?

The fastest way to take care of foggy windows is to turn your A/C up and make the inside of your vehicle colder than the outside temperature.

To clear away any fog, wipe away any moisture with a lint-free cloth before turning up your A/C also and putting your A/C on the setting where it blows directly onto the windshield.

What if the fog won’t disappear?

When you cannot get the fog on your windshield to disappear, you most likely have oil mixed with moisture causing that hard-to-remove smidge on your windshield.

Oil can come from something like the cleaning product you used to wipe the surfaces or even the type of air fresheners you have in your car. Some air fresheners when evaporating, can get oil particles on your windshield, especially in hot conditions. If you have oil on your windshield you can clean it off by using just a little bit of rubbing alcohol or soda on a soft cloth and rubbing it across the oiled area.

How to prevent your windshield from fogging up.

The best way to keep your windshield from fogging up is to keep the class clean. Any dirt or oil particles like magnets for moisture. For long lasting effects you can use anti-fog coating products. Make sure your windshield is clean and dry before applying any anti-fogging products.

Check your weatherstripping

The weather stripping on your doors and windows can deteriorate, which is leaves a door open for moisture to seep though the side of the window. If you find any damp areas on the inside of your vehicle this is a immediate sign your weather stripping needs replacement.

Why You Should Rainproof your Windshield for Spring

Spring is now upon us, and with the springtime comes the dreaded rain storms. If you’re worried about your vehicle staying dry in the springtime rain, there are plenty of options that can set your mind at ease.First, it is crucial to diagnose what worries you about your vehicle. Is your windshield (or you’re your side windows) chipped, cracked, or worse? If so, your ride might not only get its interior soaked, but it could be extremely dangerous to drive in under any conditions.

The most important part of rain-proofing your car is to first fix any damage that could cause leaks or further breakage. This can easily be done by bringing your car in for a quick repair or replacement. It is absolutely worth getting this diagnosis done. Some nicks and cracks are too deep or unstable to attempt repair. Any “patches” done on badly damaged glass may end up making the problem worse and you will likely end up wasting your money when it is ineffective.
When a chip or crack appears on your windshield, the crack itself is digging in to the glass. This means that with any force (even rain water) that falls onto your windshield, the more likely that crack is to expand or shatter your windshield. Even driving over a pothole can cause a jarring vibration that finally does in that ominous crack, as well.
In order to properly rainproof your windshield for the spring weather, be sure to first diagnose and fix those underlying problems. Invest long-term in your safety—fixing or replacing your windshield will rainproof and dustproof your vehicle as well as protect you from the snow, rocks, and debris that gets kicked up in everyday life.
For even better results, after repairs are complete, consider rain repellent such as Rain Ex or water repellent car wax, which are commonly used in windshield wiper fluid and applied by hand, respectively.Rain repellent causes rain drops to bead on the windshield, no matter how big the downpour, so that the driver can retain maximum visibility through rainstorms. Rather than sheets of water creating an impenetrable wall in front of you, solutions such as wax or Rain Ex are excellent ways of making your drive safer for under $15.

You can also purchase windshield wipers with Rain Ex embedded in the wiper materials, which is a win-win, as you will have new and perfectly functioning wiper blades ready for rain, and the rain repellent that will make driving a lot safer.
Make sure that when preparing to rainproof your vehicle, you take the safe route for you and your family—repair or replace your windshield and invest in the long-term. Come summer, fall, and winter, your car will then be protected by dust, rocks, snow, and other environmental entities—Rain Ex will not protect you then—by making the necessary repairs now, you can be worry-free for what each season throws at you.

OW TO PROTECT YOUR WINDSHIELD IN EXTREMELY COLD WEATHER

Cold weather means there are certain precautions you have to take with your car. But while you may have thought about things like checking the antifreeze or letting your vehicle warm up in the mornings, have you considered what the cold does to your windshield? As a trusted provider of windshield replacement in dallas glass and surrounding areas, BEAM Auto Glass wants to offer some advice. Here’s how you can protect your windshield in extremely cold weather:

  • Never use boiling water as a defroster – Putting hot water on your windshield may sound like a good idea at the time. However, hot water can damage your auto glass if you pour it on a frozen windshield. Instead, plan ahead and practice patience by using your defroster to slowly and warm up your windshield.
  • Always use ice scrapers – Invest in a good quality ice scraper this winter. These tools help you remove ice so your car will defrost faster.
  • Replace old windshield wiper blades – If your wiper blades are falling apart, get new ones now. Winter weather will cause further wear and tear to old wiper blades, exposing the metal and potentially scratching the glass.
  • Keep your auto glass clean – Clean your windshield on a regular basis. This will help prevent scratches caused by dirt, salt, and other debris that may be left on your windshield.
  • Repair cracks ASAP – If you see a crack or a chip in your auto glass, call an auto glass service as quickly as you can. Cold temperatures cause cracks to spread rapidly, turning what could be a simple repair into a full-on replacement in a snap.

If extreme temperatures have caused damage to your windshield, call Dallas glass today

The Benefits and drawbacks of Laminated Glass

The benefits of laminated glass are:Security – Obviously, since laminated glass is harder to break than regular glass, it makes it more secure. This is most likely the reason that most people will choose to have laminated glass installed.Reduction in Sound – Regular glass allows a lot of sound to penetrate it. This isn’t so with laminated glass, it lets much less sound through, making your home or car a little more quieter from hearing all the outside rumbles.It’s Durable – Can’t really put it any other way, laminated glass lasts longer than regular glass.It adds Safety – If you have children in your neighborhood who play outside, the likelihood that you’ll end up with a broken window from a baseball being thrown at it is diminished.Added Protection from the elements – Because it’s stronger than regular glass, in the event of a hurricane or tornado, it is less likely to shatter and injure those people inside.

The drawbacks of laminated glass are:Expensive – laminated auto glass windows are lot more expensive than regular windows. The manufacturing process is more in depth, and the glass requires multiple layers of material, unlike regular glass. Depending on your income, there is a good possibility that if you need replacement windows, you will only be able to replace a couple at a time if you use laminated auto glass.Less manufacturers – There are much fewer companies who manufacture laminated auto glass than regular glass, so you might have a hard time finding the right company. You might actually have to wait several weeks, or even months before they can be made for you.

Top 5 Advantages of Auto Glass Repairs for Damaged Car

If you have a vehicle with cracked or fragmented windshield, you will need to fix the problem. Many people choose to replace damaged windows entirely as well as making appointments for the replacement of their auto glass. Severely broken glass will need a full window, chip, and crack replacement through an auto glass repair. Some of the damages to the windshield comes from flying objects such as truck debris, rocks, and even storm.

The following are some of the auto glass repair benefits to your damaged car windows:

Cost

One of the crucial things a motorist requires is an auto insurance policy to cover glass replacement if necessary. If you don’t have insurance coverage, you might not pay the full cost of the cracked window replacement. An auto glass repair costs much less than replacing the glass completely.

Window Strength

If there is damage to your car window, its structural integrity can further deteriorate. Sometimes, even a small crack to your car’s window can break entirely if another object hits it. A cracked window can harm the driver or passenger in the vehicle. To prevent such a case, you should get the glass repaired immediately to prevent injuries. 

Protection

You might have a crack in your car windows or windshield making it vulnerable to elements like air and water getting through. Ensure you protect your car from adverse weather conditions, and in case of cracks, get it repaired immediately.

The Environment

An Auto Glass company will replace your auto glass without delays and minimize the quantity material sent to landfills. When you replace or repair damages to your auto glass, it will prevent the surrounding parts of the auto glass from any additional cost. Furthermore, technicians will minimize the number of materials used in replacing the auto glass.

A windshield should be environmentally sustainable to withstand any weather condition. A glass expert should ensure your vehicle’s auto glass lasts long.

Visual Clarity

When your vehicles’ windshield has chips and cracks, you will not have a clear view of the road as you drive. Due to this, an accident may occur. Replacing your auto glass minimizes potential risks like accidents caused by poor vision. The danger it brings is good enough reason for some states to consider it illegal to drive with a cracked windshield, including California, which has strict speeding ticket and traffic laws.

An auto glass replacement will reduce any risks that block you from clearly viewing the road ahead. Whenever your windshield has cracks and chips, it will interfere with your line of sight. Many auto glass company specialists usually inject epoxies through the chips or cracks to reinstate optical clearness.

Parting shot

If you’re a driver, you’ve probably had the experience of a damaged windshield or auto glass. The damages could be too much to the extent of exposing you to danger as you drive your vehicle. Imagine a big tree branch suddenly falling and crushing your windshield, or a thief smashing your car window as he tries to break in. When such cases occur, make sure you get a mobile auto glass repair as a safer alternative than driving to another location to seek help.

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