The Windshield Replacement Process
Ideally, you will never need to invest in a windshield replacement. However, according to Insurance Journal, windshield replacements are the number one insurance claim—comprising 30 percent of all claimed auto repairs—in the United States.
Windshield Replacement Is the Most Common Auto Repair
Given the number of common hazards you face each day on your commute, whether you realize or not, it is not a surprise you may one day need to schedule a windshield replacement. The following are just a few of the regular risks that West Chester, Pennsylvania drivers may experience that can put a chip or crack in your windshield:
- Driving Behind Construction Vehicles or Garbage Trucks: Large vehicles hauling loose materials that can possibly break free can pose a risk to your automobile’s glass, particularly when on the highway driving at posted speed limits.
- Traveling on a Gravel Road: Loose gravel and rocks can easily kick up and hit your windshield, even at slower speeds.
- Poor Windshield Construction and Installation: Poor materials or a lack of skilled installation can lead to fissures with little or no reason.
- Involvement In a Car Accident: A collusion often causes a larger and more drastic crack in the windshield, giving drivers no choice but to fix it immediately.
- A few additional reasons for damage to windshields include temperature and pressure changes, intense sunlight or hail.
It is important for drivers to remember that, no matter how small the crack or the cause of it, it is important to repair it as soon as possible for a few reasons:
- The windshield provides up to 30 percent of a vehicle’s structural strength and integrity.
- A small chip can turn into a large spider web crack at any time, such as while driving at speeds appropriate for the highway that can prove dangerous if without a full range of vision.
What Can You Do Once You Realize You Have a Chipped or Cracked Windshield?
The first and best thing you can do when you experience, or discover out of nowhere, that your windshield has any size chip or crack is to contact a reputable and highly skilled West Chester, PA window replacement installation expert to help determine how to proceed. Your glass replacement technician will evaluate the following factors before making a recommendation of repair or replacement:
Size and Depth
Some small chips that are shallow and do not appear to have the potential to spread might benefit from a repair.
Type of Glass Damage
The technician will look to determine whether the issue is a chip, crack, a complex spider web crack, or a series of cracks, or a break
Location of Original Chip or Crack
If the chip is directly in the driver’s viewing area, the technician may recommend full replacement since, no matter how good repair work turns out, there may still be discoloration that can distract drivers.
There are some damages to a windshield that a glass care technician will not recommend to customers, including:
- A chip inside the windshield
- Extremely deep chips or cracks that work their way through to the interior glass
- Any damage to the driver’s key viewing area
- Damage over the radio antenna or rain sensors
- Multiple complex cracks
- Cracks along the edge of the windshield
- Any crack that extends beyond 18-inches long
How Does Windshield Replacement Work?
After examining the damage to your vehicle’s windshield, and the technician does recommend replacing the windshield, it may help you to know how windshield replacement works. The following steps may help ease your mind about the process:
- A Two-Person Technician Team Will Do the Job for a Perfect Setting. The best windshield replacement companies always send two skilled technicians to install your new windshield. The right team knows just how to set your new windshield with precision to guarantee you will not experience any leaks, wind noises, or other issues with your new windshield.
- Carve Out Plenty of Time In Your Schedule. Most replacement orders take a skilled team between 30-minutes and one-hour.
- Remove the Damaged Windshield Glass. The first thing your glass replacement technicians will do is to remove the chipped or cracked windshield. The team will use special cut tools to remove the glass easily, careful, cleanly and completely, leaving a clear setting, ready for the new glass.
- Apply the Adhesive. Apply new adhesive sealant to the vehicle’s windshield mounting area. Technicians use a special automotive glue called urethane, which has a psi of 1,000 and extremely difficult to cut.
- Prepare the New Glass for Installation. Make sure the new glass is completely clean and set with garnish mouldings.
- Place the New Windshield Into Place. The two Installation technicians will work together to carefully lay down the new windshield, ensuring precision.
- Wait Before Driving. Most windshield replacement companies recommend that drivers wait one hour for the adhesive to dry and return your car to structural soundness, but the truth is that it depends on various factors that can make it 30 minutes or several hours. Your installation professional can tell you upon installation, so prepare to leave an extra hour or two before you need to drive.
- Replace, Renew and Reapply Decals and Permits. Any essential adhesives you had affixed to your windshield, such as a parking permit for work or toll transponders, will need replacements, so make sure to order those right away to affix to your new windshield.
- Remove the Curing Tape and Go. Once the windshield is in place, you can remove the protective tape on your windshield to help set the new glass in place, and you are ready to drive safely.