Winter Windshield Woes – Seven Ways to Cope With Cold Weather Damage to Auto Glass
Originally, cars did not even have windshields and people used goggles as their only protection against insects, bad weather and road debris. And would you believe that the first wind screens were made of plate glass that could shatter into dangerously sharp pieces when broken? Auto glass is now laminated or tempered and treated for strength and impact resistance, and its installation has come a long way since the Model T.
Your windshield glass today is far more than just a screen for protection from the weather and flying debris. It must also keep you and your passengers from being thrown in the event of a collision. Weather is a double edged sword because it is the reason we got windshields for our cars in the first place, but remains one of the biggest threats to their stability. Here are ways to cope with the potential for cold weather damage to auto glass:
When the weather outside is frightful, it can bring additional stress to auto glass. And if your vehicle is exposed to the elements for long periods of time, the stress can be magnified, particularly if there are any small damaged areas. Taking care of little problems now and preparing for plunges in winter temperatures will help to ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers. And whether you need windshield replacement or windshield repair you need to look for the most qualified auto glass shop to do the job.
Prepare Ahead for Snow and Ice
When it’s cold outside and especially after every snow, auto repair shops see a continuous influx of wounded windshields and car window repair becomes big business. This is because car owners use spatulas, screwdrivers, chisels and anything else they can think of to get rid of troublesome ice accumulations.
One of the first things you can do for protection is to get a good scraper and put it in your car before the first snow. In other words, plan to buy one before winter sets in and while scrapers are still in plentiful stock at your favorite auto supply center.
Don’t Turn on the Defroster!
If your icy windshield has a chip and you decide to turn on the defroster (or worse yet, pour hot water on it), remember the practice can trigger a chip to crack into a wider fissure and cause more costly damage.
Fix That Chip
If you are not sure your little chip is serious enough for repair, it probably is. The tiniest one can quickly escalate into a real problem with even subtle fluctuations in the weather. In cold weather especially, windshields tend to imperceptibly bend into more concave shapes. Combined with the new pressure inherent in making tougher glass with high density, this can result in a serious crack and the need for total glass replacement. Gambling for time is just that – gambling. Now is really the time for a full inspection by an expert auto glass repair shop. The temptation is to wait, but the danger is in waiting too long to get chipped window repair to ward off bigger issues.
Look for the Best in Auto Glass Shops
Repairing larger cracks may not always be feasible, leaving you no other alternative but to replace the windshield. If you do need a full replacement it is important to find trained and certified technicians who are not only highly qualified, but certified specialists. Their base of knowledge and experience in the proper use of materials, glass, molding and adhesives will guarantee a professional installation for safety, reliability and durability.
If you need a new windshield, call your local auto glass shop and ask questions. Find out how that shop can help you with damage control and work with you to determine whether you should file an insurance claim. Your auto policy’s comprehensive section will usually cover damage and some shops will actually file the claim for you and handle all the paperwork too.
Advantages of Proper Installation
Modern windshields are the result of years of innovation and invention. They feature antennas, defrosting systems, sun shading, UV protection and even navigational systems in some vehicles. Having your windshield installed by a highly qualified shop that specializes in auto glass will add to or help to retain the value of the vehicle. A properly installed windshield contributes significantly to its structural integrity, works in tandem with the airbag for safe deployment, and is designed to keep occupants safe and inside the vehicle in the event of an accident.
Inclement weather gave us modern windshields offering safety as well as comfort and enjoyment. And inclement weather now poses one of the biggest threats to that all important glass protection. Remaining aware of the potential for winter damage and taking steps to prevent it will keep the culprit weather outside, where it belongs!