Can This Windshield Chip Be Repaired?

This is certainly the first question that most customers ask when they come into or call our shop.  Nobody wants to pay for a replacement if repair is an option, and frankly, we would be much happier to repair it for you than to throw another piece of glass in a dumpster.  There are several different types of damage that fall into the “repairable” category, some more complicated to repair than others.

The first and most common type of damage is the Bulls-eye.  This name accurately describes the appearance of this round, straight single impact type of damage.  And while this often looks like the worst type of chip, since a larger piece of glass has been removed, it is actually the easiest to repair.  But with a cone shaped bulls eye chip it is especially important to seek  a professional repair immediately since they are prone to collect water and dirt that permanently discolor the laminate layer inside the glass.

Another type similar in type to the bulls-eye in what we call the Angel Wings or sometimes a Half Moon, but is essentially a partial bulls eye.   While a bit more complicated to repair than a a traditional straight impact bulls eye, this type is still very repairable.  And once again, promptness is key in getting a good repair without an evident blemish in the glass.

Another type of damage that we see everyday on windshields is the Star Break, which are often, but not necessarily shaped like a star.  any small bunch of cracks centered on a single impact point would be considered a star break.  Since the cracks of a star break are at risk of growing beyond the point of repair, you can save yourself a few hundred dollars by contacting a reputable repair shop ASAP.

The most complicated type of damage to repair is a Combination Break, which has features of each of the types of damage we discussed above.  But if the damage is small (no larger than a quarter) and you contact us as soon as possible after the incident, it can generally be repaired without any visible evidence of damage.  While some insurance companies are more likely to set the size limit for repairs at 6 inches, we don’t recommend this.   Since the most important function of the windshield is keeping the driver and passengers safe, we don’t like to repair a windshield that has been compromised in it’s structural integrity.

The bottom line is – contact a professional auto glass repair shop to survey the damage as soon as possible.  The sooner you seek a repair, the less likely it is that you will need a replacement.

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PAYD Insurance – What Do You Think?

PAYD, or Pay As You Drive Insurance seems to be a trend amongst insurance carriers, and we wanted to find out how our readers feel about this new way to pay.

PAYD insurance adjusts drivers’ insurance rates based on the number of miles driven, and sometimes other factors, giving discounts to those drivers that cover fewer miles, and also giving high mileage drivers higher rates.  This provides an even greater incentive to cut down on mileage (as if the gas prices aren’t enough) which is always good for the environment, but how should those miles be tracked?

There are currently many different tracking devices on the market that record a variety of driver data.  Some track only miles driven, with a device that records the odometer reading and sends the reading directly to the insurance company.  Others can create much more detailed reports that include times of day that miles are driven or speed and distance driven in any given trip, even GPS location.

Right now all the pay as you drive programs available in the US  are optional, so no one is required to submit to a tracking device in order to get insurance, but companies offer considerable discounts for those who opt into such insurance plans.  This is great for those groups who are generally careful drivers.  You and your spouse could save bundles with a pay how you drive plan, but you might want to reconsider if you have teenage drivers who tend to drive faster and brake harder.

So what do you think?  Is it worth giving up another bit of your privacy, in this increasingly public world, or would you rather just pay an averaged rate, and be grouped in with all other drivers?

Show Some Love for Local Business

Ray Sands Glass loves small local businesses, and not just because we are one!  We love the Rochester community – the friends, family and neighbors, the friendly faces on the street and in our shop, even all those other drivers out there on the road!  This community has been home to Ray Sands Glass for over 60 years and for many of our employees (and owners) this city holds a piece of family heritage.  We care enough to want what’s best for the Rochester area and it’s citizens, and that means local businesses.

Many people don’t realize how local businesses stimulate local economy so much more than big corporations.  When you spend a dollar here in Rochester at a local business, 43 cents of it stays right here in our area, but when you spend that dollar with a company based elsewhere, only about 19 cents stays here in our city.  Since small businesses are more likely to spend your dollar with other local establishments, you really are investing in your own community, and when you do that, that dollar comes back around to you in the end.

We often go out of our way to spend locally –  we buy an lease our vehicles from local dealerships, we buy our power tools, compressors and urethanes from people right here in our area.  In our efforts to back other local businesses, we have found that these small outfits do the same for us – not just by buying our products and services, but standing by their own, and with top quality service and accountability.

So please join us in supporting this wonderful city we call home, and all those neighbors and friends who benefit from a thriving local business community.  Buy from someone who appreciates your business, someone who is paying taxes to your city, someone who is spend their dollars in your own backyard and someone who cares for this community as much as you do. In short, buy local.  In this little slice of the world, our troubles are all the same and RSG is always glad you came!

Windshield Chip and Scratch Repair is Serious Business

Windshield repair can be an incredible improvement to the aesthetics and structural integrity of your automobile.   When you incur a chip, crack or scratch out on the road it is reassuring to have the option of repair  instead of replacement, which can be a money saver and a “green” alternative.   These are the factors that motivate Ray Sands Glass to provide FREE windshield repair to customers in our Rochester community.

But not all windshield damage can be repaired, and we want customers to understand our intentions when we have to tell them that their glass must be replaced.    We can’t repeat this enough: the windshield is essential to your automobile’s frame strength. Those pieces of laminated glass are what keep your body inside in the event of a collision and prevent the roof from collapsing in the event of a rollover.  It makes us shudder to hear companies claim they can repair a crack up to a foot in length,  this is considered an unsafe practice by most auto makers and Ray Sands Glass agrees.

There isn’t a responsible insurance company or body shop out there that would tell it’s safe to repair a foot long crack in the auto body’s frame.  So why should the windshield be any different?  The truth is it shouldn’t.  The point of windshield repair is to fix the damage before it get large enough to jeopardize the roof support structure.  When an dubious repairman slathers some compound on a large crack, it has the general effectiveness of a piece of scotch tape – it looks better but doesn’t hold up under pressure, when you need it most.

So please reconsider if you are thinking about trying to save a few dollars by avoiding replacement with a treacherous repair.  It could be your life (or your passengers’) on the line!

All The FREE Home Improvement Info You Could Ever Want

For anyone in the Rochester area that is even considering any type of home improvement, this is a great, free opportunity to shop around the local companies without making a dozen phone calls.  With exhibitors covering every facet of home improvement, outdoors and in, you can ask questions and get some face to face answers from experts in a variety of fields.  We are looking forward to discussing some of our most popular residential glass services with Rochester area residents, and helping them save a few dollars in the process.

One of those popular residential glass services is our “Get the Fog Out” procedure, which can repair windows in which the seal has failed and caused a permanent foggy appearance.  We are really thankful that we have been able to offer this service which has saved our Western New Yorkers thousands upon thousands of dollars over the years, not to mention the tons of glass that is effectively insulating homes, instead of rotting in landfills.   If you have fogged windows in your home, please come talk to us (for free) before you even consider the costly and inconvenient process of window unit replacement.  We may just be able to help you out, the green way, at a fraction of the cost!

And before you head out for the home show, don’t forget to tune into Jim Salmon’s morning home repair clinic on WHAM 1180!  Ray Sands Glass’ General Manager Dave Burns and Sales Manager Chris Green will be on the show discussing our residential fog removal process – how it works and how it saves you money.  You can tune in between 7am and 8am to hear all about Get The Fog Out, and you can catch us at the Fall Home Show Saturday from 10am to 8pm or Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

We look forward to talking to you this weekend, whether it’s over the airwaves or face to face!

All Revved Up For Auto Glass Week 2011

While the nearing of 2011’s auto glass week might not titillate the everyday consumer, this is one of the highlights of the year for those in the auto glass industry.  To us, it’s a great learning experience and a chance to find out about new ideas and catch up with old friends.

Getting together with other independent glass shops from around the country at Glass Week has often been inspirational to our business.  The ideas seem to flow freely amongst the like minded crowd, to the benefit of all who attend.  We often hear about new products and services that could benefit our customers or business practices that have been successful (or not so successful) in other auto glass companies.

Aside from the wealth of knowledge and experience of those who share our profession, we are also looking forward to finding out more about recent changes in the auto insurance industry.  With two major insurance companies having made adjustments to their polices related to the auto glass repair and replacment, we look forward to finding out more about how it will affect our customers.

The Independent Glass Association (IGA) will also be introducing their new software program, which our co-owner and IGA Board Member, Dave Burns is particularly excited about.  The new software could make the entire claims and repair process go more smoothly for everyone – even small to medium sized independent glass shops.

And while the Olympic competitions will be exciting to see, Ray Sands Glass generally doesn’t take part.  We wouldn’t want to send our best manpower out of town for the competition and jeopardize the efficiency of taking care of our customers back home.

But as Dave Burns said “We don’t need a competition to tells us that we have one of the most qualified and proficient auto glass teams in the country”

Is Your Lake Home Feeling the Effects of the Sun?

Everyone who has owned a lakefront home here in western New York knows that a beautiful sunny day makes you remember why you love being there. But it’s that lovely lakeside sunshine that can seriously damage the personal treasures inside your home.   The powerful UV rays are just as harmful to your furnishings and antiques as they are to your skin, and traditional window glass doesn’t do much to stop it.

We have found in our work on waterfront homes that they often provide shining examples of the potential for sun damage to flooring, walls and furniture.   An area of concern unique to waterfront window and door areas is sun damage to the ceilings, even in homes that have sun protection from overhead awnings.  The reflected sunlight from the glimmering water in the summer and the expanse of snow and ice in the winter can cause discoloration of paint or, over time, destruction of the ceiling materials. Continue reading