Safety First in Winter Windshield Replacement

Windshield replacement, and the need for it, is a fact of life – some damage just can’t be repaired.  Glass replacement in the winter can be trickier, but no matter the time of year that the damage occurs, putting off service is not a good idea.  But there are serious risks to driver and passengers when a windshield is installed outdoors in the winter, exposed to the cold and precipitation.

As anyone who lives in the Great Lakes area knows, our weather can be quite unpredictable.  With weather patterns that turn on a dime and squalls blowing in from potentially any direction, being the weatherman must be one of the most stressful jobs in Rochester.  And Ray Sands Glass has no desire to try it out.  We find it easier to keep to your scheduled appointment and our safety standards when we arrange for indoor service during the cold winter months.

The reason outdoor replacement can be such a safety risk is that weather and moisture can affect the ability of the adhesive to cure.  While the very top quality adhesives will still cure safely in cold weather, that just isn’t what everybody is using.  Some cheaper adhesives, known as standard cure, require temperatures of at least 50 degrees and 50% humidity to cure in the given safe drive away time.  Due to these factors, some “standard cure” products have been known to take up to four months to cure completely in the cold North East winter weather.  This is one of the prime examples of why we feel the cost of good products is absolutely worth the added safety value.

If any part of the car or glass isn’t properly prepared for installation or is exposed to moisture during the replacement due to unexpected weather, the new glass simply won’t adhere.  We have replaced several windshield in our shop that were removed from the car in one piece without the aid of tools.  When a technician can push the windshield out with his bare hands, it’s scary to think of what might have happened if that customer were in an accident before they made it to our shop.

Windshield replacement is a process where safety depends on the materials not getting wet during the installation – so ask yourself this question: Would you approve if you hired a repairman and he wanted to spend an hour working on your computer outside during the winter in Rochester?

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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!

The Best Auto Glass for the Best Windshield Replacement

Everyone one knows that the best fit for any car’s windshield is the original glass that was installed when the car was manufactured.  Since life happens, it’s often not an option to keep the automobile’s original glass.  Fortunately, there is a best alternative – replacement glass made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM Glass.

Many people don’t realize that when auto makers are designing and testing vehicles, the OEM glass manufacturers are intrinsically involved in the entire process.  OEM glass companies such as PPG, Carlite and Pilkington  go through the research and development process of each automobile with the maker.    And while some aftermarket glass companies make a decent quality product, it most often isn’t a product that has been crash tested in your vehicle.  While OEM companies are working with auto makers to meet their exact safety and stress specifications, aftermarket companies are only required to meet a basic standard.   Continue reading

Saving with Windshield Repair

We came across this article from the Sammamish Reporter that echoes the sentiments of the auto glass community regarding the importance of prompt repair of chips and nicks in you auto glass.  Thousands of windshields are replaced nationwide every year that should never have needed it.  Which means that not only are consumers spending money that they don’t need to spend, but tons of non-recyclable glass is being unnecessarily thrown into landfills.

There used to be a time when the only thing to do was to either ignore them or replace the whole windshield, an expensive undertaking which can set you back $300 to $400.

Dick Walker, owner of Eastside Mobile Auto Glass, said that he had seen quite a few people bring their cars in over the past few weeks to have their windshields repaired, before they needed replacing.

“It makes a lot of sense,” Walker said. “If you get the chip while it is still small, we can repair it before it spreads and cracks. A repair job costs about $40, but if you wait and the windshield needs repairing, then it will cost hundreds.”

Walker, who has been in business for 29 years and in Issaquah for 18, says that this time of year, a lot of the cracks start to grow.

It’s the warmer weather – the glass starts to slowly expand and the cracks that were made in the winter put strain and stress on the windshield.

The good news for motorists is that most insurance companies will pay for a windshield repair.

“A lot of them will even waive the deductible,” said Walker.

And if you are in the Rochester, NY area, repair is FREE with a small donation of pet supplies to help support our community animal shelters.  As little a five pounds of cat or dog food could save you a windshield replacement a few months down the line.

Even for those non-New York-ers the cost, time and materials saved should be a big enough motivator to get you down to your local NGA Certified glass shop for a quick easy and painless repair to your chipped windshield

Do You Really Need a Windshield Replacement?

Really there a lot of different ways to tell if can have your windshield repaired or if you really need a replacement.  To start you don’t want to repair anything in the driver’s line of vision.  So you can sit in the car and look straight ahead and mark that point with your finger, if the crack or chip is within six inches of that point then it shouldn’t be repaired.  Repair does not make the chip or crack disappear – just prevents it from spreading and restores structural integrity as well as appearance.

Some repair shops will tell you they can fix a crack up to twelve inches long.  I just don’t believe there is any way it can be done safely, maintaining the structural integrity of the car.  The windshield plays a big role in supporting the roof of the car, I wouldn’t be comfortable repairing anything larger than a quarter.  If the damage to the windshield can be completely covered with a quarter it can most likely be repaired safely, without compromising any roof support. Continue reading