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?

Ray Sands Glass Wants to Know What You Think!

We certainly understand that when customers call our shop about a broken windshield, that is it often the result of an unfortunate encounter with a rock on the highway, which they are probably less than happy about.  We also understand that after making their car payment and filling up the gas tank (ugh) people are generally less than happy about having to pay for repairs to their car, which, for so many people these days, can strain the family budget.

With this in mind, we really want to know is – What we can do to make it easier on you?  Aside from giving some of our services away for free (we already do that), how can having your windshield replaced be a little bit better?

Since the best way to find out how people feel about your business is to ask them, that’s what we want to do today.  We want to hear about the customer experience in dealing with not only Ray Sands Glass, but other glass shops across the country or even other types of auto service businesses.   What could the auto glass team have done differently to make things just a little easier?  And no holds barred on this one!   From the greeting at the front desk and the magazine selection, to the quality of workmanship and the communication with the technician – we want to know the good and bad stories about your in experiences in our shop and others.

You can share your stories here or on our facebook page.  We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Who’s Got the Glass You Need?

When a driver realizes that the damage to their windshield is more critical than the repair process can handle, they must, for their own safety have the windshield replaced.   The car owner must then decide which shop to have replace the glass, and what type of glass they want.   However, these choices are often one and the same.   Just as in many other fields, different shops specialize in different types of glass.

Many of the independently owned glass businesses with a brick and mortar location specialize in OEM replacement glass, or that made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer.  These are the companies working with auto makers during research and development to perfect the safety and aerodynamics of each make and model.  Aftermarket glass is made by attempting to copy glass made by the OEM company, without cooperation from the auto maker or the OEM glass manufacturer.

Safelite’s family of companies,  the largest glass manufacturer in the world,  makes no OEM glass.  It might seem incredible that despite Safelite making more glass than anyone else, not one auto maker, foreign or domestic, wants to buy that glass to put in their cars.  We think this speaks volumes about the quality of the aftermarket product these companies are installing in millions of cars per year.

At the other end of the glass pricing spectrum is dealer glass – this is OEM glass, with the auto maker’s logo stamped on it, instead of the glass company logo.  But most of the time, this different logo can be costly and unnecessary, since even leased vehicles can usually be returned without charge with an OEM windshield.

We do realize that on some higher end luxury vehicles, owners and dealers alike prefer to have the original logo.  For that reason Ray Sands Glass, and many other OEM installers, can often install “dealer” glass with the auto maker’s logo, provided by the same OEM manufacturer the dealer uses, on many higher end vehicles.   However,  dealer glass for most makes and models is generally reserved for the car enthusiasts who must have the auto logo stamped on their glass.

No matter what type of glass you choose for your vehicle, be sure to have it installed by certified and experienced technician who is using high quality adhesives and taking the proper safety precautions.

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

Windshield Replacement Safe Drive-away Time

The auto glass industry uses a term “Safe drive-away time”. What exactly does this industry buzzword mean? Usually it is referring to the cure time of the installation materials, or that the urethane has cured to 500 psi, the “acceptable” drive-away widely approved by the industry.

In reality, according to most manufacturers, safe drive-away really means the urethane has cured completely in the car. Most states dictate that the vehicle should be returned to pre-malfunctioning condition before the customer leaves, which means “full cure.” Continue reading