Be Vigil This Winter Against With These Auto Glass Safety Tips

Auto Glass Norcross GA

With winter now in full swing, it comes as no surprise that the elements are taking a harder than normal toll on our automobiles. From dead batteries that plague us when we’re trying to go to work to the occasional flat tire caused by cold temperatures, there can be plenty of problems that arise due to cold weather and frozen precipitation. Not many people, however, have considered how temperatures can impact their windshield and auto glass; with rapid fluctuations in temperature being fairly common in the winter months, this can cause extra strain on your glass and present numerous problems.

Nobody wants to be caught in the dead of winter with a broken window or windshield, so it only makes sense to be as careful as possible to ensure the optimal performance of this vital piece of automobile equipment. Whether you drive for a living or simply need a vehicle to get from point A to point B, you want to take precautions to ensure the quality and safety of your drive is a top priority. In the following article, we will discuss some common problems you may experience in the winter with your auto glass and how to either avoid these issues or correct them quickly and safely.

Damage to Existing Cracks

If your windshield or auto glass already has damage that is visible, then it is vital that you have this repaired as soon as possible. Rapid changes in temperature – like those experienced during winter driving – can quickly cause the auto glass to expand and contract. This is a constant occurrence in any form of auto glass, but it is usually so subtle that you would never notice it. Whenever the glass is damaged, however, these contractions and expansions can cause the cracks to quickly become worse, possibly turning a simple repair into an expensive replacement. Nobody wants to have to deal with that.

Fortunately, most insurance policies cover repairs to your windshield and auto glass with no out of pocket cost to you. We highly recommend that you consult with an auto glass technician at the first sight of any damage, particularly in the winter months when these rapid changes in temperature between night and day can further damage the glass. In some cases, it only takes a few days of bad weather to turn your windshield or window into an unsalvageable prospect; by acting quickly, you will save yourself time, money, and frustration (not to mention the obvious safety implications that come with properly maintained auto glass).

Moisture Problems

Whether you have noticed damage to your windshield or to one of your windows, it is important to keep the area free from moisture until it can be repaired. Whenever moisture works its way into cracks or chips, it can add an exponential effect to what was discussed above – namely, the expansion of liquid as it freezes can lead to cracks being exacerbated in a much more rapid fashion than under normal conditions. This means that your windshield or glass may have moisture in it on a cold winter morning (which froze there), is melted to some degree while driving, and then freezes again once the vehicle is parked. This back and forth will damage the windshield and result in replacements for the glass being needed sooner or later.

The best way to ensure that this does not happen is to park in a covered area to prevent moisture from forming. In the event that dew or frost somehow manages to find its way into an existing crack or chip and has frozen, a good de-icer can quickly remove any moisture and help you ensure that no further damage is done while the vehicle is being driven during daylight hours.

Go Easy on Your Doors

The winter months can make even solid windows naturally more susceptible to damage, so you should strive to be more careful when it comes to your handling of doors. Weaker glass may shatter at any time when the door is shut too hard, but the winter can cause even the best auto glass to shatter if the door is shut too strongly, leaving you without a window when you need it the most. We recommend a way to avoid this fate, which involves maintaining contact with the door handle until the car door is completely shut and by not exerting too much force.

Whether you want to make it through the winter months without sustaining any new damage to your automobile’s glass or simply need to prevent existing damage from becoming worse, there are a few simple tactics you can employ to guarantee this. By going easy on your doors when you open and close them, you can avoid the unexpected shattering of windows. The elimination of moisture from existing damage areas will ensure that the damage is not accelerated by freezing and thawing processes (but the existing damage must be taken care of as soon as possible). Finally, you can protect yourself and your family by ensuring that the vehicle is not exposed to cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time, which can weaken the auto glass and exacerbate existing defects. All of these strategies will keep your auto glass in solid shape and help ensure your safety when on the road.

Elements that can acceerate wind damage

A windshield is designed to withstand all of the elements of Mother Nature. Since the very first windshields that were made of window glass, the industry has continued to evolve and produce better variations of windshields and auto glass that provide additional safety, convenience, and strength to a vehicle. This is done for several reasons, with primary consideration for the safety and protection of the driver from wind, precipitation, debris, UV rays, and accidents. Enhancements that provide these benefits in many cases would have been non-existent or less effective just a few decades ago.

A windshield is designed to protect you, but it, unfortunately, will take a beating in the process. At some point or another, a windshield will suffer damage significant enough to create a chip, crack or fissure in the glass. This can be the beginning of a gradual process that results in the entire windshield being compromised, which eliminates its life-saving effectiveness. With damage to the windshield, it can be a matter of days or months before the damage spreads. There are several known culprits that can exacerbate the damage before you have the necessary repairs performed; we’ll discuss these elements below. Many of these elements will cause damage beyond repair and require a windshield replacement.

Wind

The primary consideration of a windshield for many is the deflection of air, as you may often cruise at speeds strong enough for winds to feel like a tropical storm. Whenever there is damage to a windshield, wind can create conditions conducive to damage acceleration by forcing itself into the nooks and crannies of the damage. This can speed up overall fracturing and chipping, which destroys the structural integrity of the surrounding glass. One of the most important reasons why you should not drive when you have damage to the windshield, the wind’s powerful forces are a true match for any damaged windshield.

Snow

Various forms of precipitation are a common concern when on the road, but snow can be deleterious when you have damage to the windshield. Due to the friction from the wind as you drive, the snow has a tendency to melt. Whenever you start your car, there may be frozen moisture in the cracks of the chip that has expanded. As you drive, this will melt but can often re-freeze after a short commute and in cold conditions. This constant expansion and contraction within the damaged area works to undermine the strength of the windshield and creates conditions for more cracks to emerge.

Dust

The wind as you drive can be damaging to an already compromised windshield, but dust carried along with it presents an added effect. Fine, gritty particles are in the air all around us but are much more forceful when you are moving at speeds of several dozen miles per hour. This consistent contact of dust with your windshield will ultimately result in some particles making direct contact with the damaged area. This abrasive scenario combined with wind can further speed up the process of damage to your windshield according to GlassBYTEs, which may result in a complete windshield replacement being needed.

Rough Roads

Vibrations are another consideration when it comes to auto glass and existing damage. As your windshield is designed to provide strength in the event of a roll-over, it obviously absorbs shock and reinforces the surrounding areas of the vehicle. The consistent vibrations from potholes and other rough road surfaces can cause a fracture or crack to instantly expand when you least expect it. One bumpy turn onto a highway and your automobile’s windshield repair job just became a windshield replacement job. For those without comprehensive auto insurance, the difference between the two can be hundreds of dollars.

Larger Debris

It would seem that one bad windshield incident would be enough, but you can never be too sure. Small rocks, pebbles, or other forms of debris may find their way in the path of your windshield while it is still damaged, which is a huge risk to your personal safety. If an object makes close contact with the damaged area, it may be enough to completely compromise the windshield or shatter it. Such an event on the open road can create complete chaos in the immediate aftermath, making it more likely for a series of events to unfold that could prove fatal. In most cases, however, any debris that comes into contact with a damaged windshield merely exacerbates the problem and may result in a replacement.

When you drive with a damaged windshield, you put yourself at an increased risk of injury or harm while on the road. A variety of natural and man-made elements can prove hazardous to your windshield and exacerbate damage, so it is important to have your windshield repaired as soon as you notice the damage. In most cases, the auto repair technician will come to your location to perform the repairs. There is no need to be the victim of a preventable accident; by repairing your windshield promptly, you guarantee safety and convenience on so many levels while behind the wheel and will save money in the long-run.

The Five Most Commonly Asked Auto Glass Repair Questions

Windshield Replacement

Regardless of the make and model of your car, truck or SUV, you are guaranteed to have at least one thing in common with all other vehicle owners: your auto glass is an important part of the vehicle’s safety and convenience. Not only does auto glass help keep us safe from debris as we drive, but it also helps – in conjunction with the car’s other windows – provide a level of climate control and comfort while driving.

Another important yet often overlooked benefit to a windshield and complete set of auto glass is the reinforcement it offers to the roof if your car suddenly rolls over. These three benefits should be enough to convince any car owner that their auto glass should be a top priority. Understandably, those who understand this will be distressed when they discover damage to their windshield or auto glass.

What options are available to fix the damage?

How much will it cost?

Can the damage be fixed, or will a replacement be needed?

These questions and worries are legitimate, but few know all the answers if they haven’t gone through the experience before. Whether you have damage and you want to know what comes next, or you simply want to be prepared, we’ll discuss the five most commonly asked auto glass repair questions so you can be informed on the answers.

Do I really need to fix this damage?

With so many households tight on cash right now, the first question that comes to one’s mind when they notice damage to their windshield is whether or not the damage actually needs to be repaired. Money shouldn’t be the primary concern here – as we’ll address below – but yes, even the smallest forms of damage need to be addressed in an expedient fashion. The biggest reason for this relates to how auto glass can be damaged even more from a small crack or chip. Potholes, vibrations, and fluctuations in temperature can all cause a small crack or chip to become much larger in a short period of time. If you want to avoid having the entire piece of glass replaced, then you’ll act quickly while a repair is still viable.

Is it safe to simply repair (and not replace)?

An auto glass technician will be more than happy to come out and inspect the damage to your windshield or windows. In the case of small cracks or chips, it is virtually always safe to simply have a windshield repair on the damage and keep your existing windshield. If the crack is less than six inches in all directions, then the repair process will be sound. Only if the damage is large or extends in multiple directions may the windshield need to be replaced. The key to saving your auto glass is to catch the damage early, have the area treated with a powerful resin and prevent any cracks from spreading from that point in the future.

What do I do if the crack is huge?

In the event your windshield has been struck with something that left a huge, running crack, then you will most likely require an auto glass replacement job. This means that the entire sheet of glass is removed from the vehicle and replaced with a brand new, OEE solution. Because glass provides so much strength to the vehicle in an accident, a large crack can wind up compromising the strength of the windshield – even if it were to be repaired. This process usually takes a few hours from start to finish, and that includes the time that is needed for the windshield to cure before driving.

How much does a repair or replacement cost?

This is a big worry for many with auto glass damage and is probably the number one reason why people put off the repairs. Unfortunately for consumers, the delay of repairs can actually cost more money later on down the road. If you have comprehensive auto insurance coverage, then it is almost certain that any repairs done to your windshield or auto glass will be free of charge.

Without insurance, this may cost up to $75. If you need a replacement windshield, however, then your costs will vary widely (depending on deductible and whether you have insurance or not). A complete out of pocket windshield replacement may cost as much as $500, while an insured driver will spend anywhere from $100-250 in most cases. What risks are involved? When you have the work performed by a qualified auto glass technician, the risks to your vehicle are virtually none.

Qualified technicians go through comprehensive training programs to ensure they know what they are doing, while the overall work itself is focused on an area of the car where it is difficult to do any damage to other parts of the vehicle. The most common worry is that the auto glass (during a replacement) will not be installed properly. This risk can be eliminated by always verifying the background and business standing of the shop in question before making any decision as to where to have the repairs performed.

My Glass is Shattered, Now What?

Each year, tens of thousands of automobile accidents occur on the road that can leave one or more vehicles in no shape to be driven. Sometimes, a buster tire is all that is the issue; in other cases, the vehicle may be completely totaled, leaving the owner without transportation until a replacement can be secured. Whatever the level of damage, these types of accidents are never welcome developments. A wreck or natural disaster may also create the conditions that led to broken auto glass or windshields, both of which are required elements of any car in order to enjoy a safe driving experience.

You can be thankful that due to recent innovations, any glass that was broken in the wake of an accident or disaster shattered into tiny pieces instead of becoming large splinters of glass that could have injured you or someone else. When an event like this occurs, most people simply want to get on with life and resolve the matter in as little time as possible. If you have suffered from an accident and need to see about auto glass replacement or repair, then continue reading to find out about how the claims process via your car insurance works.

Reporting Your Claim

In the wake of an accident, the first thing you’ll need to do is report the claim. For most insurance policies, you have two options: you can file a claim by phone or you can file a claim via the internet. In the case of the former, you should be able to find a toll-free number on the back of your insurance policy. If you wish to file a claim on the internet, then you’ll need to navigate through the system to find options that cover your type of damage (auto glass). In either case, insurance companies recommend that you file the claim as soon as possible after the accident occurred in order to ensure prompt repairs and lower costs.

As you are reporting the claim, your insurance agent or the software evaluating the claims process will determine what type of insurance you have. Virtually all comprehensive coverage policies will ensure that any repairs that need to be done can be done so without paying a deductible. The process will then help find you a suitable location for repairs to be performed at (home, work, accident site), with the majority of these repairs being performed in under 24 hours.

Payments Required

As mentioned earlier, full coverage insurance policies usually guarantee that there will be no out of pocket costs to you for the repair of any auto glass or windshield. If you have to have a complete replacement of a piece of glass, however, then you will most likely be required to pay a deductible. A deductible is an amount applied to your insurance that you must pay before coverage kicks in. Once you have met the deductible, your insurance will cover the rest of the cost of replacement. In many cases, a deductible for these repairs will be anywhere from $50 to $200. The average windshield replacement cost without insurance can easily top $300.

In some cases, however, your insurance company may also cover complete windshield damage. In the case of Progressive, for instance, they offer a policy feature that protects you in the event that your windshield is damaged to the point that it needs to be replaced. You can check to see if your current insurance policy offers this feature, but there is a good chance that it does not if you are not already aware of its presence.

Repair and Replacement Solutions

Your insurance company can provide you with a list of all of their preferred glass retailers and technicians. While this may seem like a great idea – and many agents will explain this in a way that makes it sound like you have no other choice – you may not be getting what you bargained for. In some cases, insurance agencies direct business to specific auto glass companies for a piece of the pie, which means that you may not be getting the best service. Insurance companies often won’t tell you that you can pick a different place to make the repairs or do the replacement. It is important that you know your rights in this situation.

Conclusion

Whenever disaster strikes, you most likely will not be prepared. In the wake of it all, however, you can make the right decisions. Anyone who has damage to their windshield or auto glass must file a claim with their insurance provider as soon as possible to ensure a smooth resolution. During this process, you’ll be able to discover any additional charges for replacement or where you would like to have the repairs performed. Driving around with a damaged windshield is dangerous and can threaten the lives of you and your passengers, so please be sure to take care of any noticed damage as soon as possible.

Lesser-known Ways to Maintain Your Auto Glass (and Vehicle)

Lesser-known Ways to Maintain Your Auto Glass (and Vehicle)

So many people have been fortunate enough to not have to replace their auto glass or windshield during the lifetime of their vehicle, but you never know when disaster can strike. Even the smallest of objects can create disastrous results when combined with the speeds we normally cruise on the road; in most cases, nobody even sees the damage coming. Small cracks and chips may not be avoidable in these situations, but the overall strength of your auto glass is something you can properly maintain. There are several ways in which your auto glass can be maintained that do not immediately come to mind for many.

What if we told you that your auto glass can affect fuel economy, safety and interior temperature? In most cases, the way in which you care for your auto glass can affect these elements as well. Through a variety of simple yet effective solutions, you can be sure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape and your auto glass is up to the task of keeping you safe and comfortable. In the following article, we’ll outline some ways that you can get the most from your auto glass and ensure smooth performance in the miles ahead.

Park in the Shade

There are several reasons as to why you should always try to park your vehicle in the shade on a hot summer day. For starters, the interior temperature of your vehicle will be spared the brunt of the summer’s heat, making it easier and quicker to cool down. It can also help keep any other items stored in the car from melting or being damaged. Another reason relates to periodic cleaning of your glass – if there are any elements of liquid or dirt on your windshield or auto glass when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, it can cause streaks and spots to form on the windshield. This will require cleaning to remove and if not, can cause visual obstructions while driving.

One more major reason as to why parking in the shade is important relates to the strength of the automobile’s glass. Whenever you have any type of existing damage to the auto glass of your car – even if it not yet visible – rapid fluctuations in temperature can create stress on the glass and cause weakening/further deterioration of the glass to occur. The damage is not caused by the heat itself, but rather, from the rapid cooling of the automobile once you have turned on the air conditioner and begin to drive it. When you park in a shaded area, you help prevent these fluctuations from occurring.

Gradually Warm-Up Windows

For the same reasons mentioned above, it can be dangerous to blast heat onto frozen or cold windows and windshields on winter mornings. A recent Fox report showed that blasting your car heater vents onto a frozen windshield can actually cause the glass to break – not something you want happening on a cold winter morning before work. In order to prevent this and maximize the life of your car windows, please be sure to angle your car vents away from the glass and allow the vehicle several minutes to warm up before you turn the heat on. Some may like to leave the car running until the interior has warmed up; if you must, then direct the heat through the vents in your floorboard instead.

Clean Windows Boost Mileage

Did you know that a dirty windshield or set of windows can actually impact your fuel economy over the long-term? While the difference is not major between fill-ups, you can actually rob anywhere from 1-2% of your fuel economy by driving with dirty windows. Elements such as dust, debris, bugs, and other objects with surface area impede the windshield’s aerodynamic traits and make it harder for the vehicle to move along without drag. Because of this, you can also put additional wear on your engine. Rather than losing money at the pump and in maintenance costs over the years, be sure to wipe down your auto glass in order to ensure safe and clear visibility, and better fuel economy.

Use Proper Cleaning Techniques

All too many people try to clean their windows but come up short when it comes to technique. For starters, never apply solution or cleaner directly to the glass; instead, apply it to a cloth and then use the cloth to remove dirt and debris from the windshield. Some people make the mistake of using items such as newspapers to clean their windows – once again, this is not a good idea. The ink and chemicals on the paper can ultimately leech into your glass and cause staining issues (many of which are not noticeable at first). Last but not least, always be sure to roll your windows down in order to clean the entire surface. These cleaning tips will help remove excess dirt from your glass and ensure that no damage is done to the glass.