The auto glass replacement and repair industry in Indian Hills has grown rapidly over the last few years and there seems to be a new auto glass shop on every corner. But how do you choose one, and how do you know they are reputable? Here are some of the basic things you need to know about your car in order to get the correct windshield replacement, and some questions to ask to know if you are dealing with a stable, reputable company who will give great service and be around for years to come.
The Indian Hills Windshield Replacement Survival Guide – Consumer Auto Glass Education
It doesn't matter how old your car is, a chipped or broken windshield can be a pain. Auto glass isn't exactly an affordable fix if you have to replace the entire thing. Unfortunately many people don't realize just how easy it is to replace it with an auto glass specialist. Most vehicle owners will get a chip or crack and - instead of getting it fixed - they let it go.
The problem with letting chips and cracks go on their own is that they will inevitably grow and spread. As they do so, growing out in spiderweb cracks and long talon-like cracks that stretch across the window, you wind up with your vision being impaired and a good chance of facing a fix-it ticket. Thankfully auto glass repair is simple and affordable when compared with complete window replacement.
When being repaired, the first step for the auto glass specialist is to evaluate the extent of the damage. If it is severe they may refer you to a shop to just have the glass swapped out for a used windshield without damage. Most chips or cracks can be fixed as long as they are less than 6 inches long. Damage of this nature can be tackled with some auto glass resin.
Keep in mind that modern glass is made of two layers with a rubber membrane between them. If only the top layer is cracked or damage then a repair is possible. If the damage breaches the membrane or goes all the way through the glass then you'll once again be referred to a shop for window replacement.
If your windshield can be repaired then the fix is relatively easy. The entire process usually only takes 30 minutes to an hour depending on the specialist and the shop. With a simple resin that is cured by sunlight, the specialist will inject the epoxy into the chip or crack with a special set of tools. This fills the damage and dries completely clear as it cures.
The repair blends into the surrounding auto glass and will almost completely hide the original damage while also reinforcing the windscreen. The resin is strong enough to keep the original crack and chip from spreading is a complete, permanent solution.
If you have a chip or a growing crack in your auto glass then the best time to get it taken care of is immediately. Every heavy gust of wind or debris that strikes your window can cause a large and sudden streak in a crack that forces it to spread. Tend to your windshield and get the crack taken care of immediately.
We don't spend much time in our lives thinking about one of the most ubiquitous products surrounding us every day: Glass. Glass is everywhere! Look around and you will see it in your home, office, eyeglasses (unless they're plastic), ceramics like toilets and dishes, bottles, light bulbs, tv screens, and of course in your car.
What is Glass? It's a combination of materials, most commonly silicon dioxide (sand), lime, and potash. There are specialty glasses made of other materials but the kind we see all the time, soda-lime glass, is mostly composed of the three materials mentioned above. For an easy-to-understand detailed explanation of glass, visit Wikipedia and type in the search term glass.
The two common types of glass we interact with daily, annealed and tempered, are basically the same products that have undergone different manufacturing treatments to give them individual characteristics. These characteristics are designed to serve certain functions.
Tempered glass is known as safety glass because it shatters into hundreds of tiny blocks, instead of into long sharp-edged, knife-like shards that can inflict terrible wounds. The small blocks of broken tempered glass are much less likely to cut human flesh. Tempered glass is used in the side windows and back glass on cars, as well as in commercial glass, sliding doors, and windows that reach to the floor.
Annealed glass, like in your kitchen window, is used to make windshields. You might wonder how in the world a kitchen window can be used in front of a driver. That's crazy! Yes, that would be crazy, unless the annealed glass was laminated together with a strong piece of plastic and another piece of glass to make a sandwich called laminated safety glass.
When you look through your windshield, you are looking through all three pieces, two of glass and one of plastic. The glass sticks to the plastic when it breaks. No doubt you've seen a shattered windshield and noticed that it hangs together in one big cracked piece. This is what makes the windshield different from your kitchen window.
Tempered glass is very tough and is difficult to break unless it gets punched with a sharp object. You may have seen a tool advertised on TV that's used to escape from a car by breaking the tempered side window. The tool is like a small hammer with a sharp point. Sadly, criminals have also discovered a use for it and keep it in their criminal toolbox. If you've ever suffered a broken window during a car break-in, it was probably done with one of these tools.
When it's manufactured, tempered glass is just like annealed glass. Then it goes through a heating process to "temper" it, making it tough and resilient. The glass is cooled quickly so the outside contracts and forms a compressed outer layer. It puts the whole piece of glass under tremendous stress and that's why it seems to explode when broken. The stress is released so powerfully that the glass breaks into harmless little chunks.
Why isn't tempered glass used in windshields? Many years ago it was used for windshields in some cars. Laminated safety glass just makes a better, safer product for the front of your car because it stays in place, even when broken, and keeps flying debris out of your face. It also helps to keep occupants inside the car.
The glass that we know is an unusual and interesting substance. Other materials can also be classed as glass. You might say that glass is not a substance but a quality or characteristic. A scientist might refer to glass as a state, much like a gas, liquid, or solid. Water makes a good example. Water can be gaseous (steam), liquid, or solid (ice), however it is not seen in a glassy state like liquid rock (lava) or molten metal.
Nature produces glass constantly. People who live in volcanic areas are familiar with obsidian, a glass used by early Americans to shape arrowheads, spear tips, and knives.
Just remember that when you are replacing your auto glass, the material you are looking through has an interesting history and unique characteristics that few other materials can match. Glass has been around for centuries and will endure into the foreseeable future.