One of the biggest Arizona businesses is auto glass repair because cracked windshields are extremely common. The windshield on a vehicle is designed to keep passengers and drivers from any debris on the road that could fly up and cause harm. However, when you’re traveling around quickly, even just a small rock on the road can end up chipping or fracturing your windshield. The question is, should you repair it or do you need to have the whole thing replaced?
The chip or crack has surfaced and now you have to make a decision to contact an auto glass repair shop to repair the chip or crack or to have the whole windshield replaced. A small chip or crack can continue to get larger over time. This can be due to several circumstances, but the main one is that driving causes stress that will cause the damage to get worse. This is magnified with bumpier roads being driven on. The weather, especially in Arizona can also cause chips and cracks to enlarge when certain conditions exist. Sadly, the car air conditioning can add to the issue also.
When you first discover a crack or chip is the time to have an auto glass repair shop make the repair. If accomplished quickly, this might make the difference between repair and replacement. Repair versus replacement costs vary widely, but are usually found to be significantly more expensive when replacement is involved. Basically, your insurance company will allow you to have the windshield replaced with a deductible taking place on your part. This would not apply if you don’t have collision included in your policy in most states.
Auto glass repair shops can repair smaller chips and cracks with ease. You can also buy auto glass repair products from your local auto parts store or go on the internet to locate these repair kits. This applies to the individual that is comfortable with doing it yourself. If you are not certain the damage can be safely repaired, then err on the side of caution, and let the professionals take care of it.
If repair is out of the equation, just know that the auto glass repair industry is alive and competitive. Shopping around to secure the best prices and service should provide gratifying results. You should realize that repair is not an option if the crack is longer than 3-4 inches or goes from edge to edge and if the chip has penetrated all sections of the piece of glass.
The idea of the story here is that if the damage is not large and does not penetrate the glass fully and if you act fast, you can often times repair the damage instead of having to replace the whole piece. When it comes to auto glass repair, there is a lot more than meets the eye, so if you are not confident, get a pro involved.
Windshield Repair, a More Practical Solution than Windshield Replacement
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.
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