Air bags, seatbelts, and windshields have a common purpose: enhance your safety. A vehicle’s condition is known by how these parts are maintained by the owners. Out of these three, the windshield is the most important because of its additional features and benefits. It is apparent in how it keeps up the structural integrity of the vehicle when dealing with the heat often seen during the summer in Arizona.
In this article, we will see how worthy are the windshield repair and other auto glass replacement services. The components of a windshield might give some clue to how it is repaired. Two sheets of glass are laminated using a layer of polyvinyl butyrate (PVB) to make a piece. A chip or a crack is the most common problem and it tends to spread over a period. An early repair can save a lot of time and money. The manufacturers’ specification of installing a windshield is nearly impossible to duplicate as well. Therefore, in many cases, replacement is not advisable.
Arizona Windshield Replacement – Cost Factors
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.
Is Windshield Repair Worth the Money?
As you are driving down the road, it happens. You hear that dreaded sound. Your car windshield gets hit by a rock or debris and a crack appears. Sometimes the crack is gigantic and sometimes only a teeny tiny crack appears. Cracks and chips of all sizes are not only unattractive, but they can make driving unsafe too. When you hear the sound of something hitting your windshield, in comes the dread and so does the fear of what it's going to cost to replace the complete windshield or get a windshield repair begin to set in. Will it even be necessary to have a complete windshield replacement?
Without saying, any major damage received that causes huge cracks or shatters to any part of the windshield or the entire windshield, yes, definitely, a complete replacement is necessary. However, newer cars have windshields installed that are regulated by the government and in some situations it may be better to have the windshield repaired instead. Keeping as much of your vehicle in original condition is best for resale value and safety.
As well, many insurance companies are referring their customers to have windshield repair done now instead of a windshield replacement. You may wonder why, right? Well this alternate method is not only less expensive than a complete windshield repair, but there is less time where you are without your car. So the insurance company has to pay less to get your car fixed and maybe even eliminate the need for a rental car too.
For you the driver, repairs to your windshield will hold up as well as the replacement too. The quality is just as good, you won't even know it by looking. If your insurance doesn't cover windshield damages, you certainly want to go the less expensive way out and repair versus replace is the right choice in this situation.
You may wonder if it is absolutely necessary to have a professional do your windshield repair. You've noticed the do-it-yourself windshield repair kits at your neighborhood auto parts store and looks like it would be simple enough, right? Well, think again, it is not that simple. Taking out the old and popping in the new takes special tools and techniques that the professionals have been trained for.
At the first sign of damage, it may not be as clear if repair or replacement is best and a professional is trained in knowing whether a repair is even feasible and will be successful. Not to mention that if trying to do this yourself at home, it could lead to a serious safety issue. Keep in mind also, that with a professional mobile auto glass service, there will be a professional, in flesh and blood, in your driveway or work parking lot that you can tell if they are being straight with you or not.
For the sake of safety and convenience, instead of taking your car to the shop, always consider using a mobile service instead. There are mobile auto glass services in the Virginia area now with experienced trained professionals. No need to try to drive with a busted windshield or a huge crack running across the drivers' view!
So the next time you hear that shuttering sound of a rock hitting your windshield, don't panic! A phone call to a mobile auto glass service will get you a windshield repair or windshield replacement in no time.
Auto Glass Replacement: Why It Is Very, Very, VERY Important