Windshield replacement comes as a necessity most often because of debris from driving behind someone with a number of loose objects in the back of the truck or accidents. Sometimes, even weather conditions like hail can be culprit that makes this necessary. However, you can make this activity as pleasant as possible by discovering what options are available to you.
For instance, your insurance coverage is the first place to start. You need to find out what your insurance covers regarding windshield replacement such as whether or not coming to your home is an option. If so, is this option free of cost. Also, you should be able to choose your own glass company if you do not like their choice. You can take their recommendation if you like but it should not be a requirement to replace the windshield free of charge.
Choose a glass company that does not compromise the quality of the glass they use for your replacement. Some of the glass companies will use a cheaper glass because it saves them money. This is not in your best interest. You want to make sure that you do not have to revisit the company anytime soon. Any company that has integrity and pride in workmanship will offer a warranty for the work done in a realistic time-frame.
You should not have to wait an unreasonable amount of time to have your car returned with the job done. Most places have a 24-hour turnaround and it does not create a problem for them or you. It is important to note that once the replacement has been done, you still may have wait an additional amount of time to make sure the window sets and you do not undo the work that was just done. Wind pressure can certainly make a difference if the required amount of time is not taken. Warmer weather allows the window to set quicker than cold weather, so the amount of time you have to wait will vary with the extreme hot and cold weather.
Customer service associates should be able to answer general questions regarding the process of the windshield replacement and type of glass used. If there is more than one type of glass, you should be given an understanding of what the features and benefits are with the various choices. Make sure the glass company is certified by the National Glass Association is a standard of measure you can use.
Now, for some persons needing auto windshield replacement, this may be over-the-top. It is just not that serious for them. However, the point is that if you take the time to make sure you are spending money wisely, the activity becomes a little more pleasant.
Last, but certainly not least is the option to replace the glass your self. However, it is important to note that this option is viable only if the glass has not spidered. Small cracks can be repaired without a full glass replacement. You can obtain the kits from auto repair stores and discuss any questions with the customer service associates available to answer your questions.
Should the crack in the windshield be longer than two inches, your best move would to have a glass company do the work professionally. Spidered windshields raise the risk significantly of having the windshield completely shatter. This is certainly not a great outcome while you are driving.
The important thing here is that you have rights and options when it comes to replacing the windshield of your car for whatever reason. There are standards and the experience really does not have to be a nightmare.
Windshield Replacement Safety
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.