Types of Auto Glass and Repairs
Glass windows used in cars are quite different from those used in other places such as house windows. Home windows have glass that breaks and shatters into sharp shards that are very dangerous. However, the glass used in car windows is referred to as safety glass. It does not break into shards; in fact, it is quite harmless when it breaks.
The windshield is often made of laminated glass while the door and rear view windows are made of tempered glass. Car windows are important safety features as they protect the vehicle occupants from any flying debris and objects that can cause harm while moving at high speeds. The car windows also provide extra support to the roof of the car and prevent it from caving in case of an accident.
Tempered glass and laminated auto glass are different when it comes to repair and maintenance.
Laminate Auto Glass
First production of laminated glass began back in the mid 1920s by sticking together two sheets of glass using a sheet of polyvinyl butyral between them. This glass sandwich was fused together using high heat and this is how laminated glass came to be. It does not break into shards during a collision. Laminated glass is designed to take heavy impact without shattering reducing the risk of injuring the vehicle occupants with flying glass. The laminated glass will also act as a cushion in case the vehicle occupant is thrown against the windshield.
Laminated glass is very popular in the auto motive industry among other places such as shop windows, school doors or any other place where there is high chance of impact by a person.
Since laminated glass is made of two layers of glass, it is possible to do repairs in case of damage on only one layer of glass. Cracks and chips are quite common after impact of small items like pebbles, construction debris and small birds. A window repair technician can repair damaged laminated windshields that do not penetrate to the plastic layer or both layers of glass. They do this by filling up the crack with a resin like material that is almost as clear as glass and smoothing it out to create an even finish on the windshield.
The size, depth and type of damage will determine whether repair is possible or an entire replacement is necessary.
Majority of the rest of the windows in vehicles are made from tempered glass. Tempered glass is a single ply glass that is treated by heating and rapid cooling to make it stronger. In case of damage, tempered glass will break into thousands of pebble like pieces that do not have sharp edges, which reduces the risk of injury. The heating and rapid cooling of tempered glass makes it stronger than regular glass. Unfortunately, unlike laminated glass, tempered glass cannot be repaired in case of damage. Due to its design, tempered glass should be replaced entirely in case it cracks or breaks.
Tools Needed To Replace The Glass On Your Car
There are various tools and techniques used in repairing and replacing damaged windshields. In case of minor repairs, many car owners consider investing in DIY repair kits. Most of these windshield replacement tools of the trade are readily available at the market. This makes it easier for anyone who wants to replace their windshield to do it without seeking the assistance of an auto glass specialist. So what are some of the most common windshield replacement tools used today?
If you are looking to replace your windshield, you need to identify replacement kits which have all the right tools. Some windshield replacement tools included in most kits are special razor blades, suctioning devices, curing film sheet and a special resin. The razor blade are used to remove the broken glass particles in a crack when repairing a windshield whereas the special resin is used to fill up the chipped area.
Other than the above tools, which are primarily used for windshield repair, replacement requires other advanced tools like a windshield removing tool. Replacing a whole windshield is a very risky affair. The special windshield removing tool is designed in such a way that it makes it easier for one to safely remove a damaged windshield. The removal process has to be done right (using the right tool and technique) to prevent any accidents.
There are so many other tools that can be used in auto replacements and repairs. Tools like resurfacing repair pads, suction lifters and suction caps make the whole process of replacing a windshield safe and easy. The suction lifters will be used to easily carry the windshield and put it in place. The process of placing the new windshield must be carefully done to avoid costly accidents. Without a suitable suction lifter, it can be a great challenge, if not an impossibility, to put the new windshield in place.
If you are shopping for a professional windshield removal kit, be guaranteed of its high quality. There are many brands of windshield replacement tools of the trade to consider and you must be ready to perform some thorough research. Remember that a professional is always better when it comes to windshield replacements even if you have all the tools of the trade with you. A professional knows how to handle the entire replacement process and so the risk of facing damage, additional expenses or substandard replacements is greatly reduced.
Do You Need A Windshield Repair?
Technological advancements have allowed car owners to get their windshields effectively repaired when they are cracked or chipped. A while back, a slight crack or chip meant that the windshield had to be replaced. Windshield repair helps you to save on cost and restores the car’s beauty and safety.
However, you need to know when repairs cannot solve the issue at hand. In cases where the chips or cracks have advanced, the windshield may need to be scrapped. Even the best windshield repair techniques cannot restore a severely damaged windshield.
There are three main factors that determine the need to replace or repair a car window. The windshield will require repairs or replacement depending on the size, location and extent of damage. If the crack is more than three inches long, it may be impossible to repair. However, there are hi-tech methods used by auto technicians to replace cracks up to 12 inches long. You may want to visit your local auto shop and enquire about this before you get rid of your current windshield.
When it comes to the location, most cracks which begin at the edges spread faster than a bushfire and hence need to be repaired immediately. If the repair is not done soon, the entire structure of the windshield may be compromised. Ideally, the location of the crack or chip determines how urgent the windshield repair should be considered. In most cases, auto technicians will recommend replacement if the cracks are at the edge of the windshield.
The other tricky location of a crack or chip that may not be advisable to repair is at the driver’s line of vision. Remember that windshield repair does not leave the glass as new. There will still be some minor distortions which may interfere with the driver’s vision. In such a case, you may want to seek replacement regardless of the size of the crack or chip on your windshield.
It is important to repair cracks or chips on windshields immediately. If the crack is left for a long time without repair, no matter how small, it may accumulate dirt and debris. When this happens, the effectiveness of windshield repair will therefore be compromised. The windshield will not be as clear as it would have been if the repairs were done early enough. Consult an auto technician if you are not sure of whether your windshield needs repair or replacement. Please stop by for more information about auto glass repair.