Windshield Repair: What Young people need To Know

 

WINDSHIELD REPAIR: What exactly is it?

Your vehicle's windshield is made up of three layers: two bits of glass separated by way of a thin layer of "PVB" (polyvinyl butyrate). PVB will be the plastic film that essentially holds it all up. Depending on the density in the outer-layer and the force of your rock impact, the glass can flex and break. Unless the windshield is very shattered, most often the damage is in the form of a rock chip. These are typically in the shape of a star, bullseye, or tiny crack. Although it may appear innocuous, over time, a rock chip will in all likelihood spread to form a crack. Studies show that over 90% of rock chips keep growing. Fatigue stress due to temperature changes and road conditions try to accelerate this process.

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The 1st company to introduce a rudimentary system for windshield repair was 3m, with a product called "Scotch Weld." This product produced an ultrasound vibration to completely clean the break while injecting a glue. It was relatively effective; but it really failed to repair various kinds of damage.

In 1972, Dr. Frank Werner invented a tool that could substitute air within a rock chip with a resin that could prevent a crack from developing. As time passes, the science behind windshield repair evolved. Today, windshield repair is known as a favored alternative to windshield replacement often times. And although the science changed, the objective remains the same: to totally substitute the air inside the break with an acrylic resin that may improve optical clarity, prevent further damage, and restore the structural integrity from the windshield.

THE WINDSHIELD CONUNDRUM: REPAIR OR REPLACE?

Windshield repair is essentially preventative maintenance. However, most motorists whose windshields suffer rock damage pay minimum mind to it. This is also true where the damage is outside of the acute area of the windshield - circuitously in front of the driver's view. Hence the saying: "out of sight, out of mind."

Once the rock chip spreads to turn into a large crack, windshield repair is not really a viable option. Unfortunately, the price of a new windshield may range anywhere between $300 to above $1000, depending on the vehicle and also the type of replacement windshield. OEM windshields, those made by the original manufacturer, are now more expensive than their aftermarket counterparts. Additionally, many modern windshields offer features such as heating elements, sun coatings, and antennae, which significantly inflate the charge. Even with insurance, the deductible may be so high that it would be pointless to file a coverage claim. Thus, you can easily understand why a $50 windshield repair is really a favored alternative.

But price is not the only issue. Each factory windshield is replaced, other concerns can surface. Windshield replacement compromises the factory seal, that is nearly impossible to replicate. Although an improperly replaced windshield cause leakage and possible damage from water, it can fail in the case of an accident.

Together with the air bags and seatbelts, the windshield plays an important part of the vehicle's safety restraint system (SRS). In an accident, the windshield works to maintain the structural integrity with the passenger compartment. As you know, this is especially important in case of a roll-over accident. In addition, it cushions the occupant's impact and prevents the possibly for being ejected from the vehicle. An improperly installed windshield could fail on most of these fronts.

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An investigative report conducted by ABC's 20/20 shed light to the dangers surrounding improperly installed windshields. It discovered that millions of windshields weren't installed properly and have contributed to serious injuries and in many cases death.

So there are lots of reasons why a vehicle owner should go for windshield repair in early stages. Ignoring the small and seemingly unintrusive rock chip could be to be a mistake.

WINDSHIELDS: Environmentally friendly IMPACT

Every year about 15 million windshields - about 600 million pounds of waste - are replaced in the usa. Until recently, much of it's got ended up in landfills on account of logistical obstacles, difficulties with separating the glass from your PVB, and lack of facilities.

Only recently have companies begun to take up the environmental cause. In 2010, JN Phillips Auto Glass launched its "Green Shield" program and commenced recycling windshields. Thus far, over a million pounds of used windshields happen to be successfully recycled. Still, to obtain the vehicle slow, cumbersome, and costly. It also involves the transportation of massive amounts of windshields, adding to the carbon footprint.

What is more, windshield recycling isn't needed by law, so most replaced windshields carry on and end up in landfills. This is because simple economics: lack of incentive to recycle. At the time of yet, windshield recycling is just not subsidized by the government, nor is it given considerable preferential tax treatment. Because the cost of recycling eventually shifts towards the consumer, the cost of a new windshield would increase significantly. To compete inside the competitive free market realm of windshield replacement, recycling is not really cost effective.

Windshield repair, on the other hand, leaves almost no effect on the environment. Whereas about 250,000 BTU's are required to manufacture a typical 30 pound windshield, windshield repair requires practically no energy. In addition, the amount of waste produced by windshield repair is negligible. Thus, windshield repair is definitely a greener alternative to replacement.

Insurance agencies: THEY GET IT

Insurance coverage is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against probability of contingent, uncertain loss. The insurer agrees to indemnify the insured in the eventuality of a loss. Overall, it's really a pretty simple process. However, a significant portion the claim will not be covered by the insurer. This is called the deductible - the amount that must be paid out of pocket before some insurance company will cover any expenses. The common deductible for both comprehensive and collision claims is roughly around $500. This can be difficult to digest when it's time to file a claim. In many cases, the insured will still only forgo filing the state they avoid having to pay the deductible and perhaps risk an increase in premiums. Let alone, if a new windshield costs $400, filing a claim would be pointless with a $500 deductible.

Today, most insurance agencies understand the importance of having the windshield repaired and get started. To incentivize motorists to fix rock chips and small cracks, most comprehensive policies carry from it a 100% indemnity on windshield repair. No deductible is essential. Insurance companies realize that most rock chips inevitably will need a new windshield if left untreated. In most cases the rock chip might be a certain loss.

So from a risk management perspective, insurance providers benefit by paying the full cost of a windshield repair. First, it eliminates the chance that the insurer will likely be required to pay significantly more for a new windshield. And 2nd, it eliminates the danger that a damaged or replaced windshield could neglect to provide the structural integrity necessary in the event of an accident.

DO IT YOURSELF KITS: Drop the idea of

There are many inexpensive DIY (Do-It-Yourself) windshield repair kits available on the market. Those that come to mind include "Liquid Glass," "Pitstop," and "Fix-A-Windshield," among others. These are simple plastic devices that essentially make use of the same process. Most cost around $10 to $20 this will let you one time use.

Reviews on DIY kits vary greatly. Some report good results, while others regret making their own attempt at repair. The only certainty is that a prosperous repair is not certain.

Based on Edmunds.com, these kits are essentially "inexpensive band-aids" that don't provide a complete repair. Associated with simple science. The fundamental idea of windshield repair is usually to remove the air contained inside rock chip and completely substitute it with resin, that may be up to 2000 times as dense as air. Removing the air is essential to minimize the pressure inside the rock chip, allowing the resin to circulate and reach the entire break. Unfortunately, cheap DIY kits are simply ineffective at removing all of the air. What is more, they don't provide the amount of pressure important to force the resin to succeed in tighter areas of the break, leaving most of it untouched. What might appear to be a decent repair job may in fact just be a band-aid that can fail to prevent a crack from spreading.