Windshield Repair and Replacement

By: Matt Oliver

In the event of an accident, the windshield of your vehicle is just as important as the seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features of your vehicle. Windshields are specially constructed to provide support and integrity to the vehicle's passenger compartment, and to prevent as much injury as possible to the occupants. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your windshield is structurally sound and not compromised in any way.

How are windshields made?

Windshields are constructed from laminated glass. This laminated glass is composed of two or more layers of glass, with a thin plastic sheet in between. This transparent sheet of plastic is actually called polyvinyl butyrate, or PVB, and is fused between the layers of glass in an adhesion process which utilizes pressure and heat to bind the layers together.

The PVB film keeps the glass from shattering in the event of an accident. On impact, most of the glass is kept from entering the vehicle's cabin, and can even act as a retainer to keep objects, including you, inside the vehicle.

Auto Glass Repair

Modern windshields can contain a plethora of features and technologies within the windshield proper. Some of these features commonly include heating mechanisms, sensors, tints, coatings, and radio antennas. They may even contain more sophisticated features including heads-up-displays (HUD) and satellite uplinks. With these kinds of features, it is not hard to understand why windshields can be expensive. This is also why windshield repair is a common solution to cracked, scratched, and damaged windshields.

During a windshield repair, the technician uses a specially formulated resin, injecting it into the damaged area of the glass. The resin is then cured, restoring the windshield's integrity, and polished to restore the clarity of the glass.

Auto Glass Replacement

13-14 million windshields are replaced annually in the United States, most commonly caused by flying debris, vandalism, and collisions. It is important to realize that windshield replacement is a complicated, challenging process that should only be performed by properly trained professionals.
Replaced windshields must be perfectly positioned and installed as to not compromise the integrity of the vehicle's cab. The windshield provides essential support to the passenger compartment in the event of an accident, especially in rollovers. Think of the windshield as the keystone of an arch.

Auto Glass Service

Whether needing repair or replacement, it is vital to hire a qualified professional to perform the required task that is needed. All newly manufactured vehicles are required to comply with standing FMV safety standards for auto glass before being sold in the United States. The same guidelines do not apply to replacement windshields. National Glass Association (NGA) certified technicians should provide an installation that is comparable to these standards upon request.

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