Why Do Windshields Seem To Crack Easier Today Than They Did In Years Past?

The combination of high-speed freeways, rock covered winter roads, and large temperature fluctuation makes Calgary roads a nightmare for your windshield. Vehicle design also plays a huge part in the problem. Every vehicle sold in North America has to pass a series of tests identified by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS)*. Five of these tests are windshield or glass related.

1. FMVSS 205 “Glazing Materials:”

2. FMVSS 212 “Windshield Mounting:”

3. FMVSS 216 “Roof Crush Resistance:”

4. FMVSS 219 “Windshield Zone Intrusion:”

5. FMVSS 208 “Occupant Crash Protection:”

Due to advancements in windshield adhesive strengths, vehicle manufacturers have been able to lighten the vehicle steal (improve fuel efficiently), thin down the “A” pillars (decrease blind spots) and still pass the 5 FMVSS standard. As a result of these design changes the windshield in newer vehicles bends and twists with the vehicle movement. This bending and twisting of the windshield is why a tiny chip near the edge of your windshield will often crack.

*FMVSS Information from PPG Auto Glass Trade Tips September-October 1996

Broken Sunroof Glass Tips

Dominion Auto Glass is Calgary’s only inbuilt sunroof shop, and we are the leading sunroof repair specialists. If you’ve experienced a shatter in your sunroof ensure your vehicle is safe to operate, then DO NOT remove your glass. Many people believe they should vacuum all the shattered pieces but this may in fact do more harm than good getting glass pieces in the mechanisms that operate your sunroof. Give us a call and schedule a time so we can take a look and get you back on the road safely.

Rock Chip Care Before Visiting Our Shop

So you just noticed a rock chip and can’t make it to the shop for another week. Is there anything you can do in the meantime to prevent the chip from growing? If you believe the weather temperature is going to fluctuate (to severe cold) we recommend getting your chip filled ASAP. You can also place a strip of clear tape over the chip to prevent foreign debris from entering. This will ensure our resins will fill your chip as if there was no chip to begin with!

Should I Be Concerned About Rust Around My Windshield?

Rust around your windshield is often the result of poor workmanship during a previous replacement. The tools used to remove the windshield and the original adhesive often scratch what’s called the pinch weald (non-visible part of car where the glass is glued) exposing bare metal. To prevent rust, primers are available to cover the bare metal and thus preventing moisture from getting trapped. We always prime bare metal. Beware of shops that leave the bare metal unprimed in order to save time and money. It may take months or years before the rust is visible to the vehicle owner and by the time it is, it will be expensive to properly repair at your local body shop.

How Do You Repair Cracked Windshields?

We have found that repairing cracks with chip repair resin (low viscosity)—a shortcut many shops use—will almost always fail.

We have tested several different repair systems and Crackmaster is the first one we found that could properly restore a cracked windshield. Cracks almost always start from the edge of the windshield and they vary in openness or tightness as they move away from the edge. At the edge they are open and you can usually feel them with your fingernail but as you move toward the end of the crack it becomes very tight and hard to feel. We also know that when a crack repair fails it usually reopens at the (open) edge.

We us several different resins that vary in viscosity (thickness). The high viscosity (thick) resin—the strongest resin—fills the edge where the most strength is needed and as we move toward the end of the crack where it is tight we step down in viscosity (thinner) so that the tighter crack will still fill.

What’s the Black Band Around My Windshield?

The strong adhesives in today’s windshields are also UV sensitive and therefore require a black band around the perimeter to protect it. This also mean the band heats up in the sun more than the rest of the windshield. But keep in mind hot glass cracks quickly if there is a chip near the heat. Just think of all the times you have watched a chip or crack spread in the winter when you turned your defrost on.

How Long of a Windshield Crack Can You Repair?

Dominion Auto Glass is a Crackmaster franchise owner which means we employ a patented process for repairing long windshield cracks that delivers excellent results. This process can repair cracks up to 12 inches long but we strongly recommend you repair them before they get that long because cracks will fill with debris—especially in the winter when there is chemicals on the road—reducing the strength of the repair, plus you pay by the inch.