The windshield in your car or truck serves several purposes, but the most important is to protect you from the elements as you drive your vehicle. While the glass is extremely durable, you should have an auto glass replacement technician inspect it and make the appropriate repairs if it is damaged.
The windshield glass used in cars and trucks is a safety glass constructed of two layers of glass with a polyethylene membrane between them. The laminated glass is extremely durable and can take an impact that will shatter the glass, but the membrane holds the glass in place after the impact.
Many times an impact to the glass will crack a small portion of the windshield and you will still be able to see through it. While the glass may only have a small crack, once the glass cracks on either side of the membrane, the structural integrity of the glass is compromised, and it is easier for further damage to occur. Auto glass replacement may still be required with a small crack because of the location of the damage, and you will need a glass tech to inspect the damage.
Replacing The Glass
If the auto glass replacement tech determines that the windshield in your car needs to be replaced, they will need to order the right glass for your vehicle and schedule a time to replace it. The entire job only takes about an hour on most cars and trucks, so you can take the car to the shop and wait for the repair, or you may want to consider requesting mobile repair.
In both cases, the old glass is removed from the car and discarded. The tech working on your auto glass replacement will remove the old sealer from around the windshield opening and clean the area, then apply a new urethane seal around the outside of the opening.
The new windshield is set in place on the new seal and positioned in the opening, and then the tech will go around the glass, carefully pressing it into the seal to ensure a good bond. After the glass is in place, the sealer will need to dry for about twenty-four hours to fully bond to the glass.
You can typically drive the car in about an hour, but if it is raining, it is a good idea to wait until it stops so no water gets forced under the seal by the wind. It is also recommended to leave the window on your door down about a quarter of an inch when you close the door for the first couple hours so the air pressure inside the car does not push on the glass as you shut the door.