The folks at Texas Glass want to help you understand every aspect of your glass purchase.  Read over these questions and answers thoroughly before making a purchase.  If you have a question that is not listed please email us and we will answer it for you! 

I saw the 20/20 Report about unsafe windshield installations. How do I make sure that my windshield is safe?

My windshield needs to be replaced. I saw the 20/20 Report and want to make sure a find a good installation company. What do I look for?

Glass in my house just broke, what should I do?

Where can I buy burglar proof glass?

One piece of glass in my insulating window broke. The glass company is telling me that I need to replace the whole window. Is this true?

My windshield was broken by gravel from a truck - again. Will my insurance rates go up if I get it replaced?

I just had my windshield replaced and the installer said I shouldn't drive it for six hours. How important is that really? Can't I just drive locally?

The glass in my door broke and the glass shop won't sell me a piece of plate glass to replace it. The manager says I need to buy "safety glass." Is he trying to cheat me?

Is there a product that can be put on glass in a shower door or window to create privacy, yet still allow in natural light?

Are there any standards for safe auto glass installations?

What is Glass?

The glass in the passenger window of my car was fine for years and one day it just exploded. Was it defective?

My windshield just chipped, what do I do?

What is windshield repair, and does it work?

 

I saw the 20/20 Report about unsafe windshield installations. How do I make sure that my windshield is safe?

( Article provided by US Glass Magazine )

First, don't panic. The majority of glass shops throughout the country are very concerned about safety and take great care to do only the highest quality installations. But, as in every industry, there are always a few bad apples and/or substandard employees, and it make sense for you to be sure a quality windshield installation was done on your car. Statistically, aftermarket windshield installations have been among the safest types of aftermarket automobile service work done year after year, so there is no need to be overly concerned.

The only absolutely positive way to find out if your windshield was installed correctly is to crash-test your car and see if the windshield holds--not something we'd recommend if you plan to continue to use the car! Short of that, you may wish to have a quality glass shop do an inspection of your windshield. That inspection will check that primer and a proper adhesive system was used and there are no signs of rust or damage around the windshield. If you have the inspection at a shop where the windshield was replaced, you may or may not be charged for the service. If you go to another shop, you will be charged a small fee.

If your installation was done more than a year ago, you can also run through a quick checklist yourself. Ask yourself if you have:

 

  • Had any problem with wind leakage?
  • Had any problem with water leakage?
  • Heard any "funny noises" coming from the perimeter of the windshield?
  • See any rust or damage when you gently lift up the moulding around the windshield?

 

If you can answer "no" to all of these questions, the likelihood of a problem installation is extremely low.

If you had an installation done recently, pull out a copy of the work order and/or invoice you received. Make sure that it includes all the materials that were used on your car, including pinch weld primer, glass primer and urethane (adhesive). If these products are clearly delineated on your invoice, the likelihood that your installation was done correctly is high. top


My windshield needs to be replaced. I saw the 20/20 Report and want to make sure a find a good installation company. What do I look for?

You find a good auto glass shop the way you find a good dry cleaner or doctor. You ask your friends and associates and find places with which they were satisfied and had no problems.

You may also wish to quiz a shop when you call for an appointment. Ask the company how long they have been in business and where their physical location is. Ask if they have a shop where work can take place in acclimate weather.

Ask about how their installers are trained. There are a number of different training programs available in the industry, including certification by the National Glass Association, which requires passage of a written test for certification. There are also a number of other excellent training programs available, many of which also require practical examinations. Some adhesive system manufacturers and some auto manufacturers even require their own certification if the installer plans to install windshields with a particular material. You want to make sure that a formalized training program is in place.

Finally, you can watch an installation. Check that the installer is wearing gloves and handling the materials properly. Make sure the installer briefs you on how long the car must remain stationery before it can be driven safely and then follow those instructions. Make sure the invoice or work order you receive clearly delineates all the materials used on your car including pinch weld primer, glass primer and urethane.top


Glass in my house just broke, what should I do?

You need to handle glass left in a frame differently than glass that has broken out of the frame and fallen. First, you'll want to check and make sure that no one was injured by the glass. Get medical attention immediately if this was the case. Next, you want to secure the area and isolate the glass that has broken out of the frame and keep people and pets away from the break area. Be especially mindful of infants and toddlers who will crawl by the area hours later.

To clean up the broken glass, pick up the large pieces of glass only when wearing safety gloves. Make note of any special markings or coding on the glass, as this may be helpful in locating a replacement piece. Do not attempt to touch the glass without safety gloves. Put the broken glass in a container and set it aside for disposal by the glass company with whom you work. Do not dispose of broken glass through your normal household disposal methods. Use a high-powered vacuum to vacuum the entire area and dispose of the vacuum bag. Re-vacuum the whole area again a few hours later and dispose of that vacuum bag too.

If the glass is still partially in a frame - say a window pane or door lite - try to secure the area to make sure no one will touch it and that it will not move until fixed. Never go near the glass without safety gloves. Safety goggles are also important to keep glass slivers from entering the eye. If necessary in an emergency situation, you may attempt to put wide pieces of tape, such as duct- or masking-tape across the frame to keep the glass from falling until the glass shop arrives. top


Where can I buy burglar proof glass?

You can't. There is no such thing as burglar-proof glass, but there is burglar-resistant glass. Burglar-resistant glass is stronger than plain annealed glass and it requires more force to break through the glass. It is a glass designed to resist injury to property, as opposed to injury to people. It can be used in either buildings or cars. As with most things, there are different degrees of protection offered by different types of glass. Most burglar-resistant glass is actually a glass-plastic sandwich that it harder to break than plain annealed glass. Any quality glass shop can install it for you. top


One piece of glass in my insulating window broke. The glass company is telling me that I need to replace the whole window. Is this true?

Probably. The reason that your window had insulating properties is because there was a SEALED airspace between both pieces of glass. When one of the pieces breaks, not only has that glass been destroyed, but the sealed airspace has been destroyed as well. The whole unit usually is replaced in such cases. Is it possible to reseal the glass in the same frames. The answer is possibly "yes" from a technical standpoint, but 'no' from a practical one. The time and cost involved to retrofit such units would be much more expensive than buying new ones. top


My windshield was broken by gravel from a truck - again. Will my insurance rates go up if I get it replaced?

No, your insurance rates will not increase for auto glass replacement. Auto glass claims by themselves are not factored into the mix when your insurance company determines your risk assignment or your insurance rates. Your insurer wants you to have a clear field of vision for utmost safety and visibility and knows that a clear windshield reduces accidents rather than causes them.

By the way, many times if you can get the name of the company that owns that truck that kicked the gravel that caused your break (that's a mouthful) that company will often reimburse you for the cost of the windshield. You usually must have the date and time and location when the "hit" took place along with the license number of the truck. top


I just had my windshield replaced and the installer said I shouldn't drive it for six hours. How important is that really? Can't I just drive locally?

No, do not move the car. The adhesive used on each windshield installation requires a certain amount of time to set --cure, if you will--dependent upon temperature and humidity conditions. Cure times will vary and can range from approximately one hour to ten hours. Your installer will tell you when it is safe to drive the vehicle away. Driving the car before that time could seriously compromise the integrity of the installation. Don't do it. top


The glass in my door broke and the glass shop won't sell me a piece of plate glass to replace it. The manager says I need to buy "safety glass." Is he trying to cheat me?

No, but he may be saving your life - or keeping you out of legal trouble. You may not know that glass is one of the few building materials actually regulated by the Federal government and that usage of glass in and near doors falls under strict Consumer Product Safety Commission rules. Quality glass shops know that all glass in doors must meet the requirements of CPSC 16 CFR 1201 safety glazing - which generally means that either tempered or laminated glass or plastic must be used.

When a glass shop won't sell you a certain type of glass for a particular application, it is usually with your safety in mind. In this case, it would be illegal for either the glass shop--or the homeowner--to install non-safety glass in that door. This becomes an issue when the door is old and was manufactured before the safety glazing laws took place.

While the CPSC regulates safety glass usage in and near doors, building codes regulate what types of glass can be used in other hazardous locations. Many codes require safety glass below a certain height, in areas with a lot of water and potential for slippage such as hot tub enclosures, on stair wells or in other hazardous locations.

Safety glass is more expensive than "plate glass," but the benefits you'll receive in terms of that safety and peace of mind will be well-worth the expense.

References : www.cspsc.gov - Consumer Product Safety Commission  top


Is there a product that can be put on glass in a shower door or window to create privacy, yet still allow in natural light?

Let's talk about shower doors first. Because they are subjected to heavy water usage, your best bet is to change the glass in the door. There are many beautiful and resilient types of patterned glass that can be used in shower doors (such as obscure or textured) which provide privacy yet let light in. If your budget is not too tight, you might even wish to consider a custom-designed sandblasted or etched door, made to your specifications. The Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association can help you find a qualified local retailer.

Now on to the window. If the window is in the path of the water, then you would be best served to replace the glass in the same manner as the shower door above. BUT if the glass is out of the way of water, you may wish to consider adding window film to the window. The film would provide privacy from outside, yet allow you to see it. Just check your yellow pages under "window film" or "tinters" to find a company in your area. top


Are there any standards for safe auto glass installations?

Yes, the American National Standards Institute recently certified the first standard for safe auto glass replacements. It is called the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard, and was developed by consensus among key industry companies and leaders for the betterment of the industry. top


What is Glass?

Glass is one of the most versatile - and most misunderstood - materials used in the world. Glass can be used for everything from eyeglasses to bottles, windows to the 'glassphalt' you find on the road. Many products called "glass" are actually ceramics and have entirely different manufacturing process than the glass we discuss in this article. Glass that is put into buildings or automobiles, in windows or on table tops is usually called flat-, float-, window or plate glass.

The ancient Romans made flat glass by rolling out hot glass on a smooth surface. The resulting glass was neither clear nor even, but it was good enough to use in windows of the day. In fact, glass was quite a luxury at the time and only the nobility could afford it. By 1668, San Gobain had perfected a "broad glass" method of manufacture that involved blowing long glass cylinders, slitting them and unrolling them to form an almost-flat rectangle. This plate glass was then ground and polished on both sides.

By the late 1800s, glass was being made by blowing a very large cylinder and allowing it to cool before it was cut with a diamond. After being reheated in a special oven, it was flattened and affixed to piece of polished glass which preserved its surface. In 1871, a gentleman named William Pilkington invented a machine that allowed larger sheets of glass to be made. It was the first of a number of marvelous glass-related inventions to come from the Pilkington family.

By the early 1900s most glass was manufactured using the sheet glass method--through which a ribbon of glass was drawn from a tank furnace between cooled rollers. It produced a less expensive, albeit imperfect, window.

Manufacturing processes did not change much until 1959 when another Pilkington by the name of Alistair invented the float glass process. It changed glass manufacturing forever. In the float process, a continuous strip of molten glass at approximately 1000 degrees centigrade is poured continuously from the furnace onto a large shallow bath of molten metal, usually tin. The glass floats and cools on the tin and spreads out to form a flat surface. The speed at which the controlling glass ribbon is drawn determines the thickness of the glass. Glass is much less expensive to produce via the float process than any other type of process. Today more than 90 percent of the world's flat glass is made via the float process.

Float glass is very versatile as well. Add a silver backing to it and you have created mirror, heat and then cool the glass very quickly in a special oven and you have made tempered glass. Your windshield is really a "glass sandwich" called laminated glass, made of two pieces of float glass with a plastic interlayer between them. And if you seal two pieces of glass with an airspace between them, you have created insulating glass. top


The glass in the passenger window of my car was fine for years and one day it just exploded. Was it defective?

No, the glass probably was not defective. Most likely it was tempered glass (that is glass that has been heated then cooled quickly to strengthen it) which, on occasion, can undergo spontaneous breakage. The same process that makes tempered glass so strong also makes it vunerable to this type of breakage.

The same process that strengthens tempered glass also creates some inherent problems. Through the tempering process, a system of residual stresses is introduced to convert normal flat glass to safety glass when the stress level is high enough. Glass is tempered by heating sized, edged glass in a tempering furnace to approximately 1,200 degrees F, then rapidly cooling, or quenching, the glass to approximately 400 to 600 degrees F. In quenching, air jets quickly cool and set the surfaces, leaving the inner portion of the glass thickness relatively hot and cooling at a slower rate.

The surfaces become rigid, but the center is still pliable and contracting as it cools, thus compressing the surface. Compressive residual stresses imposed on the glass surface, which close up any cracks, are balanced by residual tensile stress in the center of the glass.

These stresses make tempered glass approximately four times stronger than annealed glass, making it ideal for applications where maximum resistance to thermal and cyclic wind loading pressures is required. In addition, if broken, fully tempered glass breaks into relatively safe, small pieces, rather than shards. However, distortion and point inclusions are a natural part of the tempering process.top


My windshield just chipped, what do I do?

Quick action after a rock-chip or other type of break in a windshield can save you thousands of dollars. If you notice a small break that looks like a bulls-eye or tiny crack in the windshield (but not in the drivers' immediate field of vision) it may be possible to have the windshield REPAIRED rather than REPLACED. Most insurance companies will also waive any deductible costs for windshield repair.

Call your local auto glass shop immediately and describe the type of break. Most quality glass shops will ask you a number of questions about the break to see if it can be repaired. Be mindful that windshield repair is a sound, environmentally-safe process, but that it does not completely restore the windshield to its pre-chip condition. Even with the highest quality repairs, there will still be an ever-so-slight distortion of the glass where it was fixed. This is why repair is generally not recommended in the drivers' immediate field of vision.

If you do not repair the windshield quickly, there is a very great likelihood that the crack will grow and the entire windshield will require replacement. Plus, the crack will fill with dirt and water making a repair even more difficult. So get it fixed NOW!

Breaks can often be repaired because windshields are made of laminated glass. At this point in time, most side windows are not, and should be replaced rather than repaired.

Only certain types of breaks can be repaired. Otherwise, you will need your windshield replaced. To have it replaced, call a quality glass shop and schedule an appointment. Keep in mind that you have the right to choose the shop you want to replace your windshield in most states - even if its not the same company your insurance company prefers. Most auto glass companies provide both in-shop and mobile service, but common sense tells you that in-shop installations are preferable in bad weather.

Ask the shop how quickly it can do the replacement and what types of materials it will be using. There are many different types of adhesives available and you want to make sure your windshield is being replaced with a high-quality adhesive that will cure properly in the temperature and humidity conditions. If using OE parts is important to you, ask the shop if they will do so. You can check by looking at the mark on the bottom right of the windshield to see the glass manufacturer.

Keep the car stationary for as long as the technician suggests. The adhesive systems used in windshield replacement require time to cure properly and you should not drive your vehicle before it has cured. Your technician will know how long this will be. Depending on temperature and weather conditions, it could be as short as one hour or as long as eight.

We know it's tempting to "get in and go," but please put safety first and wait the proper time. top


What is windshield repair, and does it work?

Windshield repair is process through which resin is injected into the broken area of the windshield. The resin then bonds the glass surfaces and stops the break from getting larger. While windshield repair improves the appearance of the windshield, it does not remove the crack totally from sight. Scarring usually can be seen by looking at the glass and focusing on the repaired area--you'll see an ever-so-slight distortion.

If you do not repair the windshield quickly, there is a very great likelihood that the crack will grow and the entire windshield will require replacement. Plus, the crack will fill with dirt and water making a repair even more difficult. So get it fixed NOW!

Breaks can often be repaired because windshields are made of laminated glass. At this point in time, most side windows are not and should be replaced rather than repaired.

The comprehensive portion of your automotive insurance usually covers windshield repair. In fact, most insurance companies will waive the deductible charge if you get the windshield repaired rather than replaced. top