If you have a large crack in your windshield that can't be repaired, you need to have your windshield replaced. This helps ensure the windshield doesn't shatter if you are involved in an accident and helps you see the entire road without any obstructions in the way. However, when it is freezing outside, you may wonder if your auto glass can be replaced or if you should wait for warmer weather. Here are a few frequently asked questions about auto glass repair and the cold.
Can Auto Glass Be Replaced When it Is Cold Outside?
If you have never had your auto glass replaced when it is cold outside, you may be wondering if you can or if there are any drawbacks to doing so. It is not recommended that auto glass be replaced in temperatures that dip below the freezing mark. When it is cold, glass contracts. When it is warm, glass expands. When it is freezing, there is enough shrinkage in the glass that it can be hard to properly fit, while also leaving enough room to allow for expansion when it heats up. If glass were to be installed in cold temperatures, it could break the seal holding the glass in place as it expands, or it could crack and shatter if not given enough expansion room.
Why Else Can't Auto Glass Be Replaced in Cold Temperatures?
In addition to glass contracting when it is cold, windshields cannot be replaced in cold temperatures because the urethane or seal that is used to hold the windshield will not cure or dry properly. Depending on the exact product being used, it may take longer to dry or it may simply be unable to until temperatures warm up. The exact temperature at which a seal will cure varies by product, but some won't cure when temperatures hit 42 degrees or below. The urethane or seal holds the windshield in place when you are driving on bumpy roads or when you are involved in an accident. If the seal hasn't cured, or dried, a large bump or accident could cause the windshield to pop out of place. Also, if the seal isn't dry, your windshield may wiggle a bit as your drive down the road. As your seal dries, the windshield may wind up being slightly crooked or uneven.
What Options Do I Have If I Need a Windshield Replaced and It's Cold?
If you need a windshield replaced during the winter months, the only option you have is to locate a glass repair shop that uses a heated garage or shop space and quick-drying urethane and seal products. A heated garage space helps keep the glass warm enough that there are no issues with contraction. The quick-drying urethane products cure in as little as an hour when the temperatures are 72 degrees or more, which a heated garage can be set at. However, keep in mind that installers have to work quickly when using quick-drying products, or the seal will dry before the windshield is locked into place. As such, not every shop offers this product.
In some instances, auto glass repair and replacement companies can come to you. They can repair or replace your windshield on your lunch hour at work or in your driveway at your home. However, when it is cold out, this may not be an option. Colder temperatures can impact the moldings, urethane and adhesives, causing them not to cure. However, this doesn't mean you can't get your windshield replaced. Taking the time to find a repair company that has a heated shop and uses quick-drying urethane will allow you to get your windshield replaced, even in the coldest of weather.