Today is the 45th Earth Day. An Earth Day was originally proposed to the United Nations to be celebrated on March 21st, and is still observed, but the Earth Day we are celebrating today was founded by former Senator Gaylord Nelson. Earth Day started as an environmental teach-in, with Americans coming together to demonstrate support for environmental reform, and has grown into an international celebration of awareness, observed by over 190 countries every year.
Though key benefits of windshield repair include saving you, as a customer, time and money, those are not the only reasons we advocate for repairing when possible. Repair also restores the structural integrity of your windshield, and preserves existing glass. The other main benefit, however, is that choosing not to replace first helps minimize adverse effects on the environment.
At Speedy We Care is centered on community growth and contributions, but we care about the environment as well. When a windshield is replaced, the material isn’t able to be processed the same way as other glass products, like beverage bottles. Due to special treatments, like lamination, the damaged material cannot be traditionally recycled. Repair can help reduce waste by replacing only when there is no other solution. Our teams are equipped with industry leading NOVUS® technology to ensure the best repair possible.
There are, however, some cases where a replacement is necessary. Having cracks resembling spider webs from edge to edge, for instance, is one situation. If you are able to repair though, our team will be able to take care of your vehicle and help you reduce your personal environmental waste.
Windshield damage is usually classified in two categories: a chip that can be repaired, or a windshield with damage severe enough that means it has to be replaced.
Chips are fairly easy to diagnose. They are traditionally caused by debris hitting the windshield, like a pebble on the road, and do not break through the glass. The second category, damage requiring a new windshield, is a bit more open. Of course, if damage is so severe that the glass damage resembles the picture to the right, it is time for a new windshield. Other cases would be if the glass has bent, or something has broken clean through it.
What if, however, you only have a crack? Cracks can happen when a rock chip is left to its own devices, and the elements cause it to spread. The last time you had a crack, you might have been told that it wasn’t repairable, and that you should get a replacement.
In some circumstances, however, you can repair a crack! It’s important not to wait too long, however, because the longer a crack sits, the tougher it is to repair. It is always best to get an evaluation done, however. Is a crack right for you? Read up on it and see.
If you’ve driven a newer car lately, you might have noticed that it has some features that your first car probably didn’t have. Heated seats and steering wheels might not be new to you, but assisted parallel parking or pedestrian warnings are more likely to be. These types of systems are called Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) – and are becoming increasingly popular.
Vehicles are getting smarter every year, with the technology integrated into them slowly increasing. ADAS is one of the most popular ways to put in new technology. These systems operate using cameras and sensors placed within the car in order to make the experience smoother and easier for the driver.
Watch some of this amazing technology in action below, as BMW previews some developments they’ve made.
One of the crucial things to know about ADAS is that depending on the system inside the vehicle, the sensors and cameras required to keep the system running may be in the windshield. Repairs should not be done if the damage is in front of any of these components – a replacement is the only option. However, since some systems can require additional attention and recalibration after a replacement, a repair may be preferable, if possible. You should ensure you know the pros and cons of your situation before undertaking any work on a damaged windshield.
Food bank donations from our Bothell, WA location.
Last month, we launched At Speedy We Care, a program dedicated to helping our branches contribute to and elevate their surrounding communities. In everything we do, we focus on the goals below:
Forming and supporting more vibrant communities
Building bridges with other community members to amplify contribution
Increasing our team engagement with the company and community
In December, we were able to give to numerous boxes of toys, food and warm clothes for the holiday season throughout Alaska, Washington and Montana. Additionally, our Great Falls, MT branch held a fundraiser for St. Jude throughout the month, raising over $900. We are also happy to note that our Tigard, OR branch is now a designated drop off center for Cell Phones for Soldiers.
Keep up with our program here, on the At Speedy We Care tag, or through our Facebook and Twitter.
As the weather begins to turn, it’s more important than ever to get any damage you have in your windshield repaired. When winter sets in, the cold weather can accelerate any damage you have and the chip or ding can become a crack. Moisture can get into unrepaired chips and dings and accumulate over time. When it freezes, it will expand, testing the strength of the glass until it eventually breaks. Since the glass in your windshield is laminated, the glass will still held together, but it will be cracked.
Watch a demonstration of just how powerful water is when it’s frozen below (1:07 to 1:55):
While the above is an extreme, accelerated case of the power of freezing water, it shows just how powerful the effect can be. It’s best not to take any chances, especially when it comes to your safety. A repair now could save you a replacement later.
Even if you live a in a mild climate, damage can spread from a chip to a crack. Changes in temperature, for example, can affect the integrity of the glass. If the windshield has already been compromised by some sort of damage, it may not take much effort for the ding to spread.
One of the biggest selling points of any vehicle is how safe it is. If a car has qualified to be noted as a Top Safety Pick, more often than not, it’s a key point to mention in any commercial or publication. How, exactly, does a car become a Top Safety Pick?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a non-profit organization that puts together the ranking every year. As an organization, the IIHS’s main purpose is working towards reducing the number of car collisions, which subsequently lowers both the rate of injuries and amount of total property damage claimed. Beyond that, the Institute also reviews related products, like children’s car seats. The IIHS releases their list of Top Safety Picks every year, the results determined by different tests.
The tests undertaken include:
• Moderate overlap frontal test
• Side crash test
• Head restraint evaluation
• Roof strength test
Cars are ranked by performance in these above tests, on the scale from good, acceptable, marginal, or poor. In some cases, these rankings are determined by a series of sub-rankings in each test. For example, in the side crash test, there are nine categories that eventually determine the overall side impact score. A fifth test, a small overlap frontal test, is also performed, but has less weight in determining if a car is a Top Safety Pick.
There is a sixth test, a frontal collision avoidance evaluation. Since front crash prevention systems differ between vehicles, this particular test is not used to give the distinction of Top Safety Pick. However, a new category, Top Safety Pick+, is awarded to vehicles that have a rating of “basic” or higher in this test while meeting all other Top Safety Pick criteria.
Despite car thefts slowly decreasing in 2013 (as predicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation), reported thefts average out to one vehicle being stolen every 45 seconds. These ten vehicles topped the list as most frequently stolen in 2013, over all model years:
How can you keep your vehicle safe? Cars are continuing to receive improvements to stock anti-theft systems, such as engine immobilizer systems. If you’re not in the market for a vehicle with systems like this just yet, other courses of action can be taken. Anti-theft devices like steering wheel locks are popular, as are alarms. These devices can also possibly benefit your insurance policy. However, sometimes small precautionary measures can make the difference between having your car broken into or staying untouched when parking.
Some tips include:
Keep the sunroof and windows closed when not in the vehicle
When it’s hot outside, not much feels better than a solid burst of cool air from the air conditioner while you drive. However, it pays to be careful – the temperature discrepancy between the cold air coming into your vehicle and the sun-warmed glass of your windshield could cause a chip or ding in your windshield to turn into a crack. Any damage, even as minor as a chip, can weaken the structural integrity of the glass, and the contrast in temperature can expose this and turn that easy-to-repair chip into a total windshield replacement.
Chips and dings can take on a variety of looks, including a bullseye, star, half moon, or a combination of the three.
Above: Combination chip.
As soon as this damage happens, especially if it’s in your line of vision while you drive, it’s important to get it repaired. The longer a chip is present on your windshield, the higher the chances that damage could become irreparable. In some states, it’s a ticketable offense to drive with a windshield with damage that obstructs the vision.
As spring goes on, you may find you have to flick your windshield wipers on more often. Ease the wear on your wiper blades with AquaPel, a special coating for your glass. Use it on any piece of glass in your car to improve visibility and repel rain, including your windshield and back windshield. AquaPel is also great in the home, especially in glass shower enclosures.
Since AquaPel forms a chemical bond with the glass, this coating doesn’t wash away. With normal use, AquaPel lasts for several months, wearing off gradually. It does not leave any residue behind. If you clean your glass with a glass cleaner periodically, this doesn’t affect the durability of AquaPel.
When used indoors, AquaPel can be applied on the interior of a glass shower enclosure. The coating can protect the glass against hard water marks, and can help minimize mildew and soap scum from accumulating. Like its lifespan on auto glass, AquaPel will last for several months after the application and wears off gradually.
Whether it’s on your car or in your home, AquaPel takes only a few minutes to apply. Any of our trained technicians can do this when they install your glass job. It doesn’t matter if we’re in our shop or on the road with our mobile service either; we’ll be able to help.
If you’re looking at replacing your home’s windows, you may be looking at energy-efficient windows. There are several benefits to choosing an energy-efficient model, such as one with double glazing, including the following:
Reducing the cost of heating or cooling your home
Slowing convection and conduction (loss of indoor heat)
Energy-efficient models go hand in hand with good frames. A good frame, like one constructed of vinyl, will work to insulate your home further, minimizing any heat transfer. Air leakage should be kept to a minimum, and any joints in the frame need to be sealed airtight to keep out moisture and cold air.
Both non-operable and operable windows can be energy efficient. Non-operable, or fixed, windows are more airtight, but since they cannot open, it would not be advisable to outfit your entire home with this type. When looking at operable windows, hinged products are preferable to sliding models, as the closure fixture keeps the window tight to the frame.
At Speedy, we offer a wide range of energy-efficient models to give you the choice of what best suits your need. Give your local branch a call and they’ll be able to answer any questions you may have. Estimates are always free.