What’s involved in replacing a windshield anyway?
Here are some basic tips to help you understand the overall process as well as our jargon, in case you’re interested.
Your windshield is held in place by a thick, black glue called urethane. When properly bonded, our urethane (Sika MACH 60) has a tensile strength of 1000psi, meaning it has been tested to pull apart at 1000 pounds. When fully cured, it feels like slightly stretchy rubber.
The windshield is generally wrapped on the top and both sides with a rubber strip we call a “Molding”. This helps channel water down around the windshield but it does nothing to prevent leaks. It is also for aesthetic purposes. Look at a vehicle without a molding and you’ll understand what we mean.
Two types of windshield moldings
There are 2 types of moldings, cavity and undersided. Cavity means that the rubber strip wraps around the edge of the glass. The undersided moldings are more visibly discreet as they are simply a flat rubber strip that sticks to the underside of the glass, the side that sits into the urethane. These look nice when installed right because they are designed to curve down and then curl up, forming a “U” shape to channel water around and down.
Your windshield cowling and windshield wipers almost always need to be removed prior to removing the old windshield. When a windshield is removed the urethane has to be cut horizontally which requires special tools. The 4 main tools for this step are:
- Cold Knife
- Long Knife
- Extractor Tool
- Wire cutout tool
All options work and each tech has certain preferences. There are risks and advantages to each tool.
Prepping windshields for removal.
After the windshield is removed, the cavity of the car where the windshield sits in is called the pinch weld. This will still have an excessive amount of old urethane that MUST be removed and cleaned prior to installation.
After it is cleaned, any scratches in the metal must be primered to prevent rust from building up.
The windshield also needs to be properly prepped, which includes installing the molding, cleaning the inside and outside of the entire windshield, and using an abrasive cleaning agent on the inside perimeter section of the glass that makes contact with the urethane. All oils and foreign substances need to be removed. The second important step here is using a chemical liquid compound called an Activator. This promotes proper adhesion of the urethane to the glass.
How long does windshield replacement take?
Once the pinch weld and windshield are fully prepped, the urethane needs to be laid into the pinch weld. This is step combined with setting the windshield are the 2 main steps that cause the majority of leaks. If the urethane is not laid evenly, each connecting point is not seamed together evenly and/or if the windshield is not pressed into the urethane deep enough there will be a gap where the urethane is not touching the windshield, thus causing a leak.
After the windshield is set in, tape is attached to the top of the windshield on both driver and passenger sides to prevent the windshield from sliding down as the urethane begins to cure. Sika MACH 60 cures quickly enough to allow us to remove the tape as the last step before handing keys back to you; 10-20 minutes after the windshield is laid into the urethane.
Get a windshield installation in Portland without leaving home!
We offer two ways to replace your windshield. You can bring your vehicle into our shop, or we can come to you! Making the windshield replacement that Portland drivers need as easy as possible. There are some important reasons to replace your windshield. Just some of the windshield replacement benefits include:
- Improve road visibility. In the Portland Metro area, rain is a given. The worse it becomes, the harder it is to see. When you add on a damaged windshield, your view can be seriously impaired. Driving begins with the line of sight, so make sure yours is clear.
- Restore your protection. Windshields are actually multi-layered. There is a vinyl or plastic layer between two layers of glass. This keeps glass in place after damage and helps prevent debris from penetrating into the cabin. A Portland windshield replacement restores this layer and keeps you safer.
- Don’t drive illegally. Portland has specific laws regarding window obstructions. If your damage is severe enough, you may be breaking them. This gives police an easy reason for pulling you over.
Your New Windshield is Warrantied!
Every shop offers a warranty on their work, and we’re no different. Where we differ is in our dedication to personal accountability. At other shops, when you need to exercise your warranty, they fix a leaking seal, and that’s the end. We don’t think this is enough. SIR Glass carries a No Leak Guarantee that compensates you when we make a mistake.
A leak can mean lost time, changing of plans, and a major inconvenience. That’s why our guarantee refunds you $100 or provides a $100 Visa card if your insurance covered your windshield installation and we verify your leak is from our installation.
This makes accountability easy, and guarantees we’ll be working hard on your behalf. A windshield repair company in Portland may claim to cover their work, but what do you actually get out of it?
Get more with us, knowing you’re protected and will be compensated for your loss. We’re the only windshield replacement company in Portland who can say that. That’s because we make sure to provide you with the highest quality glass, gaskets, and sealing.
Contact our Portland auto glass shop for a windshield replacement today.
Make us your first call for a windshield replacement in Portland. Wherever you need us, whatever vehicles you drive, our technicians are ready and able to work on cars, trucks, vans, and much more. Call (503)8932825 or contact us today!