Don’t fall into this insurance trap!
You may or may not be aware, but your insurance company is not supposed to direct you to use a specific auto glass company. Several do … so buyer beware. They are not necessarily the best quality companies. It’s better to ask if they have three different sources to contact so you can make the decision – or take it easy on yourself and just call Strojny.
Windshield Replacement – a Safety Issue!
Why be choosy? An improperly installed windshield is a safety hazard so it is important to know what to watch for during and after a replacement has been performed on your vehicle.
Without answering the obvious – like you have a leak or have wind noise that sounds like a whistle coming from that gap between your windshield and the body of the car; there are definitely things to look for when an installer is on site and after the installation. Our techs, whether with our Mobile Auto Glass Division (Currie Glass Co.) or our in-house Strojny Auto Glass (BTW – the same experienced techs) – do not take any short cuts and pride themselves on the thoroughness and quality of their work.
So, how do you know if the installation was done correctly? There are a lot of windshields not being installed correctly everyday – usually by inexperienced small companies or the larger “glass factories” that are measured on speed versus quality. As a matter of fact, we replace several on a monthly basis that were improperly installed by other companies!
Things to look for during and after installation:
Pinch weld area has improperly prepped adhesive or rust – The area on the car where the adhesive is placed is called the “pinch weld”. The old or original bead will need to be cut through and trimmed; and the surface properly prepared in order for the bond between the new windshield and the vehicle to be safe. The other thing to note is whether there is rust evident prior to the application of the replacement adhesive. The entire area surrounding the adhesive application area must be completely cleared of foreign matter and rust. If rust is still present, you can rest assured the seal will fail sometime in the future. Rusted areas should be cleared of rust and primed prior to application of the adhesive. Proper prep and priming of the area may add time to the replacement – so be sure the tech cleans and then allows the primer to cure appropriately.
The installer did not wear gloves – It is important that gloves are worn at all time the new glass is being handled. Any oils from the technician’s hands can be transferred to the glass which may cause the new adhesive bond to fail. If following industry standard procedures, the tech will use new latex or nitrile gloves whenever (each time) the tech handles the new windshield.
The newly installed windshield is not centered to the opening – There are a number of issues associated with this. For instance, the installation may actually last, but if you have to have a subsequent windshield replacement, it may cause a more difficult removal where the windshield shatters. This happens when the windshield is installed too close to the pinch weld, and there is not sufficient space to cut through the adhesive. And, obviously, the poorly centered windshield may fail due to not being properly seated.
Finally – any other “Form, Fit or Function” issue you may notice – Suffice to say, you replacement windshield should look like the factory installed windshield. Any irregularities that you can see are probably workmanship or glass quality related. They should be noted immediately – the glass company informed (pictures are good!) – and an appropriate agreement hammered out. You should inform your insurance company as soon as any problem is identified.
You should be selective when choosing a company to replace your windshield. As mentioned, we have a lot of experience replacing windshields that were improperly installed by other glass companies. Save yourself the headache associated with having a poor quality replacement and Contact Strojny Glass where “Your Choice Is Clear”!