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Long crack repair is often seen as something to avoid. What makes a crack different to a star break? What is the best technique? What resin should be used? All good questions which I will address in this article.
First of all a typical star break is mostly underneath the surface of the top glass layer. A very easy repair to make with your bridge and injector. A long crack actually is open at the surface for the entire length of the crack. So the repair requires a different technique than a star repair. Because the crack is open at the surface, a device called a crack expander is put on the inside of the windshield under the crack. The expander is used to open the crack up so resin can be easily injected or applied with a syringe on the outside of the windshield.
A thicker, higher viscosity crack resin is required to repair and permanently fix the crack. The repair starts at the tip of the crack and you work your way back towards the crack’s origin…which is usually near the edge of the glass. It is very important to maintain even pressure from your crack expander when sliding along the crack. Not doing so may cause trapped air in the crack. Keep sliding the crack expander along the inside of the windshield, following your progress. You can see the crack filling from the side of the crack at glass level. Along the way, you will place 3″ curing strips on top of the crack. When the crack is filled, remove the crack expander from the inside of the windshield.
When working indoors, you will need to cure the resin with your ultra violet light. Place over curing strips for approx. 5 minutes. Move light as needed to cure entire crack.
When working outdoors, it is imperative that you keep your work completely covered with a fender mat, securing it with your aluminum bridges. When working outdoors with the fender mat on windshield, use a “peek-a-boo” style not to expose the resin to ultra violet light. You may need to move the vehicle so that sun light will not come from around the edges of the mat.
Allow the resin to completely cure in direct sunlight for approximately 5 minutes. Remove the curing strips. Holding a razor blade at a 45 degree angle, scrape off the excess hardened resin. Wipe clean with a clean paper towel. Your finished repair will look like a fine scratch on the windshield.
- Make sure that the crack is free of moisture before the repair. If there is any water present, it will prevent the resin from filling the crack and will cure with air pockets once the water evaporates.
- Keep sunlight off of the crack while it is being repaired.
- Never drill the end of the crack to try and stop it. This is not necessary and will make for an obvious mark on the windshield.
With a little practice you will be repairing long cracks just as easily as any other windshield repair.
As winter is upon us, many of you have asked the question…Is it safe to do windshield repair in cold weather? While repairing windshields outside in the bitter cold is not ideal, it can definitely be done. For best results, take the following tips for cold weather repairs.
- In frigid temperatures, don’t store your resin and equipment in your vehicle overnight. Bring your windshield repair kit inside with you so the next day it is warm and ready for your first repair. Keep your resin warm during the work day. If need be carry your resin bottles in your pocket.
- Warm the windshield with the defroster. To keep the windshield from cracking, make sure not to over heat the glass. Around 70 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal. If the defroster is not available then use a lighter to warm up the area to be repaired. Again not too hot.
- Allow for extra time during the curing process. Usually an extra 2 minutes is adequate as long as the you have ample sunshine. For partly cloudy conditions, add another minute or two.
- If you are using a UV lamp, try to keep that warm as well for optimal curing power.
- As always never attempt to repair a windshield that is wet. The break needs to be completely free of moisture for the repair to work.
I hope these tips will help you this winter perform the very best repairs possible. Of course the very best cold weather solution is to perform your repairs indoors if that is at all an option.
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On a typical work day a potential customer will call you for a quote to fix a break on his/her windshield. You can quote them and hope they agree to use your shop. Or you can inquire about their auto insurance coverage first. If they have comprehensive coverage most insurance companies will waive their deductible and pay 100% for the repair. The repair is FREE to them. Free is a pretty easy sell. Everyone likes free. With a simple phone call the insured can get the claim setup and assigned to your shop. You do the work and bill the insurance network handling the claim and your customer will appreciate the fact that you took the extra effort to save them money.
I mentioned before that most insurance companies offer to waive the deductible for a windshield repair. State Farm is one exception. They will only pay for a windshield repair if the deductible is $0. They will not waive a deductible as the other insurance companies will. So you should first find out if you’re talking to a State Farm customer before telling them they can get a free repair.
So there you have it, another great incentive for your customer to take care of their windshield problem sooner rather than later.
Ask windshield repair professionals about repairing long cracks and you’ll get a multitude of answers. Some will say emphatically “that long crack repair doesn’t work. Anything longer than 6 inches has to be replaced.” While others will tell you “I can repair a single running crack all the way across the windshield without a problem.” Well the truth is a single running crack can be repaired successfully all the way across the windshield if you like. Most will limit it to 2 to 3 feet. The reason is that a crack all the way across the windshield has usually been there for quite a while. And because a crack is open at the surface for 99% of its length, it has accumulated a fair amount of dirt that gets embedded into the crack. So why is that bad? Well after any windshield repair is performed, embedded dirt in the break is visible. More so on a long crack.
So how about long crack repair? Well with the proper equipment, resin and training, long crack repair can be a very profitable addition to your windshield repair service. The fact that not everyone performs this type of repair means it can be a specialty niche for your company making you stand out from all the rest. If you have any questions about adding long crack repair to your company, please contact us at 888-267-4800 and we will be happy to answer all of your questions.
Your car has a safety kit inside it. The air bags, seatbelts and windshield are a major part of your car’s safety restraint system. When you are in an accident, the air bags keep you from hitting the dash and the seatbelts keep you from flying through the windshield. What you may not realize is the windshield maintains the structure of the vehicle in case your car rolls in an accident. It can possibly keep you from being ejected and it serves as a cushion for the occupants. Continue reading
What if you could cut your overhead expenses on fleet maintenance or increase sales tickets with your current customer base? Since you specialize in what you do, how can you add a totally new service to your business and still maintain your high standards of service and quality? Continue reading
With the recent passing of Earth Day, many auto glass companies have been in the news for their green efforts. In particular, windshield recycling has become a popular way for companies to market themselves as green while saving more waste from entering the landfill. Continue reading