Windshields are usually designed to be strong enough to handle the stress of high-speed highway driving. They also have an inner non-glass layer that usually helps to keep them from shattering in case they are subjected to extreme stress levels from the impact of a road accident or a flying rock.
While it is usually advisable to replace a windshield when major cracks occur, minor cracks, such as the ones caused by a pebble, can be repaired. One of the most important factors that usually determine the effectiveness of this repair work is the surface preparation step. The following are tips that will come in handy in helping you to prepare your cracked windscreen surface so as to guarantee a long-lasting fix.
Cleaning the cracked area
The presence of dirt and debris on the cracked area usually reduces the strength of the bonds formed between the windshield and the patch. Getting rid of any debris and dirt should therefore be the first step in the repair process. For the best results, it is advisable that you use alcohol as the cleaning agent. This is because, when compared to water, it is way more effective at getting rid of non-water based contaminants. There is also the fact that it evaporates faster than water so you won't have to waste time waiting for the area to dry before proceeding with your crack-sealing work.
Getting rid of loose glass particles
Loose pieces of glass also have a negative effect on the longevity of the repair work. In addition to cleaning the cracked area with a rag and alcohol, getting rid of any loose glass from the area is a must. Picking at the crack with a pin is the most effective way to get rid of any loose glass particles.
Drying the cracked area
Doing your windshield repair work on a wet surface is counterproductive as the moisture will cause weaker windshield-patch bonds. This is one of the main reasons why using alcohol as a cleaning agent is usually recommended—its high evaporation rate usually dispenses with the need for drying.
However, if you choose to use water to clean the cracked area, you can still speed up the drying process. All you need to do is to use a hair dryer to dry the surface. The warmth and the speed of the air emitted by the dryer will accelerate the rate at which the moisture evaporates, causing the area to dry up faster.
For more information or if the crack in your windshield is too big for a DIY job, talk to an auto body repair service like Custom Kar Tops.