Glass is an integral part of the safety system of your car. Damaged glass can impede your ability to see and avoid accidents. Damaged glass can break further while your car is in operation and put the driver and any passengers at further risk. Most importantly, the glass is part of your car’s safety and occupant retention system. Few people know that damaged glass can affect such things as the ability of airbags to deploy properly.
Many quality glass companies do the work in their shops, many others will come to you with a mobile unit, most do both. You can note your preference when you order your work. Please note that mobile work cannot be done in certain weather conditions such as precipitation or extreme humidity. Your auto glass professional will know if and when conditions preclude mobile work.
REPLACING your glass involves removing the current glass part and installing a new one. REPAIRING the glass uses a process to fill the break with resin that then cures. Which you do depends on the type and location of the damage as well as your preference. It is a decision that should be made in consultation with your auto glass professional. See item #7 in the Repair of Laminated Auto Glass Safety Standard for conditions that should not be repaired under any circumstance. Replacement involves the removal of the windshield and installation of a brand new one. Quality auto glass technicians follow the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard developed by the Auto Glass Safety Council.
Replacement times vary by type of car, materials used and by the temperature and humidity conditions. Your auto glass professional should be able to give you an idea of how long the process will take including how long the car must remain stationary after the installation. Your car should not be driven until the adhesive used cures and the car is safe to drive. This is known as Safe Drive Away time (SDAT). Your technician will know what the SDAT is for your installation even before he begins the job and will be able to tell you.