If you have a large crack or chip in your windshield, or your windshield is becoming foggy between the panes of glass, you may have an appointment to have your windshield replaced. This is a relatively straight forward process that takes a couple of hours to complete. However, if you have never had it done before, you may find yourself wondering what steps a professional follows when removing the old one and installing a new one. Here are the steps that are followed when replacing a windshield.
Removing the Trim
The first step in the windshield removal process is to remove the old trim that is holding the windshield in place. Think of this like removing the caulking around your home's window in order to remove the window. A razor is often used to removing the trim, loosening the windshield.
Removing the Windshield
Once the trim is removed, the windshield should be able to be lifted away from the car. Large suction cups with handles may be used to pop the windshield out of place, helping to ensure it does not break.
Cleaning Out and Preparing the Pinch Weld
Once the windshield is removed, the pinch weld needs to be cleaned out and prepared. The pinch weld is the small gap between the windshield and the body of your car that holds or pinches the edges of the windshield. Old urethane, dirt, and dust can all build up in this area over time. Cleaning it before installing a new windshield is important to ensure the windshield can fit in the pinch weld, allowing it to fully hold the windshield glass.
Once the pinch weld is cleaned, urethane is applied to the edges of the pinch weld. Urethane acts like a glue or adhesive that holds the windshield in place. The urethane must be applied evenly, yet quickly to ensure it does not begin to dry or set before the windshield can be put into place.
Installing the New Windshield
The last step in the windshield replacement process is to install the new windshield. Once the urethane is in place, the windshield is carefully fitted over the hole on your car. The glass is moved so that it fits within the pinch weld. Once properly positioned, it is pushed into place, typically with suction cups and bars, and held there for several minutes. Once the urethane begins to set, the suction cups are removed and the windshield is allowed to completely cure. The curing process varies based on the weather outside and the type of urethane used, but typically, most people can drive their car away within an hour of a new windshield being installed.
If your windshield needs to be replaced in the greater St. Paul, MN area, call Only 1 Auto Glass. We can help you with both auto glass repair and replacement. We can help you if you are going through your insurance company or just paying on your own. Call us with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment today.