With a few extra precautions, you can perform great windshield repairs even in the severest of weather conditions. There are several factors that deserve extra attention when performing repairs in cold or wet weather, as these conditions can affect repair quality.
To start, the glass should be between 70° and 100° Fahrenheit, in addition to removing any moisture that may be present in the break. If warming the glass is necessary, make sure it’s done slowly and evenly. Sudden changes in temperature can cause the glass to crack out, so use caution. Defrosters work well to warm the glass form the inside. They blow cool air when the vehicle is first started, and gradually warm up as the engine warms up. A hair dryer works very well to warm the outside of the glass. Just make sure you warm the area several inches around the damage, and if possible, keep the warm air blowing across the damaged area to maintain an even temperature. A common cause of crackouts is injecting cold resin into hot glass or vice versa. Matching your windshield repair resin and injector temperature to the glass temperature will greatly minimize the chances of crack outs.
Another factor that will hurt the quality of your repair is moisture. Moisture prevents resin from completely penetrating the break and will leave voids after it dissipates. To check for moisture, carefully flex the break with your probe and look for moisture movement. Applying pressure on the glass compresses the space in the damage causing the moisture to move. Releasing the pressure allows the space to expand, again causing the moisture to move. Often a repair that has a lot of moisture or liquid contamination will appear partly filled. If it has been raining or the car has recently been through a car wash, odds are moisture is present. If you aren’t sure, then you need to treat the break as if moisture is present.
A moisture evaporator is the most efficient and effective tool for thoroughly drying a break. Specifically designed for the windshield repair technician, a moisture evaporator is far less likely to crack out a windshield than heat guns or torches. Simply pre-heat the element and then hold it against the break for 20 seconds. As the temperature of the liquid reaches 212?F, generally in 10-15 seconds, you will begin to see the moisture boil, and in the next few seconds completely evaporate. In the rare instance that a second application of heat from the moisture evaporator is necessary, be sure to allow the glass to cool before re-applying heat. Under no circumstances should the moisture evaporator be used for more than 20 seconds at a time.
Finally, with rainy weather setting in, many drivers will apply a water-repellant, or hydrophobic, coating to their windshield. These coatings in diluted form are also sometimes applied as part of the wash process at automated car washes. The presence of a hydrophobic coating will prevent the pit resin from adhering to the glass. To check for waxes and hydrophobic coatings, cover the damage and spray the windshield with water. If it beads up and runs off quickly the windshield has likely been coated. The fastest and most efficient way to remove hydrophobic coatings is to scrub the glass surface around the damaged area with 4-ot steel wool prior to beginning the windshield repair process. For additional information about repairing windshields in cold and rainy weather, call the Delta Kits toll free help line at 800-272-2941, or visit our online windshield repair video library. There is also a wealth of information available at www.windshield-repair-forum.com, the world’s most popular windshield repair forum.