It’s important to diligently maintain your car to ensure that it remains as safe as possible while you’re on the road. If left unchecked, even seemingly trivial issues can lead to serious traffic accidents. Keep yourself and your passengers out of harm’s way by taking care of these four common issues.
Obviously, if your windshield is severely cracked to the point that the damage impairs your vision, you need to have it replaced immediately. However, many people think that it’s all right to drive around with minor cracks in their windows for months on end. There are a number of reasons why that’s a very poor decision though.
Cracks tend to get worse over time due to road vibrations and the stress of air hitting the glass at high speeds. Minor cracks can usually be repaired by a reputable auto glass repair shop. However, if the cracks expand and become too severe, you’ll need to have your entire windshield replaced. To avoid wasting money on a replacement windshield, have your window repaired as soon as you notice any cracks.
Window cracks are especially dangerous in the winter — water can seep into the cracks and freeze when the temperature drops. As the water turns into ice, it will expand and make the crack spread. Combine that with the fact that cold temperatures make the glass material more brittle, and suddenly your window is at risk of shattering unexpectedly. That’s why it’s important to have your cracked windshield repaired or replaced immediately to keep you and your passengers safe.
Even seemingly minor tire damage should never be left unchecked. Sidewall tire bulges are one of the most common culprits. If the internal structure of your sidewalls becomes damaged, a small bulge will protrude out the side of your tire. It may not look like a big deal, but tire bulges can cause your tire to blow out at any moment, especially if you hit a pot hole at high speeds. Obviously, when you’re traveling at high speeds down the highway, that’s the last time you want one of your tires to explode. Periodically check both sides of your tires for bulges. If you discover any, replace the tire immediately.
Cracks forming in between tire treads is another common issue, especially if your tires are old and prone to dry rot. When you’re checking your tires for damage, shine a flashlight between all the treads and look for hidden cracks. If you find any, replace the tire immediately, before the cracks have a chance to spread and put you at risk of a blowout.
Incorrect Tire Pressure
Even if your tires don’t have any leaks, the air pressure in them will naturally fluctuate as the temperature outside rises and falls. The warmer it becomes outside, the less dense the air is. That means your tire pressure will naturally increase when it warms up outside, and it will decrease as the temperature drops.
Periodically check the pressure levels of your tires to ensure they’re inflated to factory specifications, especially as the seasons change and temperatures begin to fluctuate. If you’re not sure what the proper tire pressure is, check your owner’s manual to find the manufacturer’s suggested pressure level. Inflate your tires to the proper pressure to ensure that your car handles safely and reliably.
Blown Light Bulbs
If a light bulb goes out in one of your headlamps, you’ll notice it as soon as you turn your headlights on. However, blown bulbs in your taillights, brake lights, and turn signals can be impossible to spot from your driver’s seat. All of those lights are extremely important to keep you visible at night, so periodically check them out to make sure they’re fully functional.
Checking your car’s exterior lighting system is easy. Simply turn your headlights on and walk around your car to ensure that all of the bulbs in the headlamps and taillights are illuminated. Repeat the process twice with your turn signal activated in both directions to ensure your front and rear turn signal bulbs are functioning. Finally, prop a book or other heavy object up against your brake pedal to activate your brake lights. Walk around behind your car to make sure all of your brake light bulbs are illuminated.
With a bit of simple preventative maintenance, you can ensure that your car remains as safe as it was when it rolled out of the factory.Learn More
When the windshield of your car is cracked and needs replacement, one of the losses you may have to deal with is stickers applied to the glass. City waste stations, oil change reminders, and parking stickers to beaches or golf courses are just a few of the applications that you might lose out on. Instead of having to go and replace every sticker, there are ways to save the stickers that you have and apply them to the new windshield once it’s installed. If you’re dealing with a cracked windshield, you can use this guide to for all your sticker needs.
Auto Glass Sticker Removal
Instead of dealing with messy chemicals or third-party products, you can leave the sticker removal directly to the professionals. Along with performing auto glass replacements, many windshield professionals have the proper tools to remove stickers and preserve them for you. A professional can cleanly remove stickers on both the inside and outside of the windshield. When your windshield has a lot of cracks in it, having a professional complete the job can also help eliminate any danger of cuts or scratches if you mess with the windshield.
As you make an appointment to have your windshield repaired, remember to request the sticker removal during this process. This can ensure that the windshield professional brings the proper tools for removing and keeping the stickers whole.
Applying the Removed Stickers
Once you have received the new stickers, you will want to keep them in a safe place until the new windshield has been installed. One of the biggest issues with removed stickers is curling edges. This can cause the sticker to roll up in itself and make it harder to flatten out again in the future. Keep the stickers flat using a simple process. Rip off two sheets of parchment paper that are slightly larger than the sticker surface. This paper is typically used for cooking, but it can supply a nice surface for stickers that will not attach or cause problems when peeling off. Once the stickers are placed between two pieces of parchment paper, a heavy book should be placed on top of them. The book will help apply pressure on the stickers and keep them flat on the paper.
After the new windshield is installed, you can remove the stickers and bring them out to the vehicle. A majority of stickers can apply directly to the windshield. If the edges are not sticking, then you can use a brush-on or spray-on adhesive that will help flatten the stickers out and leave them stick to the windshield. When choosing an adhesive, choose one that dries clear so it does not hinder your view through the windshield. Give the stickers at least 20 minutes to dry before operating the vehicle.
Sticker Images & Printing
Depending on the crack in the windshield, an auto glass professional may not have the ability to fully remove the sticker. In this case, you can use the camera on your phone to obtain a sticker replacement. Before the glass is removed and repaired, capture an image of the sticker in your windshield. This image should be straight on and cropped closely to the sticker shape. Once you have the image ready, you can send it to a photo editor on your phone or the computer. Using digital photo tools, crop the image down until it just features the sticker. You may also want to measure the dimensions of the sticker so it can print out in the same size.
The next step is to purchase vinyl sticker printing paper. There are a number of options available. Ensure that you pick one that can accepts color printing through either an inkjet or laser printer. Print out the new sticker on the sticker paper, trim it to size, and then apply the new sticker to your windshield. This process can give you an authentic duplicate that matches the same sticker you used before.
All of these tutorials can be done within the same day that you have your windshield repaired. By completing everything in the same day, you can get back on the road with a clear windshield and all the stickers you need.Learn More
There are plenty of DIY tasks you can do to improve your home’s looks and functionality and window installations is one of them. If you want to try your hand at installing your own windows, read on! This step-by-step guide assumes that you’ve already removed your existing window or that you’re working on a new home that hasn’t had its windows installed yet.
Check the Rough Opening First
The last thing you want is to attempt to install your window, only to discover that it doesn’t fit because the measurements of the rough opening are off. For this reason, you’ll want to measure the opening prior to getting started on the installation.
To accomplish this, use your measuring tape to check the width at the top, middle and bottom of the opening. Also, check the height at both sides and at the middle of the opening. If the measurements are off by more than an inch, you’ll have to cut filler strips and nail those to the areas that aren’t level or plumb.
Keep in mind that the outside dimensions of the window itself should be slightly narrower and shorter than the width and height dimensions for the rough opening.
Waterproof the Opening
Next, you’ll have to seal the window opening against water and moisture intrusion. You should use self-adhering waterproof membrane to line the window opening. The material should be at least 6 inches wide and18 to 24 inches longer than the width of the rough opening.
You’ll need to layer several strips of waterproof membrane underneath and alongside the rough opening, with each strip layered so that the top layer always overlaps the bottom-most layer. This should be done before applying the bottom sill flashing to the rough opening.
Gibson also warns that the seams for waterproofing material should never face up. If they do, water can get in between the seams, defeating the whole purpose for the material being in place.
Mount the Window
After the waterproofing is finished, you can finally move the window into place. You’ll always want to mount the window from the outside of your home. You can also have an assistant remain indoors and make sure the window is being mounted level.
Start mounting the window by resting it on the bottom of the opening, then tilt the window towards the interior of the home until it fits into place. Drive a nail partially through the trim at one of the upper corners of the window to hold it in position.
Use a bubble level to make sure that the window sits level and plumb within the opening. Use shims, if necessary, to correct the window level and plumb. As you adjust the window to make it level and plumb, you should also tack nails into the remaining corners of the window trim to preserve the adjustments.
Once the window is level and plumb, you can fully drive the nails into the corner of the window and secure the window to the opening with more nails. Keep in mind that the window manufacturer may have specific instructions on how to secure the window to the opening, so there may be other specific steps involved.
After installing the window, use caulk to seal the space between the window and siding or brick on your home. This space will be covered with decorative molding or trim.
If All Else Fails, Don’t Hesitate to Turn to a Pro
Installing a window can be a rather lengthy and intensive process, so there’s no shame in having a professional step in if the going gets rough. Remember that this may add to your current window installation costs, since the professional will not only finish up the job, but also correct any mistakes you may have made along the way. For more information, consult resources like http://www.fivestarwindows.com.Learn More
One of the most effective strategies for increasing your home’s resale value and/or getting it to sell more quickly is by remodeling it — and glass products can be a major player in that process. Here are four kinds of glass installations that can improve your home’s value.
1. Bathtub and Shower Enclosures
One of the most effective ways to boost your home’s value and aesthetic appeal is by installing glass bathtub enclosures. These elegant structures surround the tub to create a classy modern look. But looks aren’t everything — these enclosures also do a great job of keeping water from leaking onto your bathroom floor, making the smallest room in the house a lot safer for its occupants. Less stray water also means fewer cleanup hassles, another point that your prospective buyers should appreciate.
Glass shower enclosures work on the same principle as glass bathtub enclosures. These glass constructions come in a variety of shapes and designs, allowing you to express your sense of style while adding one more compelling reason for someone to pay top dollar for your home.
2. Pool Fencing
Your bathtub or shower isn’t the only part of the home in which water and glass make a great combination. A sparkling pool may attract buyers to your home — but what about its surroundings? When you really want to show something off, glass is an ideal means of highlighting it; why not invest in glass pool fencing? This fencing consists of large, thick sheets of high-quality glass supported by an unobtrusive steel framework. The result is a luxurious modern look that not only complements the shine and shimmer of the water, but also ensures that the pool is completely visible from the side or rear of the house. The more visible the pool is to the surrounding neighborhood, the higher your property values could climb.
3. Patio Glass Door Repair or Replacement
It’s hard to make a good impression with your beautiful patio if the glass door leading to the patio jams. These doors can get cranky due to bent, damaged, or dirty rollers. Even if the rollers just need a good cleaning, however, it’s best to call a patio glass door repair specialist to do the work, because maneuvering a heavy glass door off of its track (and then back onto it again) is difficult and potentially dangerous.
Is your patio door constantly covered in fog? This depressing sight won’t close any deals for your home, especially because it indicates that the patio door needs replacing. Normally the sliding doors are equipped with rubber seals that keep air and moisture from getting into the space between them. When these seals give way, damp air builds up between the panes. Attempts to dry this inner space usually don’t produce lasting results, so you’re better off replacing the patio door altogether.
4. Energy-Efficient Windows
No matter how enticing your home may look, your prospective buyers may balk if your energy bills are way above average. You can make your home more energy efficient by addressing drafts, updating old HVAC equipment, and adding insulation to your attic — but don’t forget to upgrade your window insulation as well. Unfiltered single-pane windows are cheap, but they don’t do much to block extreme heat or cold. The money saved by purchasing them will eventually be outweighed by the higher utility bills you (and the home’s next owner) will pay, year after year.
Double-pane windows can solve this problem. These windows feature two layers of glass spaced at a slight distance from each other inside the frame. The area between the panes is filled with argon gas, which increases the window’s thermal conductivity by about one-third. Low-E glass is another thermal insulation option for your windows. The panes are coated with a thin metallic film that can drastically reduce both UV and thermal energy, while at the same time holding heat inside the house on colder days. Low-E glass can even be used in double-pane window designs.
From classy-looking glass shower enclosures to energy-saving window panes, glass is your friend when it comes to enjoying a better price on a faster sale. Click here for additional reading on using more glass in your home.Learn More
If a small rock, a piece of hail, or a heavy piece of debris hits your windshield, then it may become damaged. Windshield damage can spread quite quickly due to engine vibrations, temperature changes, and water entering the chip. An immediate or timely repair can stop the damage from spreading and prevent a much more costly windshield replacement. An auto glass repair shop can fix the small point of damage with a resin filler material.
This same type of resin can be purchased at your local auto repair shop and used at home. If you want to attempt the DIY repair at your house, then follow some tips to make sure you do not make mistakes when working with the resin.
Inspect the Damage First
Before you can attempt to fix the chip in your windshield, you should make sure a resin repair is appropriate for the damage. In general, chips can be fixed while damage that contains straight cracks cannot. Cracks tend to spread even after a resin repair, because the ends of the crack are weak points in the glass.
A professional will use a diamond tipped drill to create small holes on either end of the crack to prevent further expansion, but this is not something that an amateur should attempt. Be wary of straight cracks as well as star-shaped damage with four or five arms that expand outward from the middle point. Look for chips like the following when thinking about using resin.
Once you identify one of these types of damage, use a magnifying glass to see if the chip extends through the entirety of the glass. Place a white sheet of printer paper behind the chip and turn the magnifying glass about 45 degrees to peer through it at an angle. If the chip appears to be shallow, then continue with the repair. Seek professional assistance if it is deep.
Deep damage resides within all three layers of the windshield glass. The glass is made up of two pieces of safety glass with a thin layer of vinyl in between. The pieces of the glass are laminated together so the glass cracks and shatters but does not fall away into pieces on impact. The glass also helps to keep the roof of the car from collapsing inward during an accident. Unfortunately, a deep point of damage creates a structural weakness that may prevent the windshield from keeping you safe.
Keep Air Out of the Chip
Resin repair kits absolutely must be used on a clean and dry crack or the water and debris will slowly work its way to the surface of the windshield and destroy the repair. To make sure the chip is ready, squirt some lighter fluid across the crack to force away dirt. The fluid will evaporate afterwards and leave a dry chip behind. Afterwards, make sure you have a glass repair kit with a plastic syringe and a suction cup device.
Attach the syringe to the suction cup and force the cup over the crack so the syringe is centered over the middle of the damage. Once the cup is secured firmly, slowly pull the stopper out of the syringe and hold it in place for 60 seconds. Place your watch on the hood of your car to keep track of time or use a kitchen timer.
This step is extremely important, because a vacuum is created that forces the air out of the chip and the bottom of the syringe. Air bubbles move up through the resin to the top of the syringe so they are not forced into the chip when you press on the plunger. You should press on the plunger after the 60 seconds are up to fill in the chip.
For professional information, check out sites like http://msglassoutlet.com.Learn More