December 6, 2018

DEICING YOUR WINDSHIELD THIS WINTER

Windshield replacement and repairs are more common during the winter in Atlanta due to the dropping temperatures and the potential for ice. Ice becomes a safety hazard and it is important to properly remove it in order to avoid costly repairs. In the following article, we will give you some tips for this winter and discuss how to clear your windshield quickly and safely.

DEFROST WINDSHIELD

The best place to begin removing ice from your windshield is by starting the vehicle and allowing it to warm up with the defroster on. As the motor’s temperature climbs, the defroster will help to melt the ice. According to AAA, simply set the vehicles climate control system to defrost and if your car or truck is equipped with an electrically heated windshield, turn that on as well.

DEICING SOLUTION

While the vehicle is running, it is also a good time to spray the windshield with a commercial deicer that contains methanol. These can be found in most auto stores and purchased for around $20.00. Keep in mind that these chemicals contain pet-hazardous ethylene glycol so be sure to store them properly.

 

In the event that you do not have any on hand, don’t worry! There are common household chemical products you can use to create a homemade deicer. What you will need is isopropyl rubbing alcohol, water, and a spray bottle. Mix one part alcohol and two parts water in the bottle then proceed to spray the ice on your windshield. Whenever you're done spraying the solution, don’t store it in your car because it will lose its effectiveness.

 

AAA says, "The isopropyl alcohol sold in stores ranges from 50 to 90 percent purity. Higher purity provides a lower freezing point and better deicing capability and a few drops of dish soap added to the mixture will act as a surfactant to help coat the ice more evenly."

WINDSHIELD SCRAPERS: PLASTIC OR METAL?

Never use a metal scraper to remove ice from your windshield. Metal scrapers can damage your windshield wipers and scratch the glass, leading to a higher possibility of the glass cracking. Plastic scrapers, windshield wipers, soft brushes and squeegees are the preferred tools for scraping.  

 

If your vehicle defroster is blowing heat at this point and you’ve applied a deicing chemical, then simply begin scraping away the ice. Clear it away so that you have a clear view through the entire piece of glass. You can also apply these methods to your vehicles side and rear windows.

 

ICE PREVENTION

If you are aware that bad weather is approaching, the best way to deal with ice is to prevent it. An easy way to prevent from ice building up on your vehicle is to cover it with a tarp, sheet, or even a large towel. Secure the cover by using the wiper blades, weights, or magnets.

 

Remember that if you are going to use a cover on your vehicle, if it is not a car specific material then there is a greater chance of it scratching and damaging your paint. Therefore,  use this method when only a small amount of snow is expected.

 

AAA recommends that if you are using a cover to prevent ice, then it should be soaked in one quart of water and one tablespoon of salt. This will make it easier to remove and aid in its ability to prevent ice. They also point out that you can store the damp cover in a plastic bag in between uses.

 

Another method of preventing ice from accumulating is to mix your own pretreatment. Simply mix three parts white vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle and spray your windshield the night before. After you spray the glass, wipe it away because leaving it on the windshield can potentially cause micro pitting.  

 

THERMAL SHOCK AND WINDSHIELD REPLACEMENT

Avoid using hot or room temperature water to clear ice from your vehicle’s glass. Pouring water on the ice causes thermal shock and leads to cracked glass. Similarly, never use a torch of any type to melt away ice.

 

The winter weather causes power outages, automobile crashes, and snow days. It’s also the time of the year that most people in Atlanta will start searching for their snow brush or ice scrapper from last year. If you plan on going out after a freeze, remember to set time aside before you leave to clear your vehicle’s windshield. In the event that your vehicle’s glass cracks, give us a call and speak with our team at Glass Inc. to learn about windshield replacement and repairs!

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