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May/June 2002

Expert Advice     pros who know

Spring Is Just Around The Corner
by Dave Shores

The snow is off the golf course and there are a few green sprouts beginning to show themselves. It looks like spring is just around the corner. The road departments near where I live are working hard to clear the cinders off the roads before they create damage to an unsuspecting motorist's windshield.

Handling the Heat
As the temperatures begin to get warmer we must make some changes in our repair process. Working on hot windshields can be tricky if you don't remember the techniques you used last summer. If a windshield feels hot when you touch it, it needs to be cooled down before you begin working on it. Open the windows to allow air to circulate through the car or park the vehicle in the shade. I know several technicians that spray water, window cleaner or a mixture of water and alcohol on the glass to cool it. I don't recommend using this type of cooling process because it can create more stress in the glass and cause the break to spread.

Warmer weather also means its time to start using thicker resins, especially when repairing bullseye and combination breaks. As you may remember, thinner resins have a tendency to create flowering if you use the same pressure you used in the colder temperatures. You can also reduce flowering by reducing the amount of pressure you use to inject resin into the break. Remember you are dealing with the temperature of the glass, not the air. Your resin is going to get thinner when it comes in contact with the hot glass.

REPAIR As the tempertures begin to get warm repair technicians must make changes to their processes.

The Sun as a Curing Lamp?
I don't recommend using the sun to cure the resin. Although the sun does produce some long-wave radiation, it is not consistent enough to use for proper curing, and it can't be measured easily to ensure your repair cures satisfactorily. Time of the year, time of day and the weather can all affect the sun's ultraviolet (UV) intensity and wave-length spectrum. However, the UV rays from the sun can cause the resin to begin the curing process prematurely. So, if you are doing a repair outside on a sunny day, you need to protect the resin from the sun's rays until you are finished completely with your repair. Since it is not just the direct sunlight but also the reflective rays, a good UV blocker is worth its weight in gold during the summer.

What’s Left Behind
Remember, when you have completed the repair, you are leaving behind less than a dollar's worth of supplies and your most valuable asset—your reputation. A good reputation will make or break your business. Let's work together to keep that good reputation and make this summer the most successful one ever.    

Dave Shores is vice president of Glas-Weld in Bend, Ore., and a member of the National Windshield Repair Association board of directors.


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