Rock Chip Repairs

So you have a little rock chip in your windshield, and you're probably thinking it's no big deal. 


Maybe not.

During this time of year (Spring/Summer), we have wildly-fluctuating temperatures. Cold nights, warm days, and lots of rain. What does this mean for your chipped windshield? Quite a lot actually.

Your windshield is made up of 2 layers of glass, separated by a lamination. (You can see more info on the construction of windshields, as well as how we recycle them here.) When a rock hits and chips your windshield, you'll notice a white area at the center of impact, as well as a black area that surrounds the impact. You may also have lines coming off of the center of damage, commonly referred to as "spiderwebs."

The white area you see is broken glass that has been crushed into the impact point. The black area is actually air that has been trapped between the external layer of glass, and the internal lamination of the windshield. The spiderwebs are a residual effect of the stress and impact of the chip. Check out some images of common rock chips here.

So what does that all mean?

As the temperature fluctuates, the trapped air expands and contracts between the glass and lamination. When that air expands and contracts, it puts pressure on the glass. That pressure builds up and can cause those spiderwebs to expand-- sometimes rapidly. Ever have someone tell you "It was fine this morning, and I came out for lunch and it cracked all the way across!"? 

We spoke a few months ago about the windshield's function in safety and structural integrity (see Can I Wait?). There, we discuss the importance of replacing your auto glass when it cracks. This same information applies to small rock chips. Just because the damage is small does not mean it's less of a danger. Any damage to your windshield reduces its integrity, directly reducing its performance in protecting you and your family. 

But why can't I hold off for a few months?

You could. And you may not have any problems. On the other hand, maybe your glass cracks out completely and you're now paying 4 times as much for a full windshield replacement. The windshield repair process we use is designed to restore the structural integrity of the glass, and save you money. It keeps you safe and your wallet happy. Doesn't that sound better than risking the safety of yourself and the ones you love because of a small rock?

We will come out to your location and fix the damage, usually taking only 15 minutes. By removing the broken glass and releasing the trapped air, we make room for our 2-part resin system. This resin fills in the gaps left by the damage, and seals it off completely. This seal prevents any air and moisture from getting between the glass and lamination which, as we discussed, is what causes the glass to crack.  

But I cant afford it right now. 

You can. And we will help you.

Most insurance companies will pay for a repair at NO COST TO YOU. This will not raise your rates, and is a very easy process that we are happy to take you through. Read up on using your insurance here. If you don't have that option available, we will make sure you get the service you need at a cost you can afford. It is our duty, first and foremost, to keep our customers safe.  

The bottom line is, when your glass chips: fix it. Keep yourself and your family safe. Keep money in your pocket. Keep the headaches out of it. Most importantly, remember that J Royce Auto Glass is here to help. If you have questions or concerns, contact us. We will do everything in our power to take care of you quickly, efficiently, and professionally. 

Blake Evans
J Royce Auto Glass

Insurance and auto glass.

Let's get straight to the point on this one. If you're in need of auto glass repair or replacement, processing a claim through insurance can be a great way to help save you money. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

1. This will NOT raise your rates. You pay an ungodly amount of money for your auto insurance every year. Don't be afraid to use it! Unless you're making multiple claims a year (3+), it will have no effect on your rates. 

2. You have the right to choose the company that does your work. Don't let your agent or some random person in a call center push you around. It's your car. It's your money. Its your safety. Choose the right company for you-- I recommend J. Royce Auto Glass :)

- The person handling your claim may tell you that "Satellite is the only preferred vendor", "other companies are not in their network", and that "if you choose another company, there will be no warranty on the work." This is NOT TRUE. They are trained to tell you those things to steer you toward Satellite, because Satellite owns the claims processing for major insurance companies like Progressive and Allstate. All other glass companies must go through an application and vetting process to be able to receive insurance work. J. Royce Auto Glass is an established member of this network, and can accept work from ALL insurance companies. We are A+ rated on Angie's List and the BBB, and have 5-star ratings on Yelp!, Google, and Facebook. Hear what our customers are saying about our excellent service here.

- As for the warranty, they shop performing the work provides that anyway. Your insurance company has nothing to do with it. And we provide a lifetime warranty on all parts an labor, as well as a FREE rock chip repair. Check out full details here.

3. Pay only your deductible. A glass claim is considered a comprehensive claim. When you need a repair or replacement, and you go through insurance, you will pay only your comprehensive deductible. If you have a low deductible ($0-$100), using insurance is a no brainer! Don't pay an extra $150+ just because you "don't want to get insurance involved." You pay them-- put them to work! If you have a high deductible, we will work with you to provide an affordable cost on a safe, quality installation.

4. We do all the work! Setting up an insurance claim is easy-- just give us a call! We will walk you through the process. Generally, this takes no more than 10 minutes and can save you tons! If you could keep an extra $200 in your pocket for a 10 minute phone call, wouldn't you?

5. Free replacements for Kentucky residents! As part of your auto insurance in Kentucky, you are entitled to one free replacement a year. Use it! You're already paying for it as part of your premium, why let them keep that money?

Part of our responsibility as a business is to properly inform you of your rights as a consumer. I've spent 12 years in this business, and have seen a lot of people feel pressured into making decisions by call center reps at insurance companies. They are paid to tell you those things. Their job is to get you to use Satellite because Satellite pays them. But that has absolutely no bearing on your right to choose.

Your vehicle is the second biggest you'll make in your life, aside from your home. Do your research, and don't be pressured. I know it's easy to be frightened of involving insurance-- they eat up a lot of time and money every year. Just remember: it's your car, your investment, and your right to choose.  Don't let them push you around. 

Blake Evans
J. Royce Auto Glass


Like the old adage says...

You get what you pay for. And when it comes to safety, you really should consider WHAT you're paying for. 

We were recently called to a customers home to inspect a water leak issue they'd been having for some time. When we got there, a tarp was covering the entire SUV and several towels were covering the seats and dash. RED FLAG #1. After removing the covering and towels, we did a preliminary inspection of the glass. No visual rust, missing parts, and the glass looked properly seated. So we gave it a push from the inside just to see... RED FLAG #2. The entire top of the glass pushed out with no problem!

We proceeded to take the windshield out to properly investigate, and this is what we found:

You'll notice in the photos that the old adhesive remains on the vehicle when you remove the old glass. Along the top, the glue has completely separated from the body. Had the driver of this vehicle been involved in an accident, they could have been ejected through the windshield.

The images above are the glass we took from the vehicle. You can see the glue with the body paint and primer still attached to it. The center image shows what it should look like. There were also several gaps in the glue at various spots. You can see one of them in the image on the right.

We talked in a previous blog about the proper preparation of a windshield, but we will talk here about the proper preparation of the body. When you remove a windshield, you need to take proper steps to ready the vehicle for reinstallation. These include removing the old urethane adhesive to the appropriate height, cleaning all dust and debris from the installation area, removing any and all rust, and properly priming and activating (a chemical agent that bonds the glue to the glass/body) the pinch weld area.

In this case, we trimmed down the remaining glue to its appropriate height and cleaned the installation area with approved cleaners. We then coated it with body primer and activator according to the specifications of our products. This is MOST IMPORTANT! Not all products are the same, and you should be assured the technician performing the work understands the proper applications of their products. Some companies do not even take these NECESSARY steps. In the images below you can see the products drying.

Notice the area is all black. This is the primer. It provides a surface between the clear coat of paint and the glue. Along with the proper activators for the glue, this provides the appropriate surface for reinstallation and a safe, secure bond. Had we not prepared the area, the glue would not stick to the glass. It would cure, but would not have a chemical bond. Not good.

So why did this happen in the first place? Well, there are several possibilities.

Some vehicles that come from the factory have this issue right off the line. It occurs when they install the glass too soon after painting the vehicle. The paint isn't dry enough and pulls away from the body when you remove the glass. However, it will not just separate on its own. The glass will remain bonded until it is removed, at which point the glue pulls away the paint just like it did here. 

But thats not what happened here. How do we know?

We know the glass has been replaced before. We know this by visual inspection, the brand of glass, and the customer flat out told us. When they pulled the glass before, the technician would have noticed the weakened bond, and should have taken proper steps to fix the issue. They did not. They took the shorter route and did the minimum work to get the glass back in. Did the job look fine? Absolutely... from the outside. But looking good doesn't keep you safe. 

"But how do I know if the company I chose is doing the right thing?"

Choose J. Royce Auto Glass, and you won't have to worry :) Look for things like certifications from adhesive companies like DOW and SIKA. This will show that the technicians have proper training in the use of their materials. All look for information about certifications and industry specific training. You can find our certifications and awards here. 

Most importantly, remember the adage: you get what you pay for. And with auto glass, you're paying for safety. Remember, the windshield is a vital part of the structural integrity of your vehicle. Just because it's in there, doesn't mean it's in there properly. Companies that are far cheaper than the rest are generally using lower quality parts, lower quality adhesives and materials, and generally do not have the highest quality of technicians. They save money in those areas so they can keep the cost lower for you. But when you're on the highway in the rain with your family, isn't the extra money worth your extra peace of mind?

Stay Safe.
Shop smart. 
Get what you pay for.

Blake Evans
J Royce Auto Glass