When your windshield needs replacement, one of the choices you’ll have is whether to get a mobile windshield replacement or visit an auto glass shop. Each choice has its pros and cons.
My Windshield is Damaged — Now What?
It’s a frustrating experience. You walk out to your car and notice a chip, crack, or other damage to the windshield that requires attention. Your first step is to contact a professional auto glass replacement and repair specialist. For some, that might be mobile windshield replacement service, while others might prefer visiting a shop.
It will be up to you to decide what’s best based on your situation and the questions you ask along the way. In addition to finding the right people for the job, deciding where to have the work done needs to be at the top of your list. The good news is that the glass repair experts you choose will have insights about which type of service is best, which can help you decide. So, if the glass shop asks where and how you’d like the replacement done, here’s what you need to know.
Mobile Windshield Replacement Pros and Cons
In the past decade or two, many companies have started offering various mobile glass repair and replacement services. Mobile auto glass services are convenient because the installers will come to your home or work and replace the windshield on-site. With mobile auto glass repair and replacement, you can carry on with your day and know that your windshield will be as good as new within a couple of hours.
One of the biggest reasons, besides convenience, that people choose to use mobile auto glass services is that it gives the glass adhesive time to cure before the vehicle is driven again. That way you won’t have to wait at a shop until it’s okay to drive away.
Pros of Mobile Windshield Replacement
Mobile windshield repair and replacement come with several benefits, including:
- Flexibility in scheduling and service times
- After-hours services at no extra cost
- Simple, quick repairs with less downtime
- No going out of your way for glass repair or replacement services
- No worry about having to visit a shop
- Fast service that doesn’t interrupt your life
Cons of Mobile Glass Service
Mobile auto glass repair and replacement isn’t always an ideal choice. It can be challenging for techs to work in the weather because they need a dry space out of the elements. Moisture can lead to issues with adhesion or make the job take longer in some cases. Other cons include:
- No climate-controlled shop to work in
- You might not be there for the repair/replacement
- Some mobile services get busy during certain times
The Value of Visiting a Shop
While mobile glass replacement is an excellent service, there are some instances where it may also be in your best interests to visit a glass repair shop. For example, if it’s snowing and blowing outside, it will be challenging for a glass technician to replace your windshield outdoors. Mobile is convenient, but it isn’t always the correct answer.
When you visit a glass repair shop, you will be able to see exactly how the repair experts do what they do. You will have a team of techs working on your windshield replacement, and you’ll enjoy a comfortable environment while you wait. A controlled environment makes installing a new windshield in any vehicle much more accessible.
Sometimes, a shop is more affordable because you may need to pay the convenience fee for someone to visit you. If insurance is footing the bill, this may not be a concern for some, but it’s still important to note.
Most glass repair shops offer in-shop and mobile glass services, so they can help you decide what’s best for your needs.
Tips for Success with Windshield Repair and Replacement
Replacing a windshield is a lot simpler than some people realize. However, it’s still something that you need to understand before you get in too deep. While mobile installation is a great option, you must consider things like the weather and the extent of the damage to your car.
Here are some tips for success.
Get Repairs Done Immediately
The last thing you want to do is let glass damage sit. A small chip can quickly turn into a crack, leading to more cracks until eventually, you need a full replacement. What would have been cheap to repair (or even free for some insurance customers) will now cost you much more in the long run. Whether it’s mobile or in-shop, glass repairs need to be done right away.
Consider the Season
The good news, for some, is that windshields can be replaced in extreme cold as long as the proper urethane and epoxy are used for the repair. This means mobile service is an option even in winter. However, you will want to check with the glass installer and ensure they have experience working in all weather conditions. That way, you’ll know you’re always getting the best replacement.
Ask the Shop
Most glass repair services will offer both in-shop and mobile services. They might even offer to take the vehicle into their shop for you when you can’t drive it there, but this also might come at an additional cost. In any case, ask them what’s best for your windshield replacement needs. Also, ask them how long it will take and when you will be safe to drive. There is usually a timeline of one to three hours for the adhesive to cure, depending on the work done and the products used.
The Windshield Installation Process
The process of installing a windshield is usually straightforward. Understanding the steps it takes to replace a windshield can help you ensure it gets done properly.
Remove the Old Glass
The first step is to remove the old glass from the windshield. First, workers will remove the plastic molding and cut out the adhesive that holds the windshield in place. Once free, the glass will be removed with heavy-duty suction cup handles.
Clean the Area
All the dirt and contaminants in the track (known as the pinch weld) will be removed. Some glass services use a blower to remove excess debris before cleaning it. They will also use a knife to remove any leftover adhesive and ensure the area is ready for a new installation.
Prime and Stick
Once the area has been cleaned and prepared, it will be taped off so the technician can work cleanly. Then, they will apply a primer to both the outside of the windshield and the pinch weld on the vehicle. This will ensure that the glass is ready to adhere to it when placed. Finally, the new glass will be placed onto the car using the suction cups and pressed into the adhesive.
The resin and adhesive used in windshield repairs and replacements require curing time before you can drive your car. This is why some people like mobile repair. They can have the windshield replaced while at work, which leaves plenty of time for the adhesive to cure, before driving home. Most windshields take at least 30 minutes to cure, but many glass technicians will advise you to wait an hour or two before driving your vehicle. Whatever the case may be, follow their recommendation.
Now that you’ve got a new windshield, you’ll be able to get back out on the road and enjoy driving again. And no matter where you choose to have the work done, make sure that you hire a reputable auto glass repair service to help you along the way. Glass.com can help you find a great company near you.