Spring HOME Im­prove­ment & CAR CARE

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - Front Page -

Look inside for ideas, sav­ings and “how-to” tips that will help you com­plete your Spring Home Im­prove­ment Projects

Tiny cracks in a wind­shield can rapidly grow into big prob­lems, ad­vises Richard Pi­card.

“It can start with just a lit­tle chip on the edge, but it can spread across the en­tire wind­shield in 24 hours,” says the owner of Alexan­dria Auto Glass, the busi­ness he and his wife, Hélène, have op­er­ated since April 3, 1982.

Stones, ice and chunks of salt are just some of the sub­stances that rou­tinely bounce off, and dam­age, wind­screens.

Large cracks can af­fect vis­i­bil­ity and com­pro­mise the in­tegrity of the wind­shield. There also may be another price to pay. If po­lice catch you driv­ing with a cracked wind­shield, you could be fined and given a pre­scribed time to get the wind­screen re­paired or re­placed.

With 37 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, Mr. Pi­card, also known as “Pic,” has seen his share of shat­tered and bat­tered screens.

If a crack is tended to quickly, a re­pair job is all that is needed. But if a large fis­sure oc­curs, a re­place­ment is the only route to go.

Mr. Pi­card learned the busi­ness through study and prac­tice. While he fol­lowed a course at St. Lawrence Col­lege in 1979, “I learned most of this on the job,” he says.

At his shop on Kenyon Con­ces­sion Road 1, Mr. Pi­card also does win­dow tint­ing, in­stalls ve­hi­cle ac­ces­sories, truck caps and seat cov­ers.

Fly­ing glass is rare

While decades ago, wind­shields were made of or­di­nary win­dow glass that shat­tered dur­ing col­li­sions, a se­ries of law­suits led up to the devel­op­ment of stronger wind­shields.

Over the decades, lam­i­na­tion im­proved the safety and strength of the screens.

Mod­ern, glued-in wind­shields con­trib­ute to the ve­hi­cle's rigid­ity.

In most cases, a cracked wind­shield will re­main in one piece.

To­day’s wind­shields are a safety de­vice just like seat belts and airbags. The in­stal­la­tion of the auto glass is done with an au­to­mo­tive grade ure­thane de­signed specif­i­cally for au­to­mo­biles. The ad­he­sive cre­ates a molec­u­lar bond be­tween the glass and the ve­hi­cle. If the ad­he­sive bond fails at any point on the glass it can re­duce the ef­fec­tive­ness of the air bag and sub­stan­tially com­pro­mise the struc­tural in­tegrity of the roof.

Airbags de­ploy at speeds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h) and

in some cases ex­ert tremen­dous force on the wind­shield. If the wind­shield is weak, the airbag will not work prop­erly as the airbag may go for­ward through the screen and away from the peo­ple it is meant to pro­tect.

SEALED: Richard Pi­card en­sures the seal is tight af­ter in­stalling a cover on a truck cab at his Alexan­dria Auto Glass shop south of town.

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