What You Should Know About De-Icing Your Car’s WindshieldWinter storms are a fact of life in many areas of the country, but Pennsylvania residents do seem to get hit with much more than their fair share of severe winter weather capable of dropping copious amounts of freezing rain, sleet, snow, and ice. This type of extreme weather presents many challenges, and one of the worst is trying to keep your car’s windshield free of snow and ice so that you maintain good visibility for safer winter driving. Even if you have covered parking to protect your car from icing over while at home, you may still be forced to park on the street or in an open parking lot while at work, attending your child’s school functions, or while shopping for groceries and running errands. Your friends at Anthony Volk Glass know just how important it is for you to know the best ways to safely de-ice your windshield. We want to be sure that you’re able to drive as safely as possible when the next winter storm comes our way.
What Not to Do When Attempting to De-Ice Your WindshieldThe first rule in knowing how to properly de-ice your car’s windshield is to understand what not to do. Because much of our business involves providing quality auto glass and repair services to residents of the West Chester, PA area, we get to see firsthand the damage that can result when drivers do the wrong things in an attempt to de-ice their windshields. Here are a few educational examples of what not to do when de-icing a windshield:
- Pouring boiling water, hot coffee, or other hot liquids onto the glass is never a good idea. The sudden temperature changes can cause windshields to crack, especially if there is any existing damage that may have weakened the glass, such as rock chips or scratches.
- Using an electric hair dryer, heat gun, or any other device that applies direct heat to the windshield also causes drastic temperature changes that can cause cracking.
- Pouring salt water or sprinkling salt on the glass is not a good idea because it can leave a cloudy residue on the glass. This can impair your vision and the salt can damage moldings, windshield wiper edges, and your car’s trim and paint.
- Using a metal ice scraper, especially one that has nicks or jagged places in the blade can leave deep scratches in your windshield which will weaken the glass and cause it to crack or break more easily later.
- Using the edge of a tire iron, tool, or any other item in the car is often a desperate act when you are caught unprepared with no other options for ice and snow removal. However, doing so has the potential to cause serious damage to your car’s windshield ranging from scratches to complete breakage.
- Covering the windshield with sheets, rugs, cardboard or other materials can be slightly effective in preventing ice from accumulating on your windshield if the accumulation is going to be very small. However, you should be aware that doing this can cause the cover to freeze tightly to rubber or metal surfaces of your car and create damage when the cover is removed.
Safe Ways to De-Ice Your WindshieldNow that you know what not to do to your windshield, let’s look at some safe and effective ways to remove snow and ice from your car’s windshield.
Take Time to Warm Up the CarHands down the safest way to de-ice your car’s windshield is to make sure you schedule time to allow the vehicle’s engine and heater to do the work for you. Simply start your car, wait for a few seconds and then turn the front and rear defrosters on high until the ice is melted and the windshield wipers can clear the glass. In most cases, this process will add only a few moments to your day and will have the bonus of also clearing any snow and ice from the side windows and other glass surfaces of the car for even safer visibility.
Use Only Proper Tools for De-IcingMake it a point to outfit your car with safe tools capable of properly de-icing windshields and other glass without damaging them. These include windshield scrapers with plastic blades and a soft foam snow-removal tool to remove snow without damaging your car’s finish as brushes and brooms can do. Whether you have experienced some damage to your windshield from improper de-icing attempts, your windshield has been chipped by loose cinders and gravel, or you have another auto glass problem, the friendly staff at Anthony Volk Glass can help. We know how important your car is to you and we want to help keep you safe each time you drive. Contact us today by calling (610) 436-9727 and let us treat you to prompt, courteous service and an extensive selection of quality auto glass.
Anthony Volk is a third generation auto glass installer born and raised in West Chester, PA. With over 20 years of personal auto glass experience he and his team will bring that experience to you.