Tell Weather to Hit the Road: Hydrophobic Glass 101
Think of the most dangerous driving conditions that you’ve ever had to navigate. Chances are, they involve some form of weather event – rain pouring down in buckets, snow falling and melting in your field of vision, your windshield wipers desperately trying to keep up. The one constant in the fight between visibility and weather is your windshield, so making it as hydrophobic (water-repellent) as possible isn’t just a smart design choice, it’s an investment in the safety of both you and your passengers. Here are a few things you should know about one of the industry’s best weather-fighting features:
- It’s relatively new: While glass windshields have been around since the very first cars, making a windshield hydrophobic requires a two-part process, initially – the pane of glass is created, with the coating applied and cured afterwards.
- Professional is better: While consumer-bought sprays and chemicals can mimic the effects of hydrophobic glass, they’re typically much shorter in duration than a professional hydrophobic glass application on new glass. When using store-bought products, there’s also a high margin of user error, with the potential for thin spots, missing areas or smudging that might not be apparent until the first rainstorm after it’s applied.
- It should be applied on new glass, whenever possible: As you drive your car and expose it to wind resistance, sun and precipitation, the windshield glass becomes weathered. While the glass itself is made to withstand these stresses, they change the surface over time. In new glass, the pores of the material are open and “unstressed,” making it easier for the hydrophobic coating to achieve an even, lasting coat.
- It isn’t permanent: Much like film tinting, over time the bond between the hydrophobic coating and glass will weaken, and eventually wear off entirely. If your windshield has cracks, chips, pits or hazing, it’s good idea to either have your hydrophobic coating reapplied (or added on, if it wasn’t in place previously) when replacing your windshield.
- It aids visibility, even in excellent weather: One of the side benefits of hydrophobic glass is that the coating also helps repel things like dirt and debris. If you’ve ever dealt with oily smudges, tree sap or dirt on your windshield, you know what a distraction it can be out on the road. With a professional hydrophobic glass coating in place, you’ll have to turn your wipers on less often, and you won’t need to squint to see the road if you’re overdue for a car wash. This reduces stress on your wipers and lets you go longer between replacement blades.
Ensure High-Performance in Your Hydrophobic Glass
In terms of upkeep, there are three easy ways to keep the coating in great shape for as long as possible:
Windshield Wiper Maintenance
Whenever you get your oil changed or fluids checked, either ask your technician or perform a self-check on your wipers. If the rubber seems dried out, cracked or squeaks and streaks across the windshield, it’s time to replace the blades. Uneven pressure, wear and dragging will weather your glass faster than normal, and that means damaging the hydrophobic coating where you need it most: right in the driver’s field of vision.
Harsh Weather Maintenance
While a single rain or snowstorm won’t make a difference in hydrophobic glass windshield upkeep, a whole season of them just might. If impact events like heavy snow or hail are in the forecast, consider pulling your wiper arms off the glass and draping a towel or blanket over your windshield if you’re unable to park in a garage. Not only will this protect the surface of the glass and your wiper blades from stress, it makes it very easy to clean off the windshield by pulling the blanket off.
Damaged Windshield Maintenance
If you’ve ever dealt with peeling paint, you know how much damage starts with a tiny scratch or a little imperfection. If you have cracks or pits in the surface of your windshield, there is also a break in the hydrophobic film. Consult a glass professional to see what you can do to mitigate the damage, and get quotes if a replacement windshield is needed.
Much like your windshield glass, you don’t want to cut corners when you’re shopping for a replacement. Anthony Volk is proud to serve your needs with our convenient same-day mobile glass service, including hydrophobic glass windshields. We can replace your entire windshield, as well as car windows, quickly and easily outside of your home or office. We guarantee our work for as long as you own your car, too, so you never have to worry – the only thing that will slide away is water, dirt and ice from your professionally-installed hydrophobic windshield, not our commitment to your satisfaction.
If you’re tired of trying to squint through pouring rain or windshield wipers that just don’t seem to be fast or thorough enough, it’s time to look into hydrophobic glass for your vehicle. Call Anthony Volk Glass at 610-436-9727 today to get your quote, options and answers for your windshield needs. When you rely on us, the answer – and your windshield – couldn’t be clearer!