The Basics of Rainproofing Your Auto Windshield
If you’ve been driving for any significant period of time, you’ve been in a situation like this: You’re barreling down the highway to an important professional engagement or an exciting recreational event when you notice a dark and menacing storm cloud looming on the horizon.
Minutes later, you’re in the middle of what seems like Armageddon! Amid thunder crashes and lightening flashes, buckets of rain begin pelting your windshield, reducing your visibility to near zero. To make matters worse, as the streets begin to fill with runoff water, that truck in front of you joins with various passing vehicles to splash and splatter even more water on your already inundated windshield.
This is NOT the moment to discover that your windshield and/or windshield wipers simply aren’t up to snuff.
With summer thunderstorms on the way, now is the time to fully rainproof the windshield of your car, truck, or SUV. By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that inclement weather won’t leave you blind in a vulnerable moment. Avoid a potentially dangerous and life-threatening accident by taking the time to fully rainproof your windshield today. Consider the following tips before it’s too late!
Inspect Your Windshield Carefully
Tiny windshield cracks can turn into large ones in a matter of days or even hours. Take the time to closely examine your windshield for cracks that may not readily appear in your frame of vision during normal driving activities.
If you find any small chips or cracks, even at the periphery of your windshield, you should seriously consider repairing or replacing your windshield before you find yourself facing a complete break or a serious fracture.
Keep Your Windshield Clean
While this may sound obvious, a clean windshield makes for a happy driver. Too many people simply don’t take the time to clean their auto windshields on a regular basis. Even if your visibility seems fine under sunny skies, a dirty windshield can become far worse when it becomes wet.
And when you turn on your wipers in an attempt to clean your windshield, you may just aggravate the situation by trailing muddy streaks directly across your line of vision. Thankfully, the solution to this problem is exceedingly simple. Just use water and/or a window cleaning solution in conjunction with a cloth or paper towel to keep your windshield clean inside and out.
Invest in Quality Wiper Blades
All major automobile manufacturers agree that regularly replacing your windshield wiper blades is absolutely essential. For those who subject their blades to significant wear and tear, this can mean purchasing new blades as often as three or four times per year.
Make sure that your blades deliver constant and even pressure at all points of your windshield to leave no moisture or debris behind. Keep in mind that damaged, weak, and/or disintegrating wiper blades will cause annoying and potentially dangerous streaking where they fail to make firm contact with your windshield.
Apply a Quality Rain Repellent
There are many products that help to bead rainwater on your windshield and whisk it away without significantly obstructing your vision. These products can also help your defroster/defogger do its job by reducing the condensation of water vapor and help your windshield wipers do their job by decreasing the friction that naturally occurs between your blades and your windshield.
Typically available in liquid form, rain repellent can be a lifesaver during the rainy season. Whether you choose a less expensive spray-on product or a high-end brand that requires a special applicator, you should be sure follow all manufacturer recommendations when it comes to the process and frequency of application.
Although rain repellent is generally easy to apply, vehicle-owners can run into big problems if they do not take the time to use it correctly. Most brand-name products can be applied in a few simple steps.
- Use an ammonia-based glass cleaner to make sure that your windshield is spotlessly clean.
- Wait to ensure that all ammonia is wiped away and fully evaporated before applying the rain repellent. You may want to consider using a microfiber towel to aid in this process.
- Apply the rain repellent as directed. Instructions may ask you to use a circular motion or a series of vertical and/or horizontal passes to promote thorough and even coverage.
- Allow the rain repellent to dry according to manufacturer recommendations.
- After the product dries, wipe or buff the freshly-treated windshield with a clean cloth or microfiber towel.
- When the rain repellent is fully cured (typically after sitting for several hours), rinse your windshield with water and dry once again with a clean cloth or microfiber towel.
Between rain repellant applications, clean your windshield with water alone to avoid breaking the waterproof seal with harmful chemicals. In addition to helping with rain control, most waterproofing products will aid in the removal of splattered bugs and bird droppings.
For more information about rainproofing your windshield and for help repairing, replacing, and otherwise optimizing your windshield in advance of the rainy summer season, contact a qualified professional at Anthony Volk Glass. A longstanding member of the greater Chester, Pennsylvania community, Anthony Volk draws upon more than two decades of personal auto glass experience, working on everything from the typical family car to high-end exotic collectables and heavy construction equipment.