If you have recently had your windshield replaced, you are not the only one who has had to go through the repair process this year. As many as 14 million windshields are replaced each year, and the replacement is a necessity when it comes to keeping you safe. However, you probably do not want to invest in another replacement soon. With the winter weather coming, this means that you will need to remove the ice from your windshield carefully to prevent damage. Keep reading to learn a few tips that can help you with this.
Warm Your Windshield Slowly
Turning on the heat inside your car in the morning is the best way to remove ice. However, if you blast the heat before you get in your car, you may be placing a great deal of stress on the windshield glass. This is called thermal stress, and it occurs whenever the glass is subjected to extreme hot or cold. When it comes to heat, stress fractures or breaks will sometimes appear in the middle of the glass. This occurs when the middle of the pane becomes substantially warmer than the edges.
Windshield are not as susceptible to thermal stress as some other types of glass due to its strength. Specifically, laminated glass is used in windshields to retain durability. Also, the framing system used to keep the glass in place will help to transfer heat evenly around the edges of the windshield frame. Problems do arise though if the glass becomes weakened. A flying rock or other projectile may weaken the windshield in a particular area. This weakness may turn into a crack if thermal stress is placed on the area, like if you blast your heat at the windshield in the morning.
To prevent a thermal break, start your morning routine a bit early and turn the heat on in your car about 20 minutes before you leave. Place the heater on low first for about 10 minutes, and then put it on medium heat for another 10 minutes. Once you get into your car, put the heat on high. Most of the ice should be safely melted off the windshield at this time.
Never Use Hot Water
If you are ever in a hurry to remove ice from your windshield, then you may think about pouring hot water on the glass. This is not a good idea, because this will cause a thermal stress issue as well. If you need to quickly remove ice, then there are several ways you can do this. You can pour windshield wiper fluid on your windshield. The fluid contains ethanol alcohol. As you may know, alcohol does not freeze when placed in your freezer, because the fluid has a freezing point of -174.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When you pour the alcohol on your frozen windshield, it mixes with the water and lowers its freezing point. The ice then melts.
If you do not want to waste your windshield washer fluid, then plain rubbing alcohol, cheap vodka, or even an old can of beer will work to melt the ice. Also, if you have some white vinegar, this will work as well. Vinegar has a freezing point that is below that of water. Vinegar's freezing point is not nearly as low as alcohol's though, so use vinegar only on mild fall or winter days.
Make sure that all fluids you use to remove your windshield ice are either cold or room temperature to reduce thermal stress issues. When the ice starts to melt, simply use your ice scraper or snow removal brush to release it from the glass. For more information or assistance, contact local companies like Mr Go-Glass.