Windshield Replacement

Windshield Replacement Service

UniglassPlus / Ziebart has been providing innovative auto glass solutions and quality products and services to Canadians for over 55 years. Security, protection, appearance and comfort are our watchwords.  We strive to ensure our relationship with customers is as transparent and solid as our windshields. Get your windshield replacement from UniglassPlus / Ziebart.

Impact types

Visualize and assess the risk

What types of breaks require a windshield replacement?

  • Size and type

A little chip, like a surface scratch, a bullseye or a small star can generally be repaired easily. Most impacts smaller than a toonie (impacts under 3/8 inch and cracks under 3 inches) are good candidates for repairs. Cracks and fissures, bigger impact marks and spider webs, on the other hand, require a full windshield replacement.

  • Location

A windshield replacement is typically required for cracks located in your line of vision, an area of about 30 cm above the middle of the steering wheel. Although repairs are very subtle, they can leave an outline reflecting the sun glare, significantly impairing your vision.

Because they often weaken the structural components of the glass and have a tendency to spread faster, fissures that have extended to less than 4 cm from the edge or corner of the windshield often can’t be repaired either.

  • Time

If left unattended for too long, a chip can quickly expand into a fissure.

How does a chip become a crack?

If a chip or scratch is not attended to quickly, it will most likely spread into a nasty crack. Temperature or pressure changes, defects and careless manipulation can aggravate the situation and cause a tiny chip or crack to become a large crack running through the windshield.

Over time, distress from dirt and water buildup, windshield wipers, wind and road debris can cause the chip to expand and become more difficult to repair. If the chip collects too much dirt, it can even become impossible to repair at all.

Be careful not to put pressure on the impact spot from the inside of your car: The concave design of a windshield makes it very strong from the outside and more vulnerable from the inside.

Stress cracks

Although most accidental fractures are caused by rock impacts and ice chunks or debris from the road making contact with the glass at high speed, a thin stress fissure can appear overnight.

A stress crack has no point of impact and requires a windshield replacement most of the time, since it usually reaches the critical 3-inch mark for repair quite fast.

The most common causes of stress cracks are:

  • Temperature changes

Sudden and drastic temperature changes are the most common causes of stress cracks. Refrain from melting an icy windshield with boiling water or washing burning-hot glass with cold water!

  • Structural defects

Windshields consist of 2 layers of glass and a plastic interlayer pressured together with a powerful adhesive. Uneven pressure or structural weaknesses in either layer can cause stress cracks.

Problems while annealing the glass (heating and then cooling it to toughen the material) can leave manufacturing defects or residual thermal stresses, causing the windshield to crack and shatter more easily.

  • Pressure changes

Atmospheric pressure changes or wind pressure can also cause stress cracks at times, although it’s uncommon.

About your windshield

Windshields are made of two layers of annealed glass glued and adhered to a vinyl resin interlayer. The vinyl mid-layer, or “safety layer,” prevents the glass from exploding by keeping glass shards in place if it shatters.

An important safety element

Your windshield plays a crucial role in your safety at the wheel.  For instance:

  • Deflecting the passenger side airbag into the body of the person sitting next to you;
  • Supporting the roof in a rollover accident;
  • Preventing passengers from being ejected from the vehicle in the case of an impact.

These are three game-changing elements in life-or-death situations. As for the importance of safety components in modern vehicles, auto safety experts rank the windshield in 3rd place, just after seat belts and airbags.

It’s actually the windshield that supports the whole cab interior in the case of an accident. The frames (A-pillars that go from the back of the car to the windshield) of new car models are getting thinner — and equally elegant — and the car construction materials are less sturdy than they were 50 years ago. Therefore, the windshield has to compensate. It has become a very important part of the car structure and safety systems.

The windshield makes up for approximately 70% of the structural integrity of the vehicle in the case of an accident. As such, it should be repaired without delay or, if necessary, quickly replaced.

No cracking under pressure

Your windshield can hold up to 1.5 times the weight of your entire car, displaying a tensile strength (ability of a material to withstand a pulling force) of around 10,000 pounds per square inch. In comparison, wood has a tensile strength of about 5800 psi.

Needless to say, it’s a pretty solid piece of glass!  Its concave shape also contributes to its external resistance and aerodynamics. Despite all of this, a surprisingly small crack in the glass can weaken it greatly, putting your safety at risk.

In other words, each cm2 of your windshield can normally deal with 180 kg of force. However, if cracked or chipped, its resistance can drastically drop to a mere 30 kg/cm2.

Be sure to maintain it properly!

High-quality windshields

Vitre OEEJust as car construction materials have changed greatly over the last couple of decades, a good windshield is no longer a mere front window. Its structural role, its shapes and properties are becoming increasingly complex. Always aim for high-quality windshields from OEE manufacturers recognized by the insurance industry, and ask what type of quality testing the glass has been through before getting a windshield replacement.

Windshield adhesives

Beyond quality materials and expertise, the choice of adhesive is a vital aspect of a windshield’s overall quality. If the windshield is improperly installed or if the adhesive is of poor quality, it can detach upon impact or during airbag deployment.

When looking for an auto glass service provider, select one that works with leading manufacturers in the world of auto glass adhesives. Make sure they comply with security standards (FMVSS 208, 212 and 216) and subject their product to crash tests and rigorous quality controls.

Driving with a cracked windshield

Driving with a cracked windshield is dangerous, but it could be costly as well.  From coast to coast, almost every province has legislation preventing it.  Fines range from $110 in Ontario, to a heftier $185 fine in other provinces.

Moreover, if your windshield is severely impaired, most jurisdictions allow the fine amount to be determined by the officer according to the extent of the damage.

How a windshield replacement is done?

Although a windshield replacement can be done in less than an hour, it is a precise procedure. It starts with the old windshield being cut out of the vehicle, followed by cleaning and prepping of the frame to house the new glass.

After removing any exterior trim, the rubber weather strip holding the windshield must first be replaced along the edges of the glass. The adhesive is then applied to the vehicle frame, and the windshield is glued in place. This setup must be left to cure for a short while before the car can be driven.

A professional installation

Technician replacing the windshieldSince the procedure can be tricky, it's best to entrust professionals with windshield replacement. Windshields are increasingly complex auto parts, becoming more curvy and resistant. As such, high quality and safe windshield replacement requires the right tools and a consequent expertise.

If the windshield is installed improperly, it can allow the roof to collapse or pop off the car upon collision — allowing passengers to be ejected from the vehicle.

Look for a service provider that ensures they meet the highest safety standards, that stays up to date with the latest technologies and provides rigorous and continuous training to their installers.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

The technology attached to windshields is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Most new vehicles now have Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. These systems are intended to facilitate driving and reduce the risk of accidents. They rely upon a camera mounted behind the windshield and warn the driver of imminent dangers on the road.

Recalibrating your vehicle’s camera after a windshield replacement is an essential step as it brings the ADAS system back to its original settings in order to ensures proper functionality thereafter. Driving with a ADAS system that has not been recalibrated or has been calibrated incorrectly could have terrible consequences, which can affect image and benchmark accuracy, providing poor system information, and affecting the safety of the driver and his passengers.

Windshield replacements today use increasingly sophisticated technology and must be entrusted to qualified technicians. Trust your windshield to experts, at UniglassPlus, our technicians use the most advanced and reliable equipment on the market and go through constant training in order to give you a dependable and professional service, ultimately ensuring your safety.

Windshield replacement cost

The average price of a new windshield installation varies significantly. Many insurance policies will cover windshield replacement, but you'll need to check the details with your insurance company.

Insurance claim and refund

Don’t worry about your insurance claim for windshield replacement and repair. At UniglassPlus /Ziebart, we take care of your insurer from start to finish. Our partnerships with most insurance companies greatly simplifies the claim process.

Just make an appointment for repair or replacement — we’ll contact your insurer and inform you of any deductible to pay. By filing a claim, you automatically benefit from the UniglassPlus /Ziebart Securi-ClearTM Warranty.

Lifetime Securi-ClearTM Warranty

UniglassPlus/Ziebart lifetime Securi-ClearTM warranty covers any future stone chip repair, as long as you’re the owner of your vehicle. No need to file claims to your insurer and no records in the IBC claim file for windshield repair under Securi-ClearTM.

Mobile service

Many of our UniglassPlus / Ziebart locations provide mobile services for windshield replacement and repair. Simply make an appointment and we’ll come and take care of your car right where you need us to. Our distribution centres are packed with every piece of auto glass you could dream of - no need to wait for it. For local experts and fast service, just call UniglassPlus / Ziebart!