Facts and Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a listing of the most frequently asked questions we encounter.

Automotive

  1. Can my windshield be repaired or do I need to replace it?
  2. Does my windshield really protect me?
  3. What is OEM glass?
  4. What are FMVSS and why are they important to me?
  5. How long will it take to replace my windshield?
  6. What should I look for when my windshield is replaced?
  7. What kind of warranty should I expect on my windshield replacement?
  8. How soon can I drive my car after my windshield is replaced?
  9. How soon can I wash my vehicle?
  10. I just had my windshield replaced. How do I know if it was done right?
  11. I have a broken windshield on my Class 'A' Motorhome. Can you replace it at my home just like my car?
  12. I called around and got cash prices on my windshield. Why is there such a big difference in price?
  13. How can some companies afford to waive my deductible or give me free dinners and still do quality work?
  14. This is my third broken windshield. Will my insurance rates go up if I get it replaced?
  15. What is the Consumers Right to Choose?
  16. What are TPA's?

Residential / Commercial

  1. What is safety glass and why do I need it in my home or office?
  2. What is Laminated Glass?
  3. What is Tempered Glass?
  4. What are dual pane / insulated units?
  5. Only 1 side of my dual pane window broke, so why do I have to replace both pieces?
  6. Are all dual pane / insulated windows Argon filled?
  7. What is low-E and what does it do for my windows?
  8. I have a standard 1/4" shower door. Can I replace it with a heavy plate door?
  9. I have a piece of tempered glass that I want cut down. Can you do that?
  10. What kind of glass do I need for a table top to protect my table's wood finish?
  11. I've noticed that most glass has a slight green tint. Can I get glass that is totally clear?
  12. I have a table top that is chipped. Can you cut it down for me?
  13. What are Herculite Doors?
  14. What determines if glass must be tempered or not?
  15. Why do I have to replace my broken patio door glass with safety glass if that's not what was in it originally?
  16. Can I mirror an entire wall in my house and how much will it cost?


    1. Can my windshield be repaired or do I need to replace it? The National Glass Association recommends that any windshield damage be fixed as soon as possible. Most windshield 'chips' can be repaired if the damage is not in the driver's line of vision and is smaller than the size of a silver dollar, including any cracks. This could save you and your insurance company hundreds of dollars. If the break is larger or in the drivers line of vision, most insurance companies recommend the windshield be replaced. Best Glass provides both windshield repair and replacement for your convenience.

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    2. Does my windshield really protect me? Yes. Your windshield was designed as the number one safety restraint system in your vehicle. Auto manufacturers say your windshield provides up to 60 percent of the roof crush protection in a rollover accident. Your windshield also provides the backstop support for your passenger-side airbag in a front-end collision. If your windshield pops out in a collision or rollover, you could be ejected or crushed. It's important to know who's replacing your windshield. Your life could depend on it.

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    3. What is OEM glass? OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacture. OEM glass is produced from original equipment-style tooling and meets the vehicle manufacturers specifications for safety and quality. Only Original Equipment Manufacturers can provide the quality necessary to insure proper fit and finish which greatly reduces the possibility of air or water leaks. Because automobile manufacturers contract with numerous OEM glass fabricators, there could be more than one brand windshield that will meet their specifications for your car. However, there are numerous brands on the market that do not meet OE specifications and could result in a poor or even unsafe installation. It's important to always use an OEM brand windshields to insure your safety.

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    4. What are FMVSS and why are they important to me? FMVSS stands for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. They are standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association relating to vehicle safety. A number of these standards set minimum requirements for windshield retention in vehicle accidents. Because the windshield is the most important safety restraint system in a vehicle, it's critical that the windshield not come out in an accident. If that were to occur, the passenger compartment would be compromised, occupants could be ejected and the roof could collapse. Any of these scenarios would result in serious injury and possibly death. As a result, FMVSS must be adhered to with every windshield installation. The only way to meet these standards is by strictly following the vehicle manufacturers' preferred installation methods. These include, performing full cutout procedures, utilizing OEM glass, applying the necessary primers and using only the approved adhesives that provide the proper safe drive-away times. FMVSS were created and are in place to save your life. Unfortunately, not all glass companies comply. It's up to you to make sure your glass replacement company adheres to them. No one else will.

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    5. How long will it take to replace my windshield? That depends on the make and model of your vehicle. Because of the complexity of some vehicles, it could take as long as 3 hours but most vehicles require about an hour to properly install the windshield. Auto manufacturers recommend a full cutout method when replacing a windshield. This method takes a little longer than what has been popular with most technicians in the past. As with most things worth having, quality takes time.

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    6. What should I look for when my windshield is replaced? The first thing to look for is a company that has a good reputation and a proven service record. Next make sure they are using OEM glass and have Certified technicians. If you start with the right company, you're half way there. When the installer comes out, ask questions. Questions about when you'll be able to safely drive your vehicle and what kind of urethane he'll be using. He should be knowledgeable enough to answer any questions you may have. Make sure that he'll do a factory recommended "full cutout" instead of the quicker "short-cut" method which leaves most of the old sealant in place. The installer should carefully clean and always prime the windshield before installation. He should also use suction cups or at least disposable gloves while installing the windshield to insure that the adhesive surface of the glass does not become contaminated. Missing any of these steps could result in an improper or unsafe installation. After an accident is the wrong time to find out your windshield was improperly installed.

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    7. What kind of warranty should I expect on my windshield replacement? You should expect to get a written warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship including water and air leaks. It should be for at least a year. Many shops offer a limited lifetime warranty for as long as you own your car. If you have a problem after their installation, a phone call to the shop should be all that's needed to have someone take care of the problem. Don't be shy about asking for a warranty. Your safety and peace of mind are worth it.

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    8. How soon can I drive my car after my windshield is replaced? This will depend on the type of urethane adhesive used to install the windshield in your vehicle. Because most automotive grade urethane's rely on temperature and humidity to cure, the time required varies widely depending on the manufacturer. This time frame can range from 3 hours up to 24 hours before your vehicle will meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and is considered safe to drive. If you need to drive your vehicle sooner, a fast-cure urethane can be used that will allow a 1 hour drive-away time. In either case, it's imperative that you follow the manufacturers' instructions regarding safe drive-away times. Not adhering to those instructions could result in your injury or even death. It is extremely important that the technician replacing your windshield inform you of the safe drive away time for the urethane used.

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    9. How soon can I wash my vehicle? It is recommended that you wait 24 hours before washing your vehicle. There are 2 reasons for this. First, the high pressure from automatic car washes can damage the seal and outer moldings before the urethane has a chance to cure sufficiently. Secondly, it's important to leave at least one of the windows open at least an inch to reduce the pressurization in the vehicle when the doors are shut. This prevents the pressure inside the cabin from blowing a hole in the urethane seal, causing an air or water leak. Water on the windshield is not the concern. In fact, if it should rain, don't fear. The moisture actually helps the curing process of the urethane sealant.

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    10. I just had my windshield replaced. How do I know if it was done right? You don't. That's the problem. Without removing the windshield, it's impossible to tell if the windshield was prepped correctly, if critical primers were used, or if the proper amount and type of urethane was used. Once a windshield is installed, all the critical installation steps are hidden under the moldings and ceramic band. If it looks clean and the moldings are lying flat, you can only guess it was done right. But those things are only cosmetic. It's what is underneath that counts. The only sure way to tell if a windshield is properly installed is to crash test it, but we don't recommend it. The next best way is to know the reputation of the company that installed it.

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    11. I have a broken windshield on my Class 'A' Motorhome. Can you replace it at my home just like my car? Absolutely! While it takes an extra degree of expertise to properly install motorhome windshields, our technicians have what it takes. Due to the much larger glass size, we'll schedule from 2 -4 technicians when replacing your motorhome windshield. We understand the investment you have in your coach and we'll take the extra care necessary when working on it.

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    12. I called around and got cash prices on my windshield. Why is there such a big difference in price? There could be a lot of reasons. Some companies are famous for quoting incredibly low prices on the telephone, but when the customer goes in for service they find out that other parts are required and that tax and labor was not included. Some companies quote low prices because they use inferior aftermarket glass, cheap inexperienced labor and even cheaper urethane sealants. Unfortunately, most people don't know the difference or don't understand the safety implications and they make their decision solely on price. Don't be fooled by gimmicks and giveaways. The old adage applies: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

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    13. How can some companies afford to waive my deductible or give me free dinners and still do quality work? Chances are, they can't. In recent years insurance companies have set strict pricing standards on auto glass and will not  pay more than these "usual and customary" charges. As a result, the only way the cost of those freebies can be absorbed is by cutting corners. You'll have to question what kind of job you'll get. Will they use Original Equipment parts, Certified technicians and AGRSS safety procedures to insure your safety? Do they have their own employees or do they use uninsured sub-contractors? Always check with the Better Business Bureau before doing business with a company that sounds too good to be true. Most companies with reputations for doing quality work don't need to make wild offers to attract business. And remember what your grandfather told you: "There ain't no free lunch."

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    14. This is my third broken windshield. Will my insurance rates go up if I get it replaced? No, your insurance rates should not increase due to auto glass replacement. Insurance companies do not factor glass claims by themselves into the equation when determining your risk assignment or your insurance rates. Unlike accidents, windshield replacements are no-fault comprehensive claims and by law cannot cause rates to increase. To be sure, however, check your policy or call your agent.

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    15. What is the Consumers Right to Choose?  By law, the State of Arizona grants you the consumer the Right to Choose which company repairs your car. You may find that your insurance company tries to direct you to a shop that gives them the cheapest price. Since not all shops follow safe installation procedures, your insurance company has no way of knowing what kind of job will be done on your car. You do not have to go where your insurance company tries to steer you. If you do decide to go where your insurance company wants you to go, make sure you ask about OEM parts, urethane sealants, safe drive-away times, and written warranties. The Better Business Bureau should also be called before doing business with any glass replacement company.

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    16. What are TPA's? TPA stands for Third Party Administrator. TPA's are used by insurance companies to process claims. The 1-800 number your insurance company gave you to call in a claim will usually go to a TPA and not your insurance company. This is important to know because some TPA's are actually glass companies and have an interest in sending you to one of their own shops. Remember, by law, in Arizona you have a right to choose who repairs your auto glass. Any recommendation made is that of the TPA and is not required by your insurance company.

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    1. What is safety glass and why do I need it in my home or office? "Safety glass" is a term given to specific types of glass that when broken will break in such a way as to minimize potential injury to people. This is in contrast to standard "plate glass" which can be deadly due to the large sharp spear-like pieces that are created when broken. Safety glass comes in all types, sizes, colors and shapes depending on the application. The most common types of safety glass are Tempered glass, Laminated glass, Acrylic and Polycarbonate. Uniform building codes have been created that address specific applications for residential and commercial buildings and assure the public's safety when followed. Be sure to use a licensed contractor who is aware of all building codes when having glass replaced in your home or office.

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    2. What is Laminated glass? Laminated glass is a form of Safety Glass that is manufactured by sandwiching a layer of Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) between two pieces of annealed or tempered glass. It then goes through a heating and pressure process in an autoclave to firmly adhere the glass to the innerlayer. This is the same type of glass used in the windshield of your automobile. If broken, the glass is held together by the innerlayer and provides a high level of both safety and security.

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    3. What is Tempered glass? Tempered glass is a form of Safety Glass that is manufactured by heating flat glass to approach its softening temperature and suddenly chilling with jets of cold air called quenching, which distributes compression stress on the glass surfaces while creating tensile stress in the center. The counteraction of compression stress and tensile stress provides tempered glass up to 5 times the strength of normal glass. When broken, tempered glass forms oblique bean size granules to reduce damage to human bodies. Tempered glass also withstands quick temperature changes.

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    4. What are dual pane / insulated units? Most new homes being built today are built with dual pane or insulated windows. These terms are typically used interchangeably. Dual pane windows are composed of 2 pieces of glass joined by a spacer, which creates an "air-space" between the two panes. It's this air-space that creates the insulating properties that makes these units so energy efficient. The size of the air-space determines for the most part how efficient the window will be. For instance, a unit with a 1" air-space will be much more efficient than a unit with a ½" air space. Other factors like "Low-E" or tinted glass can also increase efficiency.

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    5. Only 1 side of my dual pane window broke, so why do I have to replace both pieces? Dual pane windows are manufactured as airtight units that are able to resist fogging due to a material in the spacer called desiccant. When either the inner or outer piece of glass breaks, the desiccant becomes saturated and ineffective which requires replacement of the whole unit. Although insulated units are more expensive to replace than single pane windows, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Besides the obvious energy savings benefits, insulated units also provide some important security benefits. Usually when a dual pane window breaks, one side stays in tact keeping air conditioning or heat from escaping. Unlike single pane windows, it also keeps your home secure until the new window can be installed.

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    6. Are all dual pane / insulated windows Argon gas filled? No. Most dual pane windows are filled with air or nitrogen. This provides what is called a dead air space which reduces heat transfer. Argon gas is less conductive than air and nitrogen and in extremely cold climates can result in a noticeable difference in heat transfer. In warmer climates however, the additional cost of Argon gas is not as beneficial.

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    7. What is Low-E and what does it do for my windows? Low-E stands for Low-Emittance.  Low-E coatings are microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window or skylight glazing surface which reduces the U-factor by suppressing radiative heat flow. By purchasing windows with a low-e coating you can allow all the light into your house without all the heat that goes along with it.

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    8. I have a standard 1/4" shower door. Can I replace it with a heavy plate 3/8" or 1/2" door? Yes, but it will depend on how the door will be mounted. Due to the increased weight of 3/8" or 1/2" glass, it will be necessary to have a stud or other reinforcement behind the wall that the hinges will be mounted to. Other options are also available including top and bottom pivot mounts or even sliding hardware. An inspection of the existing opening will be necessary to determine the proper mounting.

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    9. I have a piece of tempered glass that I want cut down. Can you do that? No, unfortunately tempered glass cannot be cut. Tempered glass is manufactured in such a way that once it is heat tempered the molecular structure is changed allowing it to break into tiny pieces. This makes it much safer in the event of breakage but does not allow it to be cut down.

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    10. What kind of glass do I need for a table top to protect my table's wood finish? The standard glass used for protecting table top finishes is 1/4" annealed glass. Many people mistakenly think that tempered glass is necessary. While it's true that tempered glass will take more of an impact than annealed glass if something is dropped directly onto the surface, it is also prone to shatter if hit directly on the edge of the glass. If that should happen with tempered glass, the thousands of little broken pieces of glass will likely scratch and damage the wood surface. Also remember that clear buttons should be used to raise the glass off of the surface of the table to allow for airflow.

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    11. I've noticed that most glass has a slight green tint. Can I get glass that is totally clear? Yes. It is manufactured under a number of trade names but is typically referred to as low iron glass. Normal float glass has a slight green tint which is especially noticeable from the edge due to it's iron content. Low iron glass is virtually clear and doesn't dull or distort the true color spectrum. This can be especially important in certain designer applications. Bear in mind that low iron glass can be significantly higher in price.

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    12. I have a table top that is chipped. Can you cut it down for me? Absolutely. Depending on the thickness of the glass we will need to remove anywhere form 1/2" to 3" from the edge of the glass to provide a straight smooth edge. We are also able to cut customers mirror. Need holes drilled or a pattern cut in your glass? We can do that too! Bear in mind that we cannot guarantee breakage on customers glass.

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    13. What are Herculite Doors? Herculite is actually a brand name but is generally referred to when describing full frameless glass doors. These doors are usually used in commercial applications as in malls and offices. The glass is tempered and is typically 3/8" to 1" thick. Top and bottom metal rails capture the glass and conceal the closer and pivots. Herculite doors can be used in multiple applications and provide a very clean appearance.

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    14. What determines if glass must be tempered or not? The UBS or Universal Building Code sets the standard for glass safety. The most common code dictates that any opening within 48" of a locking mechanism must contain safety glass. That means that any door, sidelite or window within 4 feet of a door must have safety glass. This code also mandates any window over a tub or shower and any window within 18 inches from the floor be safety glass as well. These are the most common requirements but there are many more. That's why using a licensed contractor that is aware of current building codes is so important for your safety.

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    15. Why do I have to replace my broken patio door glass with safety glass if that's not what was in it originally? For two reasons. First and foremost, for your safety. Patio doors with standard annealed glass have been responsible for countless severe injuries and even deaths. In 1972, the Uniform Building Code mandated that all doors including Patio or Arcadia doors be glazed with safety glass. The code goes so far as to say that if one of the doors has to be re-glazed for any reason, the other door must be re-glazed as well if it does not contain safety glass in order to bring the entire opening up to code. All licensed contractors must abide by this code or face stiff penalties and possible loss of their license.

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    16. Can I mirror an entire wall in my house and how much will it cost? You sure can. The cost will vary depending on access, the number of outlets or cut-outs in the wall and how straight your walls are. Other considerations are whether you want to butt all the seams or use beveled strips to cover the seams. All these things will affect the cost but a good rule of thumb would be about $12.50 per square foot installed. Just take the height x width of the wall, in feet and multiply by 12 for a rough estimate. Then call us with dimensions for a free phone estimate.

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How to Contact Us

To speak with one of our experts today, call 602-437-2378. Or you can contact us online:

What Our Customers Say

This was the best service I've had in 5 or 6 years, on anything! Your associate was very kind and knew his trade. He was very knowledgeable, he cleaned up afterwards, wiped my dash down and cleaned the windshield also. He did a great job! Thanks.
- Kenny Swiszez, Phoenix, AZ
Tap here To Call Us! 602-437-2378