Glass is remarkably strong and durable and yet very fragile. The tempered and laminated glass in your car may contribute as much as 60% of the roof strength in case of a rollover, and yet a tiny pebble at highway speeds can chip or crack your windshield.
In your home, glass stands up to the harshest storms for years and one day it cracks for no apparent reason. Why?
Glass Moves; You may think of a piece of glass as being fixed, not moving, but actually it is a part of a system of moving parts flexing and shifting dozens of times a day, hundreds of times a month, and thousands of times a year.
Glass Moves? Changes in temperature cause different materials (glass, wood, plastic, putty, or metal) to expand and contract at different rates. Water freezing and thawing around the frame even some distance away may change the alignment. Houses shift, settle, warp, and move.
Auto Glass: Auto glass in particular is exposed to many stresses besides heat and cold. Every time your car travels down the road it is constantly twisting and flexing. Crossing a railroad track or hitting a pothole at 35MPH, or even turning a corner causes movement of parts surrounding the glass. When you take all these changes into account it is not too surprising that glass that was fine yesterday or last year may break today.
That's the bad news, but the good news is : The framing systems in both homes and cars do a remarkable job of absorbing these stresses. Many people go years without unexplained breakage. Amazing stories are told of birds bouncing off of windshields and other impacts that should have broken the glass but did not.
Most of us if we take the time to think about it can recall a potential disaster that didn't happen
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ŠAll Seasons Glass 2012