Summer hit Christopher Grafe like a brick. The owner/operator of Texas Glass in Boerne, Texas, Grafe is smack dab in the middle of a draining heat wave making auto glass repairs and replacements more challenging.
Texas Glass, Boerne, Texas
“We had almost perfect weather here for a bit,” Grafe shares. “One day, it just jumped, and it’s been nonstop since. I think I am a little luckier being above San Antonio. It’s a tad bit cooler, in the 98-101s. The heat makes it harder to get installs done. The cars are so much hotter, and you have to be more careful when and where you pull your glass out.”
A Texas Tribune analysis of state data found that at least 279 heat-related deaths were recorded last year, the highest annual toll for the state since at least 1999. Auto glass technicians are at a great risk of dehydration during repairs and replacements. Grafe goes the extra mile when taking precautions.
“I drink a bottle or two of electrolytes and water daily,” he says. “I have been doing a lot of running, and I am learning of other hydration drinks that help as well. The humidity out here is what gets us.”
Grafe says he uses SRP’s urethane and hasn’t been impacted during the adhesive portion of his work.
“Great product and holds up well in this weather,” he says. “I mainly use Velocity 30, which has a 30-minute [minimum drive-away time]. I want my windshield to set as soon as possible for the safety of my customer.”
Driftwood Auto Glass, Brunswick, Ga.
Severe storms moved through North Georgia on Sunday night, with Georgia Power saying that downed trees and power lines caused power outages for more than 200,000 customers throughout the area. In Southeastern Georgia, Aaron Bradford, owner of Driftwood Auto Glass in Brunswick, Ga., deals with another gift from Mother Nature—heat and humidity.
“We keep glass out of direct sunlight to keep the temperature down,” he shares. “We also use the DragOn Auto Glass Protector from VD-K. Tools.”
The DragOn Auto Glass Protector is an auto glass cover/protective blanket meant to protect windshields during prep work for installations. Bradford says his favorite hydration methods are DripDrop electrolyte packets and, of course, lots of water.
“We use Dupont’s Betaseal Xpress30,” he adds. “It hasn’t been affected by temperatures too much, but we work quickly with the humidity to preserve shelf life on primers and working time on adhesive.”
Richardson Glass Service, Newark, Ohio
“Here in Ohio, temps have been mild at best,” says James Chapman, a technician at Richardson Glass Service in Newark, Ohio. “In the past, when we hit over 100 to 105 degrees and a car is baking all day before we get there, it is more like 120 to 130 degrees inside. When you open the door, it about knocks you down. Touching the paint will burn your skin if you leave it on the car too long. The worst part about heat is the way it affects the cold-apply urethane. Once the temp gets [too] hot, it almost turns to liquid. The viscosity is almost gone.”
Chapman combats these potential issues by communicating clearly with the customer.
“We have the customer leave the windows slightly down,” he says. “We have them move the car into the shade for us … keeping the glue in the A.C. on the ride to the job is essential.”
Contributing Editor’s Note: According to CNN, more than 50 million in the southern U.S. are under “oppressive” heat. How has your auto glass shop been impacted by rising temperatures at the onset of summer? Please reach out to me at email@example.com to share your experiences.