I’m Melting! Auto Glass Shops Take Precautions to Beat the Heat

No matter where you are in the United States, today’s weather report can be summarized with three letters: HOT. It is so hot that AP News reports millions of Americans are currently under heat alerts for dangerous conditions.

This danger includes the auto glass industry, where extreme summer heat creates safety risks for repair and replacement jobs. Auto glass businesses nationwide have to take precautions to keep their technicians cool and their work up to safety standards.

Cedric Ardeljan owns and operates Chip Repairs Plus in Highland Lakes, New Jersey. The company is an Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) Registered Member. Ardelian’s business is entirely mobile, so Ardeljan is in the heat daily this time of year.

He always keeps a case of water in his vehicle, sometimes in an ice-filled cooler, to ensure he stays hydrated. A long-sleeve UV-resistant shirt and a wide-brimmed hat with a neck flap protect Ardeljan from the sun.

To regulate his gear’s temperature, Ardeljan keeps it out of the direct sun at all times and makes it a habit to bring everything indoors at night.

“It’s good to have that habit so I don’t forget because, during the winter time, I have to bring my gear in, so I might as well make sure I do it for the summertime as well,” he says.

To avoid the risk of stress cracks on overheated windshields, Ardeljan preps his windshields in whatever shade he can find.

“If there is no shade, I would use dash covers or fender covers to throw on top of the windshield to keep the direct sunlight off of it,” he says.

Occasionally, Ardeljan has had to relocate or postpone a job due to extreme heat. He’s never had to reschedule for a different day, he says, and his customers typically understand the need for safety.

Mobile businesses aren’t the only ones with heat concerns. Linda Rollinson operates Florida-based Superior Auto Glass of Tampa Bay. Rollinson is committed to safety as an AGSC committee member, the chairperson of the Repair of Laminated Auto Glass Standard (ROLAGS2) Committee and a member of the AGSC board of directors.

Since Superior Auto Glass has a physical location with an air-conditioned office and waiting area, Rollinson says her technicians stay cool by taking breaks inside and drinking water to stay hydrated. She adds that all the shop’s urethane is stored in the air-conditioned area.

The shop itself has a fan circulating air throughout, meaning it is at least a little cooler than the outdoors. When Superior Auto Glass gets a repair job, the technicians bring the vehicle into the shop and roll down all the windows or open the doors to let the glass regulate to the same temperature as the shop.

“You can’t start working on a windshield that’s been sitting in the sun all day,” Rollinson says.

Even in a shop environment away from the sun, Rollinson says you must work quickly to avoid ruining the urethane bead.

“You just have to be sure that everything’s done in a timely manner no matter what the temperature,” she says. “You have to be aware of your environment whether you are in the shop or outside. You have to adapt to your environmental conditions.”

Rollinson says her company does its best to avoid the worst of the Florida heat by scheduling jobs in the morning as much as possible.

“Usually, our last install of the day is no later than 2 p.m.” Rollinson says. “Every once in a great while, we make an exception, but this time of year, we start early and end early.”

This is an instance where Rollinson operates by the Golden Rule.

“As the day goes on, it gets too hot, and I can’t handle the heat,” she says. “If I can’t handle the heat, I don’t expect anyone else to.”

This article is from glassBYTEs™, the free e-newsletter that covers the latest auto glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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