Leaky windshields are driving hazards, not to mention destructive for the car’s interior. Although this is a big headache, there’s an easy fix that you can do: applying a sealant. This should be applied on the edge of the windshield and the gasket to prevent moisture from seeping in. But how do you apply it properly?
Glass sealant types
Before we head to the process, it’s important to know the type of sealant you’re going to use. You can easily purchase one from an automotive shop. Whatever you choose, check if the sealant is made to last extreme weathering, temperature, chemical exposure, and vibration.
One of the best options is a silicone windshield sealant. Since this is liquid, the sealant can flow into hard to reach crevices of your windshield. It will automatically run down to the spots where water used to enter. When it dries, a solid and durable seal will be in place.
The best thing is that silicone sealants dry transparently. If applied well, it should bond properly with the glass and block all the tiny holes present.
Usually, sealants are used on car models with a wide gap between its windshield and the car body. The water can sit in these spaces and freeze which will make the gasket adhesive brittle.
How to apply a windshield sealant
Before you apply the sealant, it’s important that you spot the point where water enters first. Using a garden hose, spray your windshield and see where the moisture seeps in. Once you have identified where the holes are located, prepare your car using a painter’s tape to shield the paint. Make sure that you line the car frame and glass properly.
Next, check for rust. If there are signs of corrosion, treat these areas first using a DIY repair kit. Take note that this works only for small rust spots. If the corrosion is widespread, you should send your car to an auto body shop.
Once the prep work is done, cut the tip of the sealant tube. Cut it small enough to let just the right amount of silicone to flow. Squeeze the tube gently and apply it into the gap where the leaks are present. After that, run your fingers and make sure that the gel is smooth enough.
After 10 minutes, remove the painter’s tape. It’s important to remove the tape even before the gel becomes bone dry. If there are smears of sealant somewhere, use rubbing alcohol and a clean rag. Let the gel sit overnight before driving your car.
When to ask for professional help
You can always perform DIY sealing, but if you’re not confident in your skills, you can always ask the help of windshield experts. These people can provide a long-term solution to windshield leaks without possible mess and damage.
Seeking the help of an auto body shop is recommended, especially if there is widespread rusting on the windshield and car frame gap.
If you want to have your entire windshield checked, only a licensed technician can vouch for its driving safety. It may cost you some fee, but it’s better than taking chances while you’re on the road.