Frequently Asked Questions

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Below are some frequently asked questions about windshields, windows and insurance. Please contact us with any additional questions you might have about our service, pricing, scheduling, products, and availability.


Can my windshield be repaired or do I need to replace it?

The National Glass Association (NGA) recommends that any damaged windshield be fixed as soon as possible. Most windshield ‘chips’ can be repaired if the damage is not in the driver’s ‘line of sight’ 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 driver’s ‘line of sight’, most insurance companies recommend the windshield be replaced. Whatever a repair or replacement needs to be done, Clear Cut provides both services for your convenience.

Does my windshield really protect me?

Yes, your windshield was designed as the #1 safety restraint system in your vehicle. Auto manufacturers state your windshield provides up to 60% of your roof’s 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 is important to know who is replacing your windshield – your life could depend on it.

How long will my repair or replacement take?

In many cases, windshield repairs can be completed in 30 minutes or less. Windshield replacements depend on the make and model of your vehicle. Because of the complexity of some vehicles, it could take as long as 3 hours to complete, however, most vehicles take about an hour to properly remove and replace a windshield. Auto manufacturers recommend a full cutout method when removing the windshield. This method takes a bit longer but quality takes time.

How long before I can safely drive my vehicle?

Our technicians use the best materials, including the industry’s adhesives that only require a one-hour safe drive away time. That means that once our technician sets your new windshield in place, it will only be one-hour from that time that you can safely drive your vehicle. If we are replacing glass where no urethane is needed, then the service usually takes less than an hour and no cure time is needed.

What is OEM glass?

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM glass is produced from original equipment-style tooling and meets the vehicle manufactures specifications for safety and quality. Because automobile manufactures contract with numerous OEM glass fabricators, there could be more than one brand windshield that will meet their specifications for your car. If you are looking for a certain ‘brand’ of glass, please let us know, we will work with your insurance company to help. In cases where your insurance company will not approve the additional costs for the certain brand, we are happy to discuss all the options with you.

How soon can my job be scheduled?

In many cases, we can get you scheduled for service the very next day. In case of vandalism, or other emergency, we will do our best to get you serviced same day. Call us now to check our availability.

Can I choose any glass shop I want?

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 decide to go where your insurance company wants you to go, make sure you ask about glass quality, urethane and primer sealants, safe drive-away times, and written warranties.

Will I have to pay for my new windshield, or repaired glass, myself?

Most of our customers have full glass coverage with their automobile insurance policy. Making the cost of the entire repair or replacement FREE to you. Clear Cut Glass is recognized by all major carriers as an approved provider of windshield repair and replacement services. We work directly with the insurance companies every day, and we’re happy to work with yours. We’ll contact them with you on the line, verify you have specific coverage before any work is done, handle all the paperwork, collect any deductibles, then complete the work with no need for you to worry or delay. We will even bill the insurance carrier directly so there are no out-of-pocket expenses for you.


Will my insurance company pay for OEM glass?

Each insurance company has their own restrictions on the use of dealer parts. Normally, the insurance companies will not authorize dealer glass and products – unless dealer is the only available option. If your insurance provider will not authorize payment for dealer parts, we can use the parts you wish, and just charge you the difference. Either way, we will do whatever we can to ensure your satisfaction.

What if I do not have full glass coverage on my policy?

If you don’t have full glass coverage on your insurance policy, no problem. Clear Cut offers multiple payment options including cash, checks, VISA, and MasterCard. Call us today for a cash quote!

Do I need to contact my agent before I contact Clear Cut?

No, we’re experts at helping verifying coverage, filing the claim, and handling all the paperwork. Just call our office and let us help with the process.

Will filing a glass claim on my insurance cause my rates to go up?

In most cases, insurance companies do not count auto glass damage as a claim on your policy that would raise your insurance rates. Unlike accidents, windshield replacements are no-fault comprehensive claims and cannot cause rates to increase. To be certain, please refer to your policy, or contact your agent and/or insurance provider to confirm your specific coverage.

How can I schedule an appointment?

We’re happy to complete the repair or replacement of your auto glass anywhere that’s convenient to you and your schedule. We provide service all over the greater Phoenix area, Tucson, and even in many cities throughout Northern Arizona. Check our service area to find out more, or simply give us a call.


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, Laminated, 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.

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 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.

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, which distributes compression stress on the glass surfaces while 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.

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.

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.

Are all dual pane / insulated windows Argon gas filled?

No. Most dual pane windows are filled with air or nitrogen. This provides what’s 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.

What is Low-E and what does it to 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 primarily to reduce 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.

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.

I have a piece of tempered glass that I want cut down. Can you do that?

No, unfortunately we can’t. 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.

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. Also remember that clear buttons should be used to raise the glass off of the surface of the table to allow for airflow.

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 its 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.

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 from 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 customer’s glass.

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.

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 it up to code. All licensed contractors must abide by this code or face stiff penalties and possible loss of their license.