Are These Utah Quirks Ruining Your Windows?

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Are These Utah Quirks Ruining Your Windows?

No one can deny that Salt Lake Valley is a gorgeous place to live. With sweeping mountain views, four beautiful seasons, and a low cost of living, it’s no wonder Utah is one of the fastest-growing states and has one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation.

However, like any state, Utah has its quirks, and from the freeway speed limits to the thin mountain air, they can all take a toll on your car’s and home’s windows.

Below, we’ll list a few of these quirks and what you can do to address them so your windows stay clean and intact for years—and so you can keep loving your elevated Utah life.

Constant Freeway Construction

It’s no secret that Utah’s sections of I-80 and I-15 are constantly under construction, and sometimes it seems as though the entire Belt Route is always changing. The constant construction of Utah’s freeways pays off in the long run—for example, through lane expansion—but in the meantime, the construction causes countless delays, accidents, and car damage.

While you can’t control the freeway construction, you can control your own driving, which in turn affects how much (or how little) damage your windows and car incur. When maneuvering your way through construction zones on the interstate, drive the appropriate speed limit and increase your following distance for safety.

Admittedly, following the construction-zone speed limit can be hard, especially because almost none of your fellow drivers will follow this guideline. But construction-zone speed limits are lowered for a reason: along with protecting construction workers, they also keep your car from kicking up construction debris at higher speeds. Stay in the slow lane and reduce your speed as recommended. You’ll save much more than the doubled speeding ticket fine.

Truck debris in particular presents constant problems for your windshield in Utah, where trucks don’t have their own route like in many other Western states. But in construction zones, not only are there more trucks than usual, but the road itself also often has more creases, crevices, and bumps for trucks to rattle over, meaning that more debris can jolt from the tops of dump trucks.

Make sure you stay several car lengths behind trucks at all times, particularly in freeway construction zones. Otherwise, you may end up with a pockmarked windshield at the start of the summertime construction season with months more to go.

Constantly Fluctuating Temperatures

No one can deny that Salt Lake Valley is a gorgeous place to live. With sweeping mountain views, four beautiful seasons, and a low cost of living, it’s no wonder Utah is one of the fastest-growing states and has one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation.

However, like any state, Utah has its quirks, and from the freeway speed limits to the thin mountain air, they can all take a toll on your car’s and home’s windows.

Below, we’ll list a few of these quirks and what you can do to address them so your windows stay clean and intact for years—and so you can keep loving your elevated Utah life.

Constant Freeway Construction

It’s no secret that Utah’s sections of I-80 and I-15 are constantly under construction, and sometimes it seems as though the entire Belt Route is always changing. The constant construction of Utah’s freeways pays off in the long run—for example, through lane expansion—but in the meantime, the construction causes countless delays, accidents, and car damage.

While you can’t control the freeway construction, you can control your own driving, which in turn affects how much (or how little) damage your windows and car incur. When maneuvering your way through construction zones on the interstate, drive the appropriate speed limit and increase your following distance for safety.

Admittedly, following the construction-zone speed limit can be hard, especially because almost none of your fellow drivers will follow this guideline. But construction-zone speed limits are lowered for a reason: along with protecting construction workers, they also keep your car from kicking up construction debris at higher speeds. Stay in the slow lane and reduce your speed as recommended. You’ll save much more than the doubled speeding ticket fine.

Truck debris in particular presents constant problems for your windshield in Utah, where trucks don’t have their own route like in many other Western states. But in construction zones, not only are there more trucks than usual, but the road itself also often has more creases, crevices, and bumps for trucks to rattle over, meaning that more debris can jolt from the tops of dump trucks.

Make sure you stay several car lengths behind trucks at all times, particularly in freeway construction zones. Otherwise, you may end up with a pockmarked windshield at the start of the summertime construction season with months more to go.

Constantly Fluctuating Temperatures

Like many other high-altitude states, Utah experiences constantly fluctuating temperatures, sometimes within the same week or even the same day. For instance, in May 2017, temperatures went from the high 80s to the low 40s and high 30s within a day or two—and as true Utah natives know, this type of weather fluctuation is well within the norm for nearly any season.

As you’ve learned in our previous blogs, extreme temperatures take a toll on both your automotive and residential windows, especially if a crack in the window or its seam lets water seep in, where it freezes and can crack the window more.

The first step in solving this problem is to invest in higher-quality windows, if you haven’t already. The thicker and more resilient your windows are, the less susceptible they’ll be to cracking and warping from extreme heat and extreme cold. 

You can protect your car’s windows by storing your car in a garage overnight instead of leaving it on the street. If you do leave your vehicle on the road on a spring night when you know the temperature is going to drop sharply, consider covering the car overnight to keep the windows a little warmer. 

Microbursts

Because of its altitude and mountain-desert climate, Utah is prone to huge windstorms that seem to arise out of the blue. Windstorms can happen any time of the year, though they’re more common in spring, summer, and fall, but they present a major danger for your windows both at home and on the road.

If you’re driving when a microburst occurs, you’re subject to dust flung at your car by high-speed winds. And, if you’re in a construction zone, your windshields are at even more danger from debris than usual.

Your residential windows are most endangered by fallen tree branches, especially if you live in a tree-heavy area like the Avenues, Sugarhouse, or Cottonwood Heights. Of course, ripped-off branches can harm much more than your windows—they might land on a fence, on the roof, or near a pedestrian.

You can’t necessarily predict a microburst, so during wind-heavy seasons, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Start by trimming your trees and any shrubs near your windows. You shouldn’t have any branches overhanging your house. Take care of dead or dying trees and branches as soon as possible—they’re more likely to blow down in a microburst and damage your house.

If you’re driving when a microburst occurs, take the same steps you would in a construction zone: increase your following distance so you’re less likely to get hit by debris from other cars. If the wind starts to rise when you’re on a road trip—especially if you’re trekking across one of the flatter stretches of I-80 toward Nevada—check UTA updates for warnings about windstorms.

Of course, sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, Utah’s quirks damage your windows anyway. When that happens, call on Central Glass Utah. We serve clients across the Salt Lake Valley, and we’re here any time you need a quick fix or replacement. No matter what you need from us, we look forward to helping you live a good life here in the Beehive State.

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