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Everything You Need To Know  Coatings vs. Treatments

This guide will explain the distinctions between a windshield treatment and a windshield coating, the pros and cons of each, maintenance tips to maximize their performance and durability, and what sets Guardian apart from other options.

Modern cars are equipped with a variety of safety features designed to prevent accidents. However, one critical component that is often overlooked until issues arise is the windshield. Ensuring a clear view of the road ahead and maintaining a damage-free windshield is essential for driver and passenger safety.

Common road hazards such as night-time glare, bird droppings, heavy rain, bugs, rock chips, cracks, and hard water spots can obstruct visibility through the windshield, increasing the risk of accidents. To address these challenges effectively, consider applying a hydrophobic windshield coating or windshield treatment for optimal protection.

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WINDSHIELD COATING VS. WINDSHIELD TREATMENT

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Before delving into the differences between these two products, it's important to understand a bit about the windshield itself. Many drivers aren't aware that despite its appearance, their windshield isn't perfectly smooth. Under a microscope, it resembles a series of peaks and valleys, much like a mountain range.

These peaks and valleys are the reason why it's challenging to remove snow, ice, frost, bugs, bird droppings, and other contaminants that adhere to your windshield. These imperfections also amplify glare because light reflects through these irregular surfaces at different angles.

Over time, contaminants can accumulate in these microscopic voids, preventing water from beading and efficiently sliding off the glass. Instead, water tends to pool and spread flat on the surface.

Hydrophobic glass treatments and glass coatings are designed to address these flaws in your car's windshield.

Bare Windshield

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Topical Windshield Coating

A Windshield Coating is a chemical applied topically to the glass surface, designed to be hydrophobic (promoting water shedding) and facilitate easier removal of bugs and other surface contaminants. There are two primary types of Windshield Coatings: silicones and ceramics.

Silicone Coatings:

Silicone windshield coatings like RainX provide quick and easy water repellency to glass surfaces. However, they do not address the irregularities of the windshield and wear off quickly, typically within days or weeks. These coatings are affordable, DIY-friendly, and offer immediate benefits.

Ceramic Coatings:

Ceramic coatings are solvent-based resins applied topically to glass surfaces for durability, lasting over a year depending on conditions. They do not address glass irregularities and require careful application due to a curing period of up to 24 hours. Originally designed for metal and paint protection, they can cause visual distortion if not applied correctly on glass.

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Windshield Treatment

A glass treatment reacts with the silica in glass to form a covalent (permanent) bond, integrating into the windshield. This chemical reaction fills microscopic voids, smoothing out the glass's surface irregularities, as shown in the accompanying illustration.

The smoother surface enhances water repellency, facilitates easier removal of snow, ice, bugs, bird droppings, and other contaminants, significantly reduces nighttime glare, improves optical clarity, and boosts resistance against chips and cracks.

While a glass treatment provides water repellency, it is not hydrophobic like a glass coating, so water beads rather than sheets and runs off. Applying a windshield treatment requires optimal conditions, thorough glass decontamination, precise preparation, and application techniques for effective results.

The Guardian Difference

Windshield Treatment + Coating

Windshield Treatment + Coating

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Our Glass Treatment has been specially formulated to bond a glass treatment and coating together, creating the strongest treatment available. After applying the Glass Treatment base coat, we then apply the Glass Coating directly on top. This fusion results in an ultra-hydrophobic surface that effectively protects and seals the glass. The final step in the process is the application of a spray-on activator layer that binds all three layers together.

Benefits 

  • One-time, professional application

  • Replacement reimbursement

  • Completely clear

  • Does not chip

  • Does not crack

  • Does not change color

  • Does not peel

  • Lifetime guarantee

  • ​Scratch-resistant

  • Chip resistant

  • Sheds water

  • Protects against oil/grease build-up

  • Reduces glare

  • Reduces the need for wipers

  • Prevents hard water stains

  • Makes driving in the rain and snow much safer

  • Makes glass much easier to keep clean

  • Enhances reflections

  • Free glass polishing

  • Hard water stain removal

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Guardian's glass treatment can significantly reduce the likelihood of windshield damage by strengthening the glass and making it more resistant to impacts. When the specialized treatment is applied, it forms a protective layer that enhances the glass's surface tension, effectively distributing the force of debris impacts across a wider area. This distribution prevents debris from penetrating the glass deeply, keeping it well below the critical breaking point of 21% of the glass thickness. As a result, the windshield is less likely to crack or chip, maintaining its integrity and providing better protection for the vehicle's occupants.

To the naked eye, a windshield's surface appears perfectly smooth and flawless. However, under a microscope, it reveals a complex landscape of ridges and valleys. These microscopic imperfections can significantly weaken the molecular integrity of the windshield, making it more vulnerable to damage from impacts. Additionally, these tiny flaws create a "halo" effect and glare when light from headlights and streetlights refracts off them, leading to reduced visibility and increased eye strain, particularly during nighttime driving.

Guardian's advanced chemical treatment addresses these issues by bonding with the silica content in the glass at a molecular level. This treatment fills in the microscopic imperfections, creating a smoother and more uniform surface. The result is a windshield that is stronger, more resistant to chips and cracks, and significantly more durable against everyday wear and tear.

Furthermore, the treatment imparts a slick quality to the glass, making it highly hydrophobic. This means that water beads up and rolls off the surface more easily, enhancing visibility during rainy conditions and reducing the need for wipers. By minimizing imperfections in the glass, the treatment also effectively reduces nighttime glare, making driving safer and more comfortable.

Overall, Guardian's chemical treatment transforms the windshield, enhancing its structural integrity, improving driver visibility, and providing a more pleasant and secure driving experience.

The Process

Step 2 - Protective Layer

The first layer is the protective layer, applied by hand and buffed into the glass. This layer is designed to redirect the force of an impact, spreading it over a larger area. This helps prevent rocks and small debris from reaching the critical depth of 21%, which is the breaking point of the glass.

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Step 1 - Glass Prep

Machine polishing and decontamination open the pores and ensure the treatment bonds directly to the glass surface. This process removes all oil, grease, and dirt, making the glass as clean as possible.

Spray then entire lens with Headlight Magic Lens Restoration spray. Scrub with the brown s
Spray then entire lens with Headlight Magic Lens Restoration spray. Scrub with the brown s

Step 3 - Hydrophobic Layer

The second layer is the hydrophobic layer, which bonds to the first layer and provides the glass with a slicker surface. By reducing surface friction, this layer allows rocks and small debris to slide off the glass more easily. This not only helps in maintaining the clarity and cleanliness of the windshield but also further prevents potential damage from small impacts by ensuring debris doesn't linger or cause additional wear.

Step 4 - Activation 

The third layer is sprayed on and buffed into the glass. This final layer binds all three layers together and instantly activates their bond. Once buffed into the glass, all three layers cure instantly, allowing the vehicle to be driven immediately.

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