Seasonal Concerns For Your Auto Glass

There are year-round conditions that definitely impact the way in which we should drive on roads and highways. It was common for windshields to only provide basic protection against wind and rain in the past, but a slew of modern developments have made it possible for us to defrost windshields, repel rain and enjoy other forms of convenience so that we may continue to drive in the worst of weather. It’s important to also note that windshields provide plenty of strength to the vehicle in the event a roll-over or major accident occurs. Because of this, your windshield and auto glass are important features for safety and convenience while on the road.

Windshields are designed to withstand a lot of elements, but there are plenty of examples in which a windshield’s effectiveness can be compromised – debris being one notable example, requiring a windshield replacement. Quite a large number of drivers do not understand the risks that hot and cold temperatures, along with humidity, can present, however. These elements can play large roles in how effective our auto glass will be under stress, especially if there is already existing damage to the structure. In the following article, we’ll discuss how these elements can affect your windshield and what can be expected in each circumstance.

Cold Weather
Cold weather is arguably the single-worst form of temperature or weather that can cause complications for drivers with damaged or weakened auto glass. Even if you’ve had a small chip or crack in the windshield for some time that has not worsened, cold weather may present the perfect storm scenario for that to change. The glass will morph, bending and flexing as the temperature drops. These processes will in effect cause the glass to fracture bit by bit, until all of a sudden a huge crack forms. You know how quickly this process can occur if you have ever been driving down the road, hit a pothole and suddenly see a huge crack in your windshield has formed. The colder season of winter is the number one seasonal cause of damage to auto glass.

Warm Weather
Just because cold weather is rough on glass doesn’t mean that warm weather does not do damage as well. Horizontal cracks are very common in auto glass damage that forms during winter months, but vertical damage is the more common scenario when dealing with warm weather damage. From the time the windshield or auto glass is formed, the key processes that lead to its reinforcement explain why these cracks form the way they do. Since glass will expand under heat, these cracks can be pushed out and cause surrounding glass to weaken, exacerbating the process. The use of climate control options within the car – air conditioning and defrost – can actually speed this up by putting more stress and contrast on the windshield.

Ice, Snow, Hail
Cold weather in and of itself can be a bad thing for your auto glass, but frozen precipitation takes the threat to an all new level. Cold air temperatures will cause the glass to contract and can result in increased damage, but frozen precipitation has additional effects on damaged glass. As liquid enters the areas of damage, it will ultimately refreeze and can cause expansion of the glass in these areas. When this process occurs over and over again, it may compromise the windshield or auto glass to the point that a complete replacement is required. There is also the threat of hail – a form of frozen precipitation that can occur year-round – which causes damage due to its velocity and mass.

Windy Considerations
The first six months of the year tend to be windier, and this too can affect the auto glass in your vehicle. Existing damage to your auto glass can be impacted profoundly by the pressure of wind into the damaged areas as you drive. When you add to this the amount of dirt and dust that is in the air, moving about and making contact with your vehicle at high speeds, then the effect can intensify the erosion and encourage more rapid damage. This is a key reason why auto glass damage must be repaired when it is first noticed.

Whether your auto glass is already damaged or still in good shape, there are numerous seasonal factors that can cause damage to worsen or form in the first place. With damage already on the windshield or auto glass, we recommend parking in a garage or interior space to minimize temperature fluctuations when not driving. Waterproofing and de-icing methods for the glass are also good ideas to prevent any liquid from accumulating in these areas in the winter months. If you ignore or put off the necessary repair job for your auto glass in the here and now, then it is very likely that your negligence will lead to costlier requirements in the future.

How to stay safe in and around water

Tragic accidents happen all the time, and while it may be impossible to protect you or your family from ever having an accident, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. In the summer when you’re out doing water-related activities, keep these safety tips in mind to try to keep you and your loved ones from harm.

Swimming in a Pool

Swimming is one of those quintessential summer activities. When it’s hot and humid out, nothing feels quite as good as going to the pool and taking a dip. But if you have young children it can be dangerous, so it’s important to follow these tips to keep safe around the water:

  • Only swim in areas deemed safe that are supervised by lifeguards.
  • Don’t swim alone or allow anyone else to.
  • Take your children to swim lessons so they can learn how to swim.
  • Don’t leave children unsupervised around the water.
  • Don’t trust children to supervise other children around water.
  • Don’t drink alcohol when you swim.
  • If you own a pool, put a fence around it or a cover with an alarm.
  • Keep young children within arm’s reach.
  • Don’t keep toys in the pool for young children to be attracted to.
  • Get CPR certified in case of an emergency

Swimming in a Lake, River or Ocean

If you live near a lake or an ocean and frequent the beach to go swimming, you should also keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Know your limits – When you swim in open water it’s much harder than swimming in the still waters of a pool. This means you may tire faster and that can lead to trouble very quickly.
  • Understand the terrain – When swimming in rivers or lakes, the murky water can make it difficult to find people who go under. If you swim in a place with a strong current, such as where two rivers meet, it can be easy to be pulled under and swept away. Understand where you’re swimming and take precautions.
  • Wear a life jacket – It’s important when you’re out on the water to wear an appropriately fitting life jacket in case you get tossed unexpectedly into the water. This goes for children too.
  • Get prepared – Make sure you check the weather conditions on a day you will be out, and always make sure you have a cell phone handy as well as someone with you who can perform CPR if needed.
  • Share with your kids – Talk to your children about the dangers of being in open water and tell them what to do in case of an emergency!

Olympic protest runner finally rewarded

An Ethiopian runner who brought the world’s attention to a wave of protests in Ethiopia at the Rio Olympics has been rewarded by his government.

Feyisa Lilesa, who received $17,000 (£13,000), said his struggle had paid off given new freedoms in Ethiopia.

The athlete had held up his crossed wrists as if they were shackled as he took marathon silver in 2016 in protest at the treatment of demonstrators.

He had remained in exile for two years, saying his life might be in danger.

But sweeping reforms implemented by Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy, who came to office a year ago, encouraged Feyisa to return home last October.

Mass demonstrations by members of the Oromo community – Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group – had precipitated the resignation of his predecessor.

‘Hero’ digs road by hand for villagers

If you want something done, sometimes you have to do it yourself.

A man in Kenya has told the BBC he decided to dig a road by hand through thick bush to nearby shops to spare the suffering of his fellow villagers.

Using a hoe, spade and axe, Nicholas Muchami has so far cleared an entire mile in six days – and has a short way to go to complete the road.

It is on land officially earmarked for it, but attempts to get local leaders to build it have failed, he says.

He has been praised as a local hero for his efforts for Kaganda village.

Residents of the village in Muranga County, which is 80km north of the capital, Nairobi, had been using a longer 4km route to get to the shopping center.

The BBC’s Peter Mwai in Kenya says villagers had been upset because a shortcut to the shops, via a footpath passing through private land, had recently been fenced off .

This prompted Mr Muchami to take action.

“I have a lot of energy in me. I decided to volunteer,” he told the BBC.

He said he had worked from 07:00 to 17:00 local time last Monday to Saturday as he wanted to complete the road before the onset of the rains.

People were incredulous that Mr Muchami, who usually earns his living doing odd jobs during the day and as a guard at night, had volunteered for the job.

“When I was working on the road, people would ask me, ‘Are you being paid’?” he said.

Even though half a kilometer of the road still needs to be finished, locals, including pupils attending the nearby primary and secondary schools, have been using the section he has cleared.

“Now it has made people happy, and I am happy too. My work has helped people of all kinds,” the 45-year-old said.

He plans to continue digging the remaining part, even though other villagers have refused to help him because no-one is willing to work without pay, he said.

His story was first highlighted on Facebook by Kinyungu Micheke, who praised Mr Muchami’s persistence after the dismissive response of the local government when he had asked them for help.

Does drinking milk make stronger bones?

If you drink milk to keep your bones strong, there’s good logic in it. Milk and dairy products are concentrated calcium sources, and we know calcium fortifies bones and prevents osteoporosis.

However, a recent study suggests that while some milk may be good, more is not better. In fact, too much milk may be bad for your health.

The study, conducted with over 60,000 women (age 39-74) and 45,000 men (age 45-79) found that too much milk – three or more glasses a day – was not only associated with mortality but also an increased risk of fracture and hip fracture. Researchers found this surprising association after following the men and women in this study for 22 and 13 years respectively. Over this time, study participants completed questionnaires about their milk-drinking habits.

After adjusting for a other variables, they found that women who reported drinking three or more glasses of milk each day nearly doubled their risk of death in relation to women who drank less than one glass each day. Men were not as affected as women, but those who drank three or more glasses of milk each day still showed a significant increase in mortality.

Interpreting the results

Does this mean you shouldn’t drink milk? Don’t go shunning the jug just yet.

There are details to consider in understanding these study results, experts say. While milk and dairy are among the most calcium-rich foods you can eat, there are other substances in milk that may warrant some moderation.

The authors note that D-galactose, found in milk, has been shown to induce oxidative stress damage and chronic inflammation in animals, and such changes have been associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer, bone loss, and muscle loss in humans. They also caution that their findings “merit independent replication before they can be used for dietary recommendations.”

Gail Cresci, PhD, RD, a Cleveland Clinic researcher and dietitian , did not participate in the study but she agrees with the authors’ assessment. She says while the study raises interesting questions, there is not strong enough evidence to warrant a restriction on milk.

The role of vitamin D

She says there are some unanswered questions about the study participants – and whether or not they were lacking in vitamin D.

“Questions about vitamin D stood out to me right away. Calcium is linked with bone health, but vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and maintains adequate blood levels of calcium and phosphate to allow for normal bone mineralization.” Without enough vitamin D bones can become thin and brittle and the formation of strong new bone can be prevented. Vitamin D protects older adults against osteoporosis.

Dr. Cresci says it’s unclear whether or not the milk in the study, conducted in Sweden, was fortified with vitamin D or if a lack of sunlight in that part of the world could have contributed to a vitamin D deficiency.

“Additionally, as the authors point out, they cannot determine if people were taking higher amounts of milk because they were at risk or had osteoporosis and therefore higher risk for fractures anyway,” she says. Her advice? Try to consume 1200 mg of calcium and 600-800 IU of vitamin D daily, especially in winter months. 

Dietary sources of calcium

While milk contains 300 mg of calcium/cup, there are many other good dietary sources including cheese, yogurt, greens (collards, kale), soy beans, figs, broccoli, oranges, sardines and salmon (with bones) and many fortified foods.

“If you want to drink milk for strong bones, I recommend no more than one glass a day. Do this in addition to a mixed diet rich in calcium. If you are unable to consume adequate amounts in your diet, consider supplementation, especially in the winter months,” Dr. Cresci says.