Water leaks, rain, sunroofs, and mold: a bad combination

Water leaks cause mold and mildew, contact us for a free quote for repair.

With all the recent rain we have had in Richmond VA, it has brought some unwanted guests– water leaks and mold/mildew. At first, it is easy to blame water leaks on your windshields. But, are you aware that sunroofs could be the sneaky culprit?

RVA Glass received several calls for leaking windshields. Most of the time, the windshield is not to blame, unfortunately. Water leaks like this one are from the sunroof’s drain holes being clogged. Thus it is important to do some diagnostics before you assume your windshield needs replacing. Otherwise, you could have a new windshield and the same leak.

Here’s what you can do if you discover your vehicle has water inside:
  1. The first thing to do is get the water out. Use a shop vacuum to suck out the majority of the water.
  2. Placing a dehumidifier in the vehicle and running it will help remove water and prevent mold. If you do not have a dehumidifier, be sure to run the air conditioning in your vehicle for a couple of hours to help pull out the moisture.
  3. Be careful using bleach to kill mold as it will bleach stain fabrics and carpet. 
  4. Call your local auto glass technician to find and fix the source of a water leak.

    If you have water leaks in your vehicle, contact RVA Glass LLC for your windshield, rear/side glass, and sunroof repair or replacement. We offer a FREE quote and mobile service for all your auto glass repair needs.

    You can message us at 804-519-4218 or Contact Us


Water leaks cause mold and mildew, contact us for a free quote for repair.


Rear glass leak fix, an infamous problem for Ford trucks.

One of my regular customers, (let’s call him Tim), called about a problem with his vehicle fleet’s recent addition. It is a newly purchased, pre-owned 2008 Ford F-250 Super-duty crew cab truck. He said that he hasn’t owned the truck long when he realized that he had a rear glass leak. A few days ago, he was driving in a rainstorm when his passengers noticed his back glass was wet with streaming water. Tim’s truck has a powered, 3 panel, encapsulated rear glass with solar privacy glass.  The center glass slides open when the button is pushed in the drivers’ area.  The other back glass option for this truck would be a 1 piece of glass that does not open or slide.

I told Tim that the powered rear back glass assemblies have drain ports/drain holes built in the bottom of them. They are designed to take water from rain that runs into the bottom of the window channel. This allows water to drain out the bottom. Over time, these drain ports can collect dirt, pollen, and other small debris causing clogged drain holes.  As a result, water pools up inside the channel until it leaks down the bottom of the glass. Down into the carpeted rear area of the cab. After I questioned Tim where the water seemed to be coming from, the drain ports didn’t seem like the problem.

Rear glass leak: An Odd problem of Ford truck

I speculated that the alternative cause of the water leak is a failed seal of the rear glass. This seal, which is made up of a strand of butyl tape, surrounds the face of the glass assembly. It mates to the metal pinch weld of the glass opening. 

Additionally, the glass assembly also has threaded studs that protrude through the metal pinch weld.  10mm nuts thread onto the protruding threaded studs that are now sticking through the pinch weld holes, about 15 in total. Once the 10mm nuts are secured on the inside of the cab it creates a waterproof barrier by pulling the glass assembly inward towards the cab. As the 10mm nuts are tightened, the butyl tape sandwiched in the middle between the glass assembly and metal pinch weld acts as a waterproof barrier. It keeps water out of the interior of the vehicle.

Butyl tape is very sticky, tacky, and messy. It does not break down like rubber or foam gasket seals. So, I was hesitant to pursue this as a possible cause for a water leak.

I told Tim that I would be over later that afternoon. I am all set to diagnose and repair the water leak on his truck. When I pulled into Tim’s driveway, his truck’s rear window was facing towards me. I am already scanning the back cab of the truck for potential problems. The first thing I noticed in the immediate vicinity of the rear glass was an aftermarket third brake light above the rear glass of the truck. This was of interest to me because this was my potential water leak problem staring me down!

The culprit

Ford trucks manufactured between 1997 to 2014 are notorious for leaking water around the third brake light lens just above the rearview window. The problem is usually not with the plastic brake light assembly. Rather, it is the foam gasket seal. The third brake lights leak around the hole in the cab, where the brake light mates to the back of the truck cab. It has a foam gasket seal that sits between the brake light fixture and the back of the truck cab. The foam gasket seal can deteriorate or pull away. This results in water leaking into the cab through the hole from the third brake light. 20180905_124235

In Tim’s case, the foam gasket seal was present but it was old, smashed down, and no longer doing its job of keeping water out. When it rains, the water runs down the back of the roof of the truck. Then down to the third brake light and into the cab. The water would travel further the rear back glass on the inside of the glass, down to the floor and carpet. Tim told me that this problem has been going on for a while because the bottom of his rear floorboard was rusty beneath the carpet. Below is the picture of the old foam gasket seal.  20180905_124243

The Much Awaited Fix

Confident that I had found the source of the rear glass leak, I showed Tim the third brake light assembly and the old foam gasket seal attached to it.  I told him I would make a new foam gasket seal and re-install the third brake light.  I replaced the seal and water. Then, tested the third brake light with a water hose.  Tim watched the inside of the back glass from the rear seat as I sprayed down the third brake light assembly and back glass for 2 to 3 minutes.  Alas! The rear glass leak was no longer present.  I am glad because I would not have to remove the glass and replace the messy, black butyl tape! Tim was also happy because his repair bill was considerably less than removing and re-installing the entire back glass assembly.

A proper fix for rear glass leak brake light assembly

A quick google search for Ford third brake light leaking will reveal a variety of different fixes that other people have come up with. The most common fix that people seem to do is to permanently seal the third brake light assembly to the back of the cab with an adhesive such as glue or urethane. DO NOT DO THIS!  The next time your third brake light needs a bulb replacement you will have a mess to deal with. The adhesive will either pull the paint off the back of the truck cab when you pull the brake light assembly, crack the brake light assembly, or have to be removed by cutting. The latter will most likely result in scratched paint.

I used a piece of 7/32 foam gasket seal that attaches with a piece of built-in adhesive tape. This is the same type of material attached to the edges of windshields to keep dirt and water out of the pinch weld. You can purchase this type of gasket seal online and some automotive stores. If you cannot find the same material that I used, you can purchase a 3M double-sided foam adhesive tape at your local parts store.

Demonstration of a rear glass leak fix. Repairing the seal.

Tools/items needed: 3M double-sided tape, razor blade/cutting tool, rubbing alcohol & hand towel, a water source for water leak testing.

  1.  Remove the old foam gasket from the third brake light assembly
  2. Wipe down the brake light assembly with rubbing alcohol where the old gasket was removed.
  3. Evenly apply the double-sided 3M tape around the entire edge of the third brake light.
  4. Carefully trim any excess double-sided foam tape with a razor knife.
  5. Re-install the third brake light assembly and tighten 2 Phillips screws.

How to do a simple water leak test

This is a very simple way to check for leaks yourself.  You will need a spray bottle filled with soapy water and compressed air.  This technique will work for checking water leaks around any solid-mounted glass on your vehicle.  The compressed air can be in the form of a compressed can of air if an air compressor and nozzle are not available.

  1.  Spray the soapy water around the entire outside area of the glass to be checked.
  2.  From the inside of the vehicle, one person blows the compressed air slowly around the entire outer edge of the glass while the second person watches the glass from the outside of the vehicle watching for soap bubbles to appear.  Where the soap bubbles appear on the outside is where the leak is located.  The compressed air passes around the glass forming the soapy bubble.

To schedule a windshield replacement or for more useful information check us out at RVA Glass Repair. You can also call or text us at 804-519-4218 or fill out a brief contact form and we’ll get back to you soon.

As always RVA Glass offers FREE Mobile Service! That’s right, as always we come to you at no extra charge for every windshield repair and windshield replacement in the greater Richmond VA area including Short Pump VA, Glen Allen VA, North Chesterfield VA, Midlothian VA, Chester VA, Bon Air, VA, Forest Hill VA, Colonial Heights VA, and Chesterfield VA.

You may like to read about the costs of newer windshields, and how we handle service during a crisis. or when there is strong rain. 

RVA Glass services include but are not limited to:
  1. Free windshield replacement or repair quote.
  2. Windshield repair for minor damages. You can read about the different types here.  
  3. The windshield replacement for major damage types and breaks.
  4. All auto glass repair. Anywhere on your vehicle, you have damage, we can help fix it.
  5. Windshield rock chip repair usually resulting from small debris striking the windshield while driving.
  6. Window motor regulator replacement. If your windows stop working, normally it is the motor that is the issue. Contact us for a free quote.
  7. Rearview mirror repair or replacement. We can fix all internal glass structures on the interior of the vehicle as well.
  8. The back glass could leak or get broken. When inclement weather or age strikes, RVA Glass can be the solution you need for an affordable price.
  9. Often, when parked or driving, your side view mirrors could suffer impact. Or, due to age, they may become structurally compromised. Usually, this can be an expensive fix at most shops. Call us to see how we can repair your side-view mirrors. We are fully mobile so we can come to you!
  10. Leaking windshield or back glass usually is a problem with the seal or gaskets. Normally this can be a relatively simple fix so contact us now for a free estimate.
  11. Although we can work on almost any vehicle, we are very adept at working on Jeep Wranglers, Subaru Outbacks, Toyota Rav 4s, and Toyota Camrys.


Auto Glass Damage Types

There are many different types of auto glass damage that can occur to your vehicle.  These damages are a result of small debris that is kicked up by car tires, or debris that falls off the back of other vehicles while traveling at a high rate of speed. We’ll examine the different types of damages and see what is the best course of action: repair or replacement. 

Most common auto glass damage types:

Chip – This type of damage is the most common. It is usually caused by a rock or other small debris colliding with the windshield while driving. Often, a small piece of the impacted area comes loose which creates the chip impact. Auto glass is designed to break into very small fragments so that when it breaks, the chances of it causing secondary damages (cuts mainly) are very low. Chipped windshields are traditionally easy to repair. However, if left unattended, chips can turn into cracks which may require replacement instead of repair.

Bull’s Eye – This type of damage is usually caused by a slightly larger object than that found in chip damages. Circular in shape and larger than a chip, often it can be repaired depending on the size. If too much glass has been compromised or the bull’s eye is too large, replacement may be necessary. 

Combination Break – This type of auto glass damage is defined by multiple features already discussed. Combination breaks can feature an assortment of chips, dings, or cracks. Depending on the size of the impact and how deep the damage is sustained in the glass, the repair is possible. Often these types of damages can lead to windshield replacement being necessary. 

Edge Crack – An edge crack starts within a few inches of the edge of your windshield or directly at the edge of the windshield. This damage’s onset is typically instantaneous and often requires windshield replacement to rectify. 

Auto glass damage required a replacement. RVA Glass was able to meet the client's needs in record time.
When a car’s windshield suffered a combination break, the type of damage it sustained required a windshield replacement. RVA Glass LLC met the client at their work for a quick and easy replacement. 


Contact us for a free consultation!

You can call RVA Glass LLC. at (804) 519-4218 then use our contact form to set up an appointment or get a free quote today! Whether you need a windshield replacement or repair, RVA Glass has all your mobile auto glass needs covered.

For more information about this topic, please consult the Auto Glass Safety Council Standard. They deal with all matter of specifications for auto glass repair and replacement standards.

Affordable windshield repair & replacement

When your windshield gets a chip or a crack in it, your first thought is probably: “why me and why now?” Fear not! At RVA Glass LLC, we are able to provide affordable windshield repair & replacement quickly and safely so that you can get back to your normal routine quicker. We will come repair or replace your windshield at your office, home, or anywhere else you will need. Expect an immediate and convenient service.

Many of our competitors will charge an arm and a leg for the same service. Being a small business, we will be able to tailor your service to fit exactly your needs. We will not be rushing off to meet corporate-imposed quotas. Providing service for you, at your convenience, is our mission. We aim to deliver that to you every day of the week, rain or shine.

We work diligently to get you the best price possible and we can provide free expertise to help you understand your options.

Our technicians are prompt and professional, and will always be fair and honest. Rest assured, when you choose RVA Glass, you will be ecstatic with the outcome. That is, cheap windshield repair & replacement, wherever you might be.

Cheap windshield repair & replacement would solve this problem easily.

If you need a quick, professional, and affordable windshield repair & replacement, drop us a line for a free consultation. Let us help you get mobile again.

To reach us for a free quote, call us at (804) 519-4218. You can reach us on Facebook or you can send us an e-mail at our contact page.

Rock Chip Repair and How It Works.

Rock chip repair for windshields works a bit like magic.   The windshield chip repair process is the same even for different equipment.
First, the machine draws a vacuum on the crack by removing all the air. Once a vacuum is pulled, the resin is then gravity fed into the crack. The windshield is then pressurized to force the resin out into the ends of the crack. This process seals off the crack, preventing the crack from spreading. The repair will still be noticeable, but the point is to save the windshield. If the damage to your glass is directly in front of your field of vision then you should consider a windshield replacement.
Generally, if the crack is too large, a windshield replacement may be necessary. An easy way to tell is if the crack or chip spans more than the width of a regular quarter.
Seemingly small chips can also turn into more serious trouble in the future. These small chips may eventually turn into a huge crack in an instant. RVA glass wants to ensure your safety and save you from preventable expenses.
Send us a picture of your damaged windshield and we will advise you on whether a repair or replacement is best for you. Here is our compiled list of the most common auto glass damages and a streamlined process of our services for your auto glass replacement needs.
Text or call us at 804-519-4218. You can also find us on Facebook or contact us via web form.

The windshield chip repair process at work.
The windshield chip repair process at work.