If your car is parked near an area where construction is happening and a concrete block goes through the windshield there is no argument; it will have to be replaced. However, what approach should you take if a small stone or piece of debris should fly up, hit your windshield resulting in a small chip or crack? In this case, if you attend to the problem quick enough you should be able to have the damaged auto glass repaired.
The windshield on your car is actually an integral structural component of the car. The windshield plays a pivotal role should you be in an accident, and of course it provides protection when traveling.
A windshield is made from two pieces of glass which are sandwiched together with an inner vinyl layer, the result is a piece of automotive safety glass that will not shatter, it will hold together in the event it is broken. This is the reason windshields do not shatter when they are impacted, they simply crack.
Repair the damage or replace the auto glass?
In general, the majority of chips and hairline cracks can be repaired. Whether a repair can be made depends a great deal on the location of the damage, the size and depth of the chip and the type of damage.
An auto glass technician will evaluate the damage and make recommendations; every case is different and must be assessed individually.
- Size and depth: Any chip smaller than the diameter of a quarter or any crack less than three inches long can usually be repaired.
- Type: The type of damage is not predictable and some damage can be repaired easier than others. To make things understandable, if the chip can be covered by a quarter and a crack is no longer than a dollar bill chances are good that a repair can be made.
- Location: This is quite critical. There is always a chance that the area repaired will be a little discolored or appear “misty.” If this happens in the direct line of sight of the driver it may reduce visibility. If it does reduce the driver’s ability to properly see in front of him then replacing the windshield is probably the better choice. If the crack or chip is close to the edge of the windshield the same is true; replacement is better than repair.
There is a right way and a wrong way to deal with damaged auto glass. As it is a decision that is genuinely important for the safety of the occupants; rely on the skills and experience of your local auto glass technician to guide you into making the right choice.