Learn to recognize windshield repairs you can do to save the cost of unnecessary replacement. Here's what you need to know.
Your car's windshield isn't just a window you look through. It is also part of the structural support of your vehicle and is one of the safety features of your car. While your windshield may look like a solid sheet of glass, it is actually made up of three layers: two layers of glass bonded to an intermediate layer of automotive safety glass that prevents the windshield from shattering during an impact. Safety glass holds the layers of glass together so the windshield can crack, but not disintegrate into sharp shards of glass in an accident.
The most common damage to a windshield is caused by small debris in the road or by a stone thrown by the wheels of the vehicle in front of you. The problem with these little chips and cracks is that they can expand and:
If a windshield can be repaired, it is best to do it as soon as possible after the incident.
As a general rule, the more limited the shine, the easier it is to repair. The rule of thumb is that a chip or crack that can be covered with a 25-cent coin can be repairable. It may also be possible to repair an individual crack covered by a five-dollar bill. Long cracks and multiple cracks usually cannot be repaired. Here are a few points to consider.
Small circular damage, even if it has cracked or a piece of glass is missing, can easily be repaired. Repair shops need to force the clear resin into the damaged area and allow it to harden.
Damage that penetrates the inner layer of safety glass or a second layer of glass is usually irreparable.
Even the smallest chips caused by a stone or a piece of gravel can be repaired easily if they are treated quickly. If you allow too much time to elapse, they will collect debris that will need to be painstakingly cleaned up in the repair shop. This work tends to darken or color the resin, creating an unsightly mark on your windshield.
Damage in the space above the radio antenna or heating elements generally cannot be repaired. A crack that enters the edges of the windshield compromises the seal between the windshield and the frame; in this case, a repair of the windshield cannot be considered.
Stop thinking about it and do it! The longer you wait, the more difficult the repair will be. And remember, your car insurance can cover a full windshield repair, but only part of the cost of replacing it.
A windshield repair only takes about 40 minutes. Don't have time to go to a car window repair shop? Look around you. There are many companies that offer a mobile glass repair service that can move around.