In the old days, if you damaged your windshield it was necessary to immediately replace it. But changes in the way windshield glass is manufactured have made it possible to sometimes repair chips or cracks instead. You have to determine whether the damage you have can be repaired, or whether it's best to simply replace the windshield. The following tips will help you do this.
When It Can Be Repaired
Repairing a damaged windshield usually requires injecting a liquid into the damaged area. This liquid will fill the chips or cracks and harden, making the damage disappear (while at the same time restoring your windshield to its original strength). Here are a few additional facts about the windshield repair process:
Depending on the repair shop you go to, some will only be able to repair chips smaller than a quarter and cracks that are less than 3 inches long. However, there are some shops that have equipment and training that allows them to fix cracks up to 1 foot long.
If the damage that has to be repaired is going to be directly in front of the driver, many shops will refuse to repair this. The reason for this is that the technique used to repair the windshield could create distortions in the glass. Even a small distortion in your windshield would be dangerous for you and your passengers, as well as any pedestrians or other cars.
It's essential (if you're going to repair the windshield) to have the repair done as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the damage can quickly spread beyond the point where it can be repaired. Some auto glass repair shops provide emergency repair services where they come to you.
Insurance companies generally are quite enthusiastic about attempting repairs, since these repairs are going to cost them much less than replacing your entire windshield.
When It Should Be Replaced
Replacing your windshield entirely is an extensive procedure, requiring that the entire windshield be removed, along with the molding around it. This is why it's generally best to do a full replacement only in those instances where the damage cannot be safely repaired. Below are a few facts about replacing a windshield:
If you have been involved in a major car accident, or your windshield was struck by a very large object, it should be completely replaced even if the damage doesn't appear to be that great. The reason for this is that the windshield and the frame that supports it could have been significantly weakened, making it more likely to crack at some time in the future.
In many states, you are violating the law when you drive with a cracked windshield. You may be fined if you don't take immediate action to replace the windshield.
Since windshield replacement is a safety issue, most insurance companies are going to be willing to cover the cost of replacement (even if you do have to pay a deductible).
For more information, contact a local windshield repair and replacement company, like Around The Clock Glass Service.