Is Your Windshield Repairable?
When you own a car, damages to the car’s windshield are inevitable as quite often, debris and pebbles find a way to hit your car’s windshield forming cracks. These cracks on the windshield can be repaired, but you should correctly understand the situation and determine whether your windshield needs a repair or a full-scale replacement. All of the windshields that you see on cars today are made up of laminated safety glass. This is a type of special treated glass consisting of two curved glass sheets with a middle plastic layer laminated in between. This protective middle layer holds all the three layers of glass in place and ensures that in the event of a severe collision, the windshield only cracks and does not disintegrate into small pieces — thus reducing the chances of anyone getting hurt by the flying chunks of glass. These three layers are bonded into the window frame. Not many people know that many types of damages to the windshield can be repaired successfully as claimed by the US National Windshield Repair Association.
Here are the following factors which can help you to decide whether your car’s windshield is reparable or just needs a complete replacement:
Severity Of Damage
Minor damage to your car’s windshield can be repaired pretty successfully, but you have to do it as soon as the damage has occurred. Minor damages are nothing but small chips and cracks formed on the surface of the windshield. This is because sometimes small debris or pebbles are flung back from the front tires. You should not delay the repairing process as these small cracks:
- Have a propensity to weaken the entire windshield structure
- These cracks obstruct your view of the road while driving
- They also collect dirt and other types of debris which ultimately results in a lot of difficulty cleaning the area
Size of the Damage
Usually, if the area of damage is small or less, it can be easily repaired. The thumb rule is that any chip or crack can be easily repaired if it can be covered by a quarter. A single chip or crack can also be repaired easily if you can cover it with a dollar bill. If cracks exceed these lengths or sizes, they cannot be repaired. So overall, cracks up to 24 inches (61 cm) in length can be fixed.
Depth Of The Damage
Always remember that any damage that makes it’s way into the inner layer of the protective safety glass cannot be repaired.
Types of Damage
Linear cracks, circular bullseyes, dings, crack chips, pits and star-like breaks can be easily repaired without the need to replace the windshield as a whole — thus virtually eliminating the risk of bonding/leaking problems which sometimes occurs while replacing the windshield. Even windshields with small circular cracks or with little missing pieces of glass can be repaired with ease. In this case, the repair mechanic uses a vacuum injection pump to suck out air from the damaged portion of the windshield. Then, clear resin is injected to replace the air in the crack. This resin is then cured with UV light. After this, the damaged portion’s strength is restored together with 90–95% clarity.
Duration Of Damage
The faster you get the cracks on your windshield repaired, the less trouble the mechanic will have fixing it. If you delay the repair, these small chips or cracks have a nasty propensity to gather dirt which will make the task of cleaning — a rather painstaking one. The crack will also color the injected resin leaving an unsightly mark on your windshield.
Location Of Damage
Here are some damages (based on location) that cannot be repaired or are deemed very difficult to repair:
• Cracks over the radio antenna/heating elements
• Cracks extending into the edges of the windshield
• Cracks on the inside of the windshield
• Deep damage inflicted on both glass layers
• Cracks over the rain sensor
• Damages that come in the way of the driver’s viewing area
• Multiple complex cracks
• Long cracks — more than 24 inches (614 cm) in length
• Cracks that are contaminated
• Edge chips and cracks
Apart from the above factors, do remember that your car insurance might actually cover the cost of your windshield repair, but when it comes to a full replacement — only a part of the cost may be covered by insurance. The best part is that windshield repairs take only about 40 minutes. In case, you don’t have the time to visit your local auto glass repair shop, you can call the professionals over at your home. There are loads of companies involved in mobile glass repairs and they can fix your damaged windshield easily without you having to go anywhere.