Windshield repair stops chips and cracks from spreading. It also improves the cosmetic appearance of damaged glass.
It is usually a better option than replacement. However, it’s important to recognize when a repair is not possible. For example, damage that impairs the view of automated sensors like lane departure warning systems typically requires a replacement. Visit https://www.windshieldsdirect.com/ to learn more.
A rock or other road debris can cause a windshield chip, and if it goes unattended, that small blemish has the potential to spread into a crack that may run across your field of vision. This type of damage is why it is a good idea to have any chips or cracks repaired immediately.
Windshield repair kits are available online and at most auto-parts stores. Most of these kits are inexpensive and come with a variety of tools that can be used to fix a glass chip. Some kits come with a syringe used to vacuum air out of the crack and force resin in, but most use a tool with suction cups placed over the end of the crack and tightened to hold it in place. Before you begin, make sure your windshield is clean and read the instructions carefully. Many of these kits recommend a certain amount of sunshine or a UV light for curing, and that’s a good thing to plan for if you decide to take the DIY route.
It’s important to get a windshield chip repaired as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading into a crack that will interfere with driving visibility and potentially compromise the structural integrity of the glass. Some states even make it illegal to drive with a cracked windshield. If you do not have access to a professional, some auto glass shops will apply transparent nail polish or super glue to a chip as a temporary patch until you can get a full, comprehensive repair.
Unfortunately, most shops don’t do repairs so well that it is difficult to tell if they even did a job at all. Additionally, if the damage extends beyond the edges of your windshield or into both layers of the glass, it is likely not feasible to repair it. If you have a crack that does extend into the driver’s line of sight, you will need to have your windshield replaced. You also can’t repair a combination break that includes both a chip and a crack.
If a foreign object hits your windshield and damages its outer layer, it creates what is called a pit or ding. These pits appear as small crater-like areas that do not affect the driver’s line of sight. It’s important to have these repaired quickly, especially before rain or dirt has a chance to get inside the break and cause it to spread.
Windshield repair is a permanent process that removes the air from the broken glass and fills it with a curable, optically matched resin. This not only prevents a crack from spreading, it also strengthens the glass and restores its structural integrity. When a crack starts to form, it’s crucial to put a piece of tape over it to keep it from spreading until you can schedule an appointment for a full windshield repair.
Another type of crack that needs to be addressed as soon as possible is a bull’s eye crack. These are circular, semi-circular surface-level chips that are created when a foreign object impacts your windshield and damages its outer layer.
Bull’s eye cracks often form in the center of your windshield and tend to expand outward from there. Depending on the size of the chip, the crack can affect your line of sight and make driving unsafe. The first company to produce a windshield repair system was Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M). They developed a machine that cleaned the damage, used ultrasonic vibrations to clean the area, and injected a resin into the break to repair it. Unfortunately, their equipment was very large (filling the bed of a pick-up truck) and very expensive to build and lease to customers.
Half-moon cracks are a type of combination break that includes both a rock chip and a bull’s eye crack. These types of breaks are not easy to tend to because they require expert craftsmanship.
If you have a long crack that extends from one edge of the windshield to the other, it is unlikely to be repaired. A crack of this length can significantly weaken the structure of your windshield, and it will need to be replaced.
Windshield cracks aren’t just unsightly; they can be dangerous. In addition to blocking out your view, they can allow debris to enter the crack and cause it to grow. This can also lead to moisture inside the glass, which can result in mold. This can further damage the windshield and can make it impossible to drive safely.
Different types of cracks can occur in the windshield, depending on where an object hits it and how big the impact was. For example, a ding is a small blemish that occurs when an object strikes the windshield and breaks away a tiny piece of glass. This type of crack can typically be repaired, but it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible to prevent the crack from spreading further.
Another common type of crack is a chip pit, which looks like a pothole on the windshield. A chip pit usually doesn’t affect the driver’s line of sight severely, and can be easily repaired using a windshield repair kit. However, it’s essential to check the condition of your windshield regularly and have it repaired as soon as a crack forms, as it can grow into a bulls-eye or partial bulls-eye crack.
A final type of crack that’s difficult to repair is a stress crack, which occurs when the windshield undergoes a sudden change in temperature or pressure. These cracks tend to develop along the edges of your windshield and are more likely to extend all the way across the surface of your vehicle’s door.
If you have a stress crack, you may need to get the entire windshield replaced. However, if you can catch it quickly and have it repaired, you can avoid more costly repairs.
Besides chips and cracks, your windshield can be damaged by scratches. Learn how to identify and fix these types of windshield damage. Lastly, don’t forget to read our article on car insurance resources to find tips and guides on how to save money.
Your vehicle’s windshield is one of its most important safety components. It shields you from the elements as you drive, helps maintain the integrity of the car’s structure in an accident, and ensures that front and side airbags deploy properly. However, it is also vulnerable to damage from impact or environmental factors such as temperature changes and road vibrations. If cracks or chips appear, you should take your vehicle in for repair immediately to avoid further deterioration and to prevent potentially dangerous conditions from developing.
If the crack is a ding or chip and does not extend past the edge of the windshield, you may be able to fix it yourself with a kit that you can purchase in most auto parts stores. Most kits contain a bridge and injector, windshield pit filler, razor blades and special resin that is forced into the crack to seal it from moisture, debris and other environmental elements. The kits may require that you bore a small hole in the top of the windshield at one end of the crack to apply pressure and force the resin in.
For larger cracks, or those in the driver’s line of sight, you should contact a professional for repairs. Even a small crack in this area of the windshield can impair your driving and reduce visibility while on the road. Professional technicians will assess the damage, determine the best repair approach, and ensure a safe and quality fix.
While you are waiting for your technician to arrive, you can protect the damaged area by covering it with a clear plastic tape. This will keep moisture from seeping into the crack and causing it to enlarge. You should also try to avoid sprinkling water or washing the windshield and park in a shaded area when possible to help the crack dry faster.
It’s also worth noting that while you can repair most types of damage to your windshield, there are some situations when replacement is the only option. For example, if your windshield is cracked by a flying bowling ball or other object that causes the glass to shatter into granular pieces, you’ll need to replace it.