It should be emphasized that the windshield is the number one safety restraint of your vehicle. It essentially serves as a layer of protection keeping you inside when things go wrong. Basically, the windshield is composed of two layers – the glass that bonds together by a layer of strong lamination or vinyl.
In the event that your windshield breaks, the laminate or vinyl that holds the glass together will protect you from shards that can harm you and everyone inside the car. With its critical function, windshield should be one of those parts that you should never think about compromising.
If in this case you are dealing with a damaged windshield, you should know when to repair and when to replace it. To help you, here are the things you need to know about damaged windshield:
What are damaged windshields?
You have to know that windshield damage comes in two forms – chips and cracks. A chip refers to damage that dents the point of impact by different types of debris. This point of impact can take the shape of a star break, bulls-eye, partial bulls-eye, crack chip, and pit.
Cracks, on the other hand, form a distinct line in the glass, which can range from below an inch or up to the windshield’s width. Cracks typically run horizontally and somewhat wavy. The good news is that even long cracks can be repairable.
When to repair the glass?
Repair only applies to windshields that are made of laminated glass. When it comes to repairing, there are three factors that you need to consider:
- Size: due to the advanced windshield repair technology these days, the ability to repair large cracks or chip varies but in general, cracks up to 3-inches long or chips smaller than a quarter can be repaired easily.
- Depth: this is closely related to the size of the windshield damage – it just determines how deep the damage penetrates into your windshield. If the damage is through the outer and inner layer, it is considered too deep to consider a windshield repair.
- Location: keep in mind that if the damage stretches to the outer edge of the windshield, there is a high chance that its structural integrity has been compromised.
When to replace your glass?
The general rule for windshield replacement includes the following:
- If the glass is tempered and not laminated.
- If the crack is longer than your one dollar bill.
- If the chip or crack is deep enough or it penetrated halfway through the windshield.
- If the chip or crack stretches outside the windshield’s edge.
Where to go for repair or replacement?
Remember that it is okay to drive around with a chip or crack in the windshield. No matter the size or the extent of damage, it can pose a safety risk. With this, you have to check with the professionals. These professionals will evaluate the damage and will make recommendations.
In the past, a damaged windshield will immediately mean replacement but thanks to modern technology, it is now possible to repair the windshield. If you see cracks or chips, it is prudent to visit an auto shop immediately so you do not compromise your safety.