Has your vehicle suffered damage to its windshield? Whether the problem is a small crack or chip or something much larger and more obvious, it is important to understand if your windshield can be repaired or if a total replacement is necessary. Many people balk at the idea of replacing their entire windshield, but once the glass has been compromised, a small problem can grow over time and become a major safety issue. Not only is it dangerous to drive a vehicle with your vision obscured, but the windshield often contributes to the structural strength of a car as well.
If you are concerned that your windshield may be in need of replacement, keep these general guidelines in mind to help estimate whether a repair or total replacement is in your immediate future.
Small Chips or Cracks
Small chips or cracks in the windshield can often be repaired, saving you a costly replacement. In general, any damage that is much smaller than a quarter is likely something that can be fixed. In some cases, damage up to the size of a dollar bill can be repaired.
Keep in mind, however, that fixing damage does not create an optically perfect surface. Instead, the purpose of a repair is to fill the damaged section of glass in order to prevent cracks from spreading over time. This means that even a very small chip directly in your line of sight can end up being a major problem. As a general rule of thumb, expect to replace your windshield for any damage that obstructs the driver's vision.
Large Amounts of Damage
A windshield that is heavily chipped and cracked can potentially fail, even if the damaged locations are repaired. If your windshield has suffered widespread damage, then a windshield replacement will almost certainly be required. This is true even when each individual crack or chip is very small or the damage is located in places where it does not obstruct the driver's view. The rule of thumb used by many professionals is that three or more cracks or chips make a windshield too unsafe to repair.
Always Act Quickly
Minor damage to your windshield can very quickly become a major problem. Small chips can begin to crack within days, especially during the winter. Any crack or chip, no matter how small it may seem, should be repaired as soon as possible. Mobile windshield repair services can make this process much easier by offering you a convenient way to have your windshield fixed or replaced on your schedule, no matter where you happen to be.