Stone shards are frustrating, no doubt. But even if your schedule is busy, you should make windshield repair a priority. The longer you wait, the more the crack is likely to spread. Dirt buildup in the crack can also make a successful repair more difficult.
If you let a stone chip turn into a real crack, it’s too late to fix it, but you still need to get your windshield replaced as soon as possible. Here’s why :
A cracked windshield makes accidents more dangerous. If you have a rollover accident, the roof is more likely to collapse if the windshield is cracked, increasing the risk of serious injury or death.
A cracked windshield is a distraction. Cracks in the glass reflect light into your eyes, which can distract you or even blind you. Worse still, police officers can ticket you for driving with a cracked windshield for these reasons.
A cracked windshield is unsightly. Whether you intend to sell your car or not, you want it to look its best! Replacing the windshield when it is cracked shows that you are proud of the vehicle you are driving.
How to repair a windshield temporarily?
Windshields with cracks, regardless of size, should be replaced as soon as possible. It’s never a good idea to repair or replace a windshield yourself, for several reasons: you don’t want to do anything that can add to the damage or prevent you from driving the vehicle safely.
However, when you’re in the process of scheduling a professional repair or replacement, there are temporary measures you can take to prevent the crack from spreading.
Protect the glass from extreme conditions. Park in the shade on hot days to protect the glass from water and direct sunlight. You can also cover the vehicle with a tarp to protect the crack from moisture.
Try a windshield repair kit. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and the crack is very small, or just a chip, auto parts stores sell windshield repair kits that contain resin. Just keep in mind that in many cases repairs done by DIYers won’t last like those done by professionals and the crack may still expand.
When to Take a Cracked Windshield to an Auto Glass Shop?
It’s important to get your damaged windshield repaired as soon as possible, even if the crack or chip is small, as the damage can spread over time.
Even minor scuffs, nicks, chips and cracks can expand, leading to more expensive repairs and potentially complete auto glass replacement. We recommend that you seek professional advice at a local auto glass repair shop as soon as this occurs, even if the damage appears minor.
Should I repair or replace my cracked windshield?
In the past, a chipped or cracked windshield always had to be replaced. Recent innovations in auto glass repair are making windshields easier to repair. However, it depends on the size, location and severity of the damage.
Automotive glass repair.
Repairing auto glass is a faster and more cost effective solution than replacing it, if the chip or crack is small enough. In general, chips smaller than a 20 cent piece and cracks less than 10 cm long are repairable. Anything larger will likely require a complete replacement.
A quality auto glass repair can prevent a chip or crack from spreading and help hide the original damage without having to remove the original glass.
You will need to act quickly to get auto glass repaired or replacement will become your only option, as driving with a cracked windshield can cause damage to extend for a variety of reasons.
Automotive glass replacement.
Replacing auto glass is usually more expensive than repairing it. Still, it’s often the best way to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive. The location of the damage on the windshield is an important factor in determining whether you need repair or replacement.
Which makes replacement the safest option in this case.
If the damage is within the driver’s field of vision, the auto glass shop will likely recommend a complete replacement. Repairing a chip can leave minor distortions in the glass. If a crack is deep enough to penetrate the clear plastic layer that keeps the windshield glass from shattering, the shop will likely recommend a full replacement as well.
The right things to do.
Step 1 – Arrive safely at your destination: Safety is always our first priority. Try to maneuver safely to avoid the vehicle lifting stones and arrive at the intended location.
Step #2 – Examine the Crack and Get It Repaired Immediately: A chip or crack in your windshield (no matter how small) compromises the safety of your car. Examine the size of the crack or chip. Where is it located in your windshield? Will this bother you?
Step 3 – Check your insurance policy: A quick call to your insurance agent will settle any insurance questions you may have.
Step #4 – Call the auto glass company of your choice: You can contact the auto glass company that is right for you. You will need information about your insurance and your car. Most exceptional glazing companies will file the insurance case with you. This is a huge advantage that saves time. Once they contact your insurance company, they will schedule an appointment to have your car serviced.
Step 5 – Technician Will Come To Your Car: The best auto glass companies come to you (whether you’re at work, home, or anywhere else). This allows you to continue with your normal day.
Step 6 – The auto glass company will bill your insurance: Once the technician is finished, they will have you sign a document and give you a copy of the receipt. Once you’ve waited an hour for the adhesive to completely dry, you’re good to go!