All car owners have experienced that horrible feeling when a rock bounces off of our windscreen leaving a chip or crack in the glass. The first thought that comes to mind is whether it’s easily fixable or if you’re going to have to replace the entire thing.
Windscreens or windshields
are usually what lays between us and a fatal accident. They protect us from stormy weather, scorching hot sunlight, and flying debris.
Unfortunately, when they are shattered beyond compare, they can cost a lot of money to replace. When smaller chips or cracks are not repaired it can cause bigger cracks that might cause even more expensive damage. Windshields are more expensive than normal glass windows because they are designed to protect us from heavy collisions and impact.
The screen is usually made from two laminated safety glass pieces that are curved and bonded into a car’s window frame. Because there is a laminated piece of plastic in between the curved pieces, it won’t shatter and break when something hits it. This is why it’s referred to as safety glass and not just a normal window. Check out this video
to see how a safety windshield is made.
Types of Damage
Because of the window’s design, different scenarios and impacts will create different types of damage. Damage caused by a small flying pebble will be much different to when you collide head-on into a tree. The plastic layer in between the two curved glass pieces will result in much smaller breakages rather than a large shatter like with windows.
There are two different types of minor damage that can be caused with different types of impact: cracks and chips.
Cracks are characterized as a line in the windshield that separates glass. When car owners neglect to fix cracks, they can result in bigger and longer cracks that branches off into many more.
This kind of damage can worsen when the windscreen is exposed to hot sun, when dirt gets caught up in the crack, and when the car drives over bumpy surfaces.
When a small rock or pebble hits the windscreen a small part of the glass will break off. This is referred to as a chip. Small chips can be easily repaired by a windshield repair service.
Even though some small chips look harmless, when they’ve penetrated deep into the first layer, you might have to replace the entire windshield. When chips aren’t attended to as soon as possible, they will become the evil root cause of serious cracks.
When Should I Consider Windshield Replacement?
Some damage makes it pretty obvious to when you should get your windshield replaced. The best indicator is that if you can’t see through your windscreen because there are too many cracks and chips, then it’s time to get a replacement.
Another obvious indication is when a foreign object pierced through both layers of glass. When there’s a hole in your screen, then you should get it fixed. Neglecting to do so will put all passengers in a dangerous situation.
You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a functioning windshield wiper motor
either. Being able to look through the glass is just as important as having a fixed shield. Make sure that the motor is fully functioning and roadworthy before going on a road trip to ensure that you’ll be able to wipe off rain, leaves, and insects while on the road.
Other less obvious signs that your windscreen needs replacement is when the glass has more than three cracks and deep chips. If there are numerous cracks and chips, the screen will lose its ability to withstand strong winds or impact from objects.
Cracks that stretch longer than 14 inches are also caused for concern. Especially if cracks or chips are at its worst in front of the driver’s seat, repairs might leave some residue. Breakage and small shatters on the edges of a windscreen can also weaken the overall performance. In those cases, a professional will recommend replacing the glass instead of fixing.
When Should I Consider Windshield Repair?
It all depends on the size and severity of the damage caused to your windshield. When cracks are small and haven’t penetrated deep into the first layer of glass it can be easily fixed. Repair services have simple glass repair kits that are affordable and can be used to stop more serious damage in its tracks.
As a general rule, chips that are smaller than 2 inches and penetrates less than 3/8 inches into the glass can be repaired. Anything bigger than that will cause more serious damage in the future and compromise safety.
Cracks that are shorter than 5-7 inches can also be easily repaired. Longer cracks that are situated on the passenger’s side can be fixed as a quick and immediate solution. Within time, the entire windscreen should be replaced to ensure that it remains weather and impact resistant. Curious about how cracked glass is fixed? Go to this link
to see how they fix it.
Repair services are obviously much more affordable than replacements, but when it comes to safety it’s best to spend a few extra dollars without compromising security.
It’s advised that all car owners tend to any cracks or chips as soon as possible. Leaving small damages can eventually spread and result inexpensive and more severe problems. In many cases, the only thing between you, your passenger, and a fatal accident is your windshield and you should take its maintenance seriously.
As part of road safety, you aren’t allowed to drive without a windscreen or with a completely shattered windscreen. To avoid being fined by the traffic department, rather get it fixed as soon as possible. If you aren’t sure whether you should consider repairing or replacement, your best bet is to visit a windshield repair and replace service near you.