Windshields: To Repair or to Replace?
Early windshields installed on vehicles are made of tempered glass. Tempered basically means it has undergone some heat treatment to make it stronger than ordinary glass and has some resistance to shattering. Then came the composite glass windshields wherein two panes of glass is held together by a layer of cellulose in between them. This made the windshield a lot stronger and resistant to shattering in case of an accident. Today’s windshields are still glass but undergo a much more complicated process. It is made up of composites of several materials and is deemed to be so much stronger than ever before. Because of these processes, it is imperative that only professionals like this website should be doing repair or replacement work for any windshield related issue. This is to ensure that it is done correctly and safely without affecting overall structural integrity. But when can we say it is for repair or replacement? Read on and find out below for this information.
A Chip or A Crack?
Windshield damage comes in two forms and a combination of the two. A windshield can either be chipped or cracked or a combination of both. A chip is generally caused by debris impacts such as a small stone or a piece of metal. The point of impact can be in the form of a star or short cracks forming outward from the center. Another type is what is called as a bulls-eye crack or a partial bulls-eye crack and a crack chip which are gouges in the glass of less than an inch long. Cracks are the type of damage where it creates a long and distinct line in the glass that can range from under an inch to the whole width of your entire windshield. Thes generally run horizontally in a straight or sometimes wavy line.
Can It Be Repaired?
The answer to this question depends on three factors, size, depth, and location. Larger and deeper cracks that extend the length of your windshield are more likely to be replaced that repaired. Small shallow chips are repairable again depending on how far they are away from the edges. The size of the crack will determine whether it needs to be replaced or just repaired. Generally, a crack up to 14 inches can be repaired. Depth is closely related to the size of the damage but dependent on how deep it goes into the layers of glass in the windshield. If the damage is through the outer and inner layer of glass, then the damage is beyond repair. The Location of the damage is a huge factor in determining whether a repair or replacement is needed. If the crack extends all the way to the edge of the windshield, this would affect the structural integrity of the car itself. If the windshield crack is on the direct view of the driver, repairs should be out of the question as well, repairing a windshield will cause warping and distortion and would impair the view of the driver.
Windshield repair technology is a rapidly advancing industry and the ability to seamlessly repair minor cracks and damages. Depending on whether or not the crack or damage is compromising the overall structural integrity of the vehicle, chances are these damages can be repaired.