ROCK CHIP REPAIR VS. WINDSHIELD REPLACEMENT
For most automobile owners, changing oil and doing routine maintenance checks are important aspects of keeping the vehicle running like new. When the car shows signs of having problems, the owner would usually fix the problem immediately to avoid more costly repairs later. One part on the vehicle that is often overlooked is the windshield.
The main reason that this should not be overlooked is the typical car windshield is made up of two pieces of glass with a piece of laminate (plastic) sandwiched between the glass layers. This gives the glass its strength, and in the event of an accident, the laminate is designed to hold the pieces of glass together and stop them from showering fragments into the car, causing injury.
Unlike regular household glass, the structure of the windshield allows chip and crack repair. Usually in the event of a stone chip only the outer layer of glass is damaged, with the inside layer remaining intact. This means that it is possible to make the windshield more stable and prevent the damage from getting worse.
There are some stone chips that cannot be repaired. If the damage penetrated through the inside layer, or is positioned right in the center of the driver’s line of vision, you should consider replacing the windshield. Under such circumstances, the damage could be annoying to the driver, and in some cases even dangerous.
Also not repairable are the little tiny chips or pits on the glass that have not broken through the first layer. For example if you are driving into the sun and your glass is sparkling, that windshield needs to be replaced. If it is possible to repair the windshield, you should have it fixed immediately to prevent further damage. A small rock chip or crack on the windshield may soon grow into a larger crack that will act both as an optical hazard while driving and weaken the windshield; the longer the crack, the weaker the windshield. Fix the problem before it becomes non repairable.
Most windshield repairs are carried out by injecting a clear resin in the crack or chip under pressure. This forces in the resin and sucks the air between the outer layer of glass and the laminate out. After the chip or crack is completely filled with resin, the resin is cured with an ultraviolet light. The repair process restores strength and improves visibility to a windshield that has been damaged. Most repairs performed by a qualified repair technician will result in 80% - 95% improvement in visibility depending on the initial damage.
Something to consider before repairing a windshield is that if the chip or crack bothers you now, it will probably bother you after the repair. Although the repair will lighten the visibility of the damaged area, as well as prevent it from spreading, it will still be somewhat visible. So if it’s in your line of vision and bothering you, it will probably still bother you after the repair. Nothing is better than a brand new windshield.
The windshield on your car is designed to protect you, but you must be able to clearly see through it. Impaired vision can cause accidents. You should repair any chips or cracks immediately to insure your safety and prevent the damage from spreading. Delaying repairs can cost you the expense of replacing the windshield.
If your windshield is ever damaged don’t procrastinate repairing it. Get it fixed now and save yourself time and money.