Auto Glass Repair
According to auto experts, a cracked or chipped windshield is a major safety issue for vehicle owners. A damaged windshield risks the life of vehicle occupants as it makes the driver more prone to accidents. The windshield is a safety feature since it acts as a barrier as well as structural support for the car. If the windshield is not correctly set in place, the car roof could collapse in an accident.
Your windshield is made up of two layers of glass held together by an inner layer of PVB. This PVB material has adhesive properties that hold the windshield together and prevents it from breaking or caving in on impact. Cracks and chips in your windshield may occur on the outer layer of the glass, which is usually repairable. The choice to repair or replace the windshield depends on the size, type, depth and location of the damage to the windshield. If you are trying to figure out whether auto glass repair is right for you, here are some things to consider.
Size and depth of damage
The damage to your windshield is characterized by its size and depth. The auto glass repair technician carries out a case-by-case inspection of damage before recommending repair or replacement to clients. Most auto body shops can repair chips on your windshield up to one inch in diameter and three-inch long cracks. There are new technologies that make it easier to repair wider and longer chips and cracks, but the technician has to assess the odds of each repair case.
Type of damage
Different types of damage can happen to your windshield. Some are easier to repair than others. The types of breakages that may occur include:
- Star break: Short radial cracks emanating from the impact point
- Bulls-eye: Circular damage
- Partial Bulls-eye: Also called half moon, this is incomplete circular damage
- Crack chip: Single crack usually the size of a quarter, also called ding
- Pit: A small piece of glass missing from the outer layer of your windshield and easy to repair
Multiple cracks are more difficult to repair and could compromise the structural integrity of the entire windshield.
Location of the damage
Sometimes, auto glass repair may leave behind mistiness, unevenness or some discoloration. This is why glass replacement is advisable if the damage is in the driver’s direct line of sight as it could affect their vision when driving. Damage occurring near the windshield edge could be a reason for replacement too. This kind of damage affects the windshields bonding to the surrounding metal frame, which greatly compromises the safety of the vehicle occupants.
Windshield damage that cannot be repaired
There are some cases where auto glass repair is completely impossible. They include:
- Any damage to the inside layer of the windshield glass
- Damage to both inside and outside glass layers
- Damage to the rain sensor or radio antenna
- Complex and multiple cracks
- Edge cracks and chips
- Cracks over 18 inches long
- And any damage to the drivers critical viewing area