You’re on the highway, stuck behind a big truck. You don’t like the situation. There are a lot of reasons to get out from behind the truck, and one of them rears its ugly head. You hear a sharp knock on the windshield, and you already know. The truck kicked up a rock, and your windshield is damaged.
Can it be fixed, or do you have to replace the whole thing? The answer to that question is deeper than you might first assume. There are several factors that go into assessing the viability of a window repair. We’re going to cover all of them, so you’ll have a better understanding of when repair or replacement is the proper solution to your problem.
How Bad Is the Damage?
By and large, windshield damage comes in three forms: chips, cracks, and holes. Any damage that fully punctures the glass to create a hole is beyond repair. Windshield glass is safety glass that actually has two layers bonded to a film in the middle. If the inner layer is damaged, repair techniques simply won’t work.
If you have a crack or a chip, then repair is still on the table. More often than not, chips can be fixed while cracks trend toward replacement, but there are some guidelines that can help your expectations. Any crack that is shorter than 12 inches might be eligible for repair. Any chip larger than a quarter is not eligible for repair.
In addition to size, you have to consider location. Damage that is very close to the edges of the windshield can’t be fixed. It compromises the integrity of the whole windshield too much. On a different note, damage on the driver’s side might not be eligible for repair. The issue is that the repair process leaves some inconsistency in visibility. If it’s a small dot outside of your main field of view, it might be ok. Generally speaking, anything that will obstruct the driver’s view at all can’t be fixed by law.
The last issue is frequency. Windshield repair is strong and holds up, but if you have enough of them, then the windshield’s durability comes into question. The golden rule is that you don’t want more than three repairs on a single windshield. It’s a case-by-case situation that depends on the extent of each repair, but it’s important to keep the concept in mind.
Is Your Insurance Paying?
Even if your windshield is eligible for repair, that doesn’t settle the issue. You clearly want to consider cost as well, and a major component of that is insurance. Assuming you have more than minimal liability coverage, there’s a chance that windshield services are included in your policy. If your insurance is footing the bill (or at least helping with the cost), then replacement is often better than repair. A new windshield is just better than a fixed windshield with damage.
That said, your insurance will have something to say about this too. They might ask for a quote from an expert, and that might lead them to cover a repair and not a replacement. That’s fine. You’re still getting a professional fix, and your insurance company is still helping to pay.
If insurance money is off the table, most people go for the most affordable option. As long as the damage can be safely and properly repaired, that’s almost always the winner. It saves money, and it still restores your windshield to a safe, operational state.
How Do You Repair a Windshield?
Windshield repair and replacement are services best done by a certified professional. Auto glass is a very high-grade material with an incredibly important function. Industry expertise helps with the assessment and application of the repair.
When your windshield expert repairs the glass, they will typically use resin or a comparable material to fill the damaged portion of the glass. The resin bonds to the glass and becomes a de facto replacement for the lost material. The thing to understand is that the resin is not glass. There will be a small amount of inconsistency from any repair. You can subtly see where the resin sits, and that’s why repair is typically avoided on the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Whether repair or replacement is appropriate for your repair, you need reliable experts in Dallas/Fort Worth to do the work. You can contact Advanced Auto Glass today. We’ll take a look at your windshield and make our recommendations. Once you decide, we’ll go right to work. Your windshield will be safe, functional, and reliable in no time, whether we fix it or replace it.