As a car owner, it’s probably a major goal of yours to avoid expensive repairs at all costs. As we all know, car repair and maintenance charges can really add up, piling unexpected expenses onto your monthly budget and adding stress to your life that you could really do without.
So when your windshield sustains damage of some kind, it’s tempting to just say “well, I can still see out of it” and let it be. As long as the damage isn’t catastrophic, you should be fine, right?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t quite so clear-cut. Even damage to a windshield that may seem minor to you might warrant a full windshield replacement– and deciding not to proceed with replacement can result in troubles with law enforcement, not to mention safety issues for you and your family.
How do I tell when I should seek windshield repair?
Theoretically, any damage that your windshield sustains should be at least repaired. The windshield is an important structural element of your vehicle, and any weak points or stress to the surface of the glass might affect your safety.
Seeking a windshield repair is the less expensive option when compared to a full replacement, obviously– and there are luckily some circumstances where you can get away with a simple repair.
Chips and cracks that are below a certain size can usually be handled with a repair. Shallow cracks that are under 2 inches in length can most likely be repaired.
If your windshield has sustained a pit or a chip– the kind you might experience driving on a gravel road, or just from debris on the highway– you might not need to seek a repair at all, as long as it’s small, shallow, and not obstructing your vision.
If you notice a crack on your windshield, it’s best to contact a glass specialist as soon as possible. If left untreated, a windshield crack can expand and become much more severe– which means that a simple crack has the potential to require a full windshield replacement.
How do I tell when I should seek windshield replacement?
Cracks that are longer than a few inches, or chips that are larger than a quarter, usually warrant a windshield replacement. Additionally, cracks that are deeper than approximately ⅜” will require a replacement.
Why? Because damage that’s spread over a large area or that has affected multiple layers of the windshield can quickly become a major safety hazard– and that’s definitely something you want to avoid.
If your windshield has sustained multiple cracks or chips, your glass specialist will most likely also recommend a windshield replacement; the surface integrity of the windshield has been compromised at that point, which is a safety and structural issue for your vehicle.
A crack that’s less than a few inches, but is located at the edge of the windshield, most likely will also require a replacement. The same is true for cracks and chips that are located directly within the driver’s field of vision.
How can I tell whether I need a windshield repair or replacement?
If you’re not sure whether your windshield damage can be repaired or will require a replacement, don’t hesitate to contact your local glass specialist. A technician will take a look at the damage and provide a professional opinion, keeping your wallet and your safety in mind.
Thankfully, at Fast Glass Service, we offer mobile repair and replacement services– which means that we’ll come to you for your consultation, repair, or replacement. Just send us a message or give us a call today to get started!