When driving along a rough stretch, chances are that something will bounce off on your windshield, causing it to develop a dime-sized chip right before your eyes. And not only does this crack block your vision, but it also poses a great inconvenience because it will most likely spread across the entire windshield like wildfire.
But before you consult Magic Suds Car Wash, remember to equip yourself with knowledge on how cracks spread on windshields and whether or not these damages require a replacement.
A chip or a crack on your windshield, so what next?
In the old days, a chip or crack meant a replacement of the windshield. Thankfully, this isn’t the case anymore because modern technology has made it easier to replace windshields that would otherwise have been scrapped off. This kind of technology saves you money and ultimately your windshield.
However, you should also be aware of the fact that even the most advanced of glass repair technologies sometimes have their own limits. This means that if your windshield has encountered severe damage, you must be ready to replace it then.
The things that make the damage spread like wildfire
Unfortunately, when you encounter a chip or crack on your windshield, certain elements will keep the damage spreading to other parts of the screen. If you are not careful, that windshield will be rendered useless, thus prompting a replacement.
Moisture is the number one culprit for spreading damage. Since windshields are typically made of two layers of glass with vinyl in between, there’s a tendency of moisture building up in that space. Water or moisture finding way into the damaged part can weaken the structural integrity of the windshield. What is more, if the temperature happens to drop, the moisture will form ice thus putting pressure on the whole windshield and damaging it in the process.
Secondly, if dirt finds its way into your windshield, it will weaken it. This is why you should frequently consult Magic Suds Car Wash to get rid of any dirt that may threaten the lifespan of your car’s windshield. And just in case this happens, find a clear tape and apply it on the damaged part. It will provide temporary protection. This should not be seen as an excuse to delay repairs.
Finally, unfavorable temperatures which involve a scorching sun time combined with a powerful air conditioner can cause further damage. In fact, if your windshield is already damaged, the difference between the inside and outside temperature will put pressure on it, thereby causing further damage. And of course bumps on the road will vigorously shake the broken part, thus weakening the entire windshield structurally.
So, do you have to get it patched or repaired instead?
It will depend on the size, location and even severity of the damage in question. Most repair shops will do a good job in tackling quarter-sized rock chips in addition to cracks that are up to 3 inches long. However, if the damage is beyond these limits, then a replacement will be recommended.
Nevertheless, you should also note that some facilities take it a notch higher by using a special technology which is capable of repairing cracks of up to 12 inches wide. Because of this, you should generally shop around before settling on the decision to buy a new windshield.
Other situations that might force you to replace your windshield
Some facilities will not repair chips when they appear directly within the driver’s line of vision. This is because the repair process often leaves behind minor distortions that might be treated as an interference with the driver’s line of vision. As a result, these facilities will recommend a replacement.
Generally, the effectiveness and clarity of the repair process depends on the severity of the damage. In most cases, the elements that cause the damage to spread are things that can be controlled by you. For this reason, it’s always advisable to protect the damaged area from dirt which has been known to spread damage further.
Finally, if the windshield was involved in some kind of a big impact, it could be rendered useless. If a big object hit and damaged it beyond repair, you could be left with no option but to replace it. The same applies to when you get involved in an accident.
Do not delay repairs because it will ultimately cost you. Some drivers delay repairing their windshields because they think they’re saving money. However, the problem comes to haunt them back when they realize that they have to replace the entire thing altogether. So do your math and salvage the situation before it’s too late.