It’s the time of year where many people are hitting the road, getting one final road trip in with the family before school and work ramp up again come fall.
As amazing as this time is, it is common to come home with damage done to the windshield. How do you know when it is time for a car windshield replacement?
We will walk you through the steps from identifying glass damage to what it takes to repair a windshield, as well as obtaining a fair quote from your service provider.
Common Causes of a Cracked Windshield
It is common for glass damage to go unnoticed at the onset. It is important to inspect your windshield so as not to miss small abrasions that can spread rapidly into bigger problems, like windshield cracks.
If caught early on, small repairs can elongate the useful life of your windshield saving you from having to do a full car windshield repair.
Holes, chips or cracks in the glass can be caused by a number of reasons.
Most commonly is direct impact of road gravel and rocks. Road hazards such as rocks, gravel and larger stones can kick-up from off the road or be flung into a side lane from a passing vehicle.
Over time small chips or holes can easily spider web out into larger cracks, leaving you with a cracked windshield. How does this happen?
The small chips and holes collect moisture, and in temperamental climates like ours with drastic overnight weather changes, the water expands and contracts in the hole, often causing cracks to form in the glass.
Other causes may include manufacturer weakness, extreme temperatures, and hail damage.
What Happens During a Rock Chip Repair?
To save yourself from a large windshield crack, a rock chip repair can be done on small abrasions to ensure solidity.
It is important to have an inspection done in a timely manner if you suspect damage to your vehicle windshield so preventative repairs can be done.
So how is a rock chip repair done and why is it effective?
Rock chip repair is a process applied to the chip. It fills and binds the area so the chip will not turn into a windshield crack or spider web.
Essentially the rock chip repair process involves cleaning out the hole or chip area, removing any excess debris, leftover rock or glass particles. From there an alignment tool is placed above the chip, holding a tube in place above it.
Once the alignment tool is accurately placed and the repair tube is pressed against the chip, drops of resin are put into the tube and applied to the chip.
Once the appropriate amount of resin is dropped in place, (depending on the size of the chip more or less is used), a finishing film is applied.
This chip repair process, when done properly leaves the chip virtually invisible and prevents cracking from happening.
What is a Rock Chip Repair Kit?
A rock chip repair kit is a kit you can obtain to repair small chips or holes at home. The kits come with full instructions and tools required for the job.
While these kits can be handy if you are fixing multiple chips over time, they take time to learn to use and cost anywhere from $300- $700 for the professional kits or $17.99 for one time use kits.
The benefit to outsourcing is you know it will be repaired properly the first time which could save you replacing the whole windshield.
When Might You Need a Full Windshield Replacement?
If a chip does turn into a crack or spider web it may be time for a full car windshield replacement.
A cracked windshield restricts visibility and can be a hazard on the road.
So when can you simply repair the windshield and when does it need a full replacement?
This depends on the size, location and severity of the damage.
Repairs can commonly be done on rock chips measuring a quarter in size, and cracks up to three inches long.
Sometimes a larger windshield crack or chip can be fixed depending on the scope of the damage.
If the damage is any larger, or located in tough to treat areas it may be time for a full windshield replacement.
It is best to get a windshield replacement quote, and a quote on rock chip repair.
How to Know You’re Obtaining a Fair Windshield Replacement Quote
Prices tend to vary between dealerships and automotive glass shops like us. Dealerships tend to use glass from the original equipment manufacturers whereas automotive glass shops can use glass that is the same quality, for less cost.
If you have questions about your windshield replacement quote feel free to contact us. We can explain the quote to you or offer you a second opinion. We offer both micro chip repair and micro crack repair as well as full car windshield replacement. We can help if you have questions.
Look into a quote for your job today.