The open road has long been a source of excitement and adventure, but it can also be a source of peril. If you're driving along and suddenly find yourself dealing with a loud noise and a large chip out of your windshield, the frustration and annoyance can be incredibly high. It's important to know, however, that steps can be taken to address those issues.
Below, you'll find a guide to a few factors that can help you decide between auto glass repair and replacement. Keeping these in mind can give you hope that your glass will be quickly returned to normal, and will allow you to confidently pursue the repair you desire.
Two of the basic shapes of cracks in auto glass are circular bullseye damage and longer, thinner fissures. While the circular cracks may seem like they're more serious, they may actually be easier to repair. Since those cracks are often in a localized area, they can be treated with a filling agent that bonds the repair to the surrounding glass.
Longer cracks may pose a more difficult challenge. By traversing a larger area across the surface of your windshield, a long and narrow crack may ultimately necessitate replacement, as the polymers generally used as filler in the glass may have a harder time stabilizing.
As mentioned above, the ability to bond to surrounding glass is what allows auto glass repairs to work. This means that cracks in the center of a pane may actually be somewhat easier to repair, as the surrounding glass will provide stability. Cracks near the edges may not have that luxury and may lack sufficient bonding surface.
One notable exception to this rule is damage located in the direct eye line of the driver. Though your auto glass repair service will be able to make your windshield nearly as good as new, you should still seek out a replacement if there's any possibility of distortion in your field of vision.
Modern auto glass is designed to prevent cracks from penetrating the full surface of a pane. In many cases, the design will succeed in this function, and you'll see chips and cracks which don't break all the way through the surface. This is important, as glass depth will yet again allow for proper bonding. Damage that penetrates all the way through the windshield may pose a more significant challenge and may leave you dealing with a new install rather than a repair.