6 questions to let you know if your windshield is repairable

November 12, 2014

Learn to recognize when a windshield repair is feasible and you’ll save money on unnecessary windshield replacement. Here’s what you need to know.
Your car’s windshield is more than just something to see through. It’s also part of the structural support for your vehicle and one of the safety features of your car. While your windshield may look like a solid sheet of glass, it’s really three layers: two layers of glass bonded to a middle layer of automotive safety glass which keeps the windshield from shattering on impact. The safely glass holds the layers of glass together so your windshield may crack but it won’t disintegrate into flying shards of sharp glass in an accident.

1. Why should I get minor damage to a windshield repaired?

The most common damage to a windshield is caused by small debris on the road or a pebble flung back from the tires of the car ahead. The problem with these small chips and cracks is they can grow and:

  • Weaken the windshield as a whole.
  • Obstruct your vision of the road.
  • Cause distortion in the glass affecting your vision of the road.
  • Collect dirt and other debris that will make the area more difficult to fix cleanly and clearly.

If a windshield can be repaired, it’s best to do it as soon as possible after the break has occurred.

2. What types of damage can be repaired?

Typically, the smaller the area, the more likely it can be repaired. A rule of thumb is a chip or crack that can be covered by a quarter can be fixed. A single crack that can be covered by a dollar bill may also be possible to repair. Multiple cracks and long cracks usually can’t be repaired. There are some more things to consider.

3. What does the damage look like?

Damage that is small and circular, even with a few small cracks radiating from it, or a little piece of glass missing, can be quite easily repaired. The repair shops need to force clear resin into the damaged area and allow the resin to set.

4. How deep is the damage?

Damage that penetrates the inner layer of safety glass or a second layer of glass is generally irreparable.

5. How long has it been there?

Even small knicks caused by a pebble or piece of gravel can be fixed easily if they are dealt with promptly. If you let it go for a while, it tends to collect debris which must be painstakingly cleaned at the repair shop. It will tend to cloud or colour the resin, making an unsightly mark on your windshield.

6. Where is it?

Damage in the areas over the radio antenna or heating elements usually cannot be repaired. A crack that extends into the edges of the windshield compromises the seal between the windshield and the frame; in these cases, windshield repair is not an option.

Still thinking about windshield repair?

The longer you wait, the harder it will be to repair. And keep in mind: your car insurance may actually cover the full cost of windshield repair–but only part of the cost of windshield replacement.

Windshield repair only takes about 40 minutes to do. Don’t have time to go to an auto glass repair shop? Call around – there are lots of companies that do mobile glass repair and can come to you!

6 questions to let you know if your windshield is repairable
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