Windshield cracks and chips tend to happen when you least expect them. One moment you’re driving your vehicle and the next you’re subject to windshield damage thanks to a rock or pebble or some other type of flying debris.
Deciding between repair and replacement is crucial in this case, as you don’t want to compromise your safety by making the wrong decision. You also don’t want to schedule a full-scale replacement unless absolutely necessary.
How Windshields Are Constructed
Windshields are not the same as other glass products. They’re constructed using laminated safety glass, which is composed of three different layers. Two pieces of tempered glass are situated around a sheet of poly-vinyl butyral, which is a type of resin. This keeps the windshield intact when it’s struck by an object.
As a result, windshields are more robust when compared to the windows in your home, which is why it’s possible to repair them in some cases. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when considering whether to repair or replace:
- The Size of the Defect – Obviously, smaller chips and cracks respond better to repair service than large ones. In general, chips that are under the size of a quarter and cracks that measure less than three inches in length can usually be addressed with repairs. The larger the defect, the more the windshield is compromised in terms of safety. In this case, a replacement would be preferred.
- Where It’s Located – Replacement is also recommended when the defect is located within the driver’s line of vision. The same is true of cracks that extend to the edge of the glass, where it meets the metal frame of the vehicle. This will affect the structural integrity of the windshield, which makes it more likely that the glass will break during a subsequent accident.
- The Depth of the Damage – Along with size, also pay attention to how deep the crack or chip is in the glass. Once again, structural integrity of the windshield will be compromised by significant damage, such as when the defect penetrates the first layer of glass to reach the interior film. If this is the case with your vehicle, it’s likely that your repair tech will recommend a replacement.
Proudly certified by the National Glass Association, Astro Auto Glass of Albuquerque can help you determine whether repair or replacement is best for your vehicle. Our technicians offer windshield chip repair to prevent a small problem from growing into a big one. We also provide auto glass replacement, which comes complete with a lifetime warranty to ensure you’re satisfied with the end product.
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