Repairing Those Little Windshield Chips

A rock pings off of the windshield while you’re driving and what’s left behind is a small “star” of damage on the glass. These may not interfere with your visibility and they look innocuous. But when sudden temperature changes happen, those “stars” can turn into cracks that mean expensive repairs or even windshield replacement. The repair usually takes less than an hour and it can save you a lot of trouble down the road.

How Are Stars Repaired?

For proper repair, preliminary steps are necessary. Cleaning the area to remove any dust or debris that might have settled into it ensures the repair will hold. After the chip is thoroughly clean and dry, a clear, curable resin is injected into the outer layer of glass to restore the integrity and improve the appearance.

Excess resin is removed and then a UV light is used to cure and harden the resin. Once it’s fully hardened, it’s polished to blend in with the remainder of the glass. This leaves a smooth surface behind and the chip is unable to spread to cause further damage.

Is Replacement Necessary?

Deep or slanted cracks and chips may damage the poly-vinyl butryal (PVB) layer of the windshield. These can still be repaired, depending on the size of the site of damage. A chip or “star” larger than two inches across or a crack longer than one foot will usually mean windshield replacement is necessary.

Why opt for replacement when you can still technically see through your windshield? Safety is an issue; excessive chipping or cracks can reflect light into your eyes while driving, obscuring your vision and making driving dangerous. Anything striking a compromised windshield could shatter it. That may not cause glass fragments to fly everywhere, but it will make safe driving impossible.

Opt for safety and have the “stars” and chips repaired before they spread!