Drivers today view their vehicles as an integral part of life. Cars and trucks not only move people and products from place to place—they can often also be status symbols. So, it’s easy to see how the issue of windshields and safety can get lost in all this comfort and convenience.
However, safety must always come first. If your vehicle’s windshield is damaged, the first line of defense is compromised. Flying objects can injure or fatally wound the driver or passengers if the strength of the window glass is already weakened. If a crash occurs, and the car flips, there is less to protect the individuals in the car from being crushed if the windshield and its frame give way. Airbag deployment may also be affected if a windshield cannot do its job properly.
When a rock or other object is kicked up from the road ahead, the damage to a windshield may seem minor at first. There is a tendency to put off auto glass repair or power window repair until a better time. Doing so is dangerous, however. The damage can worsen over time, and a crash can happen without warning. Don’t put your life or the lives of others at risk for the sake of convenience. Get your windshield inspected and repaired (or replaced) immediately after any damage occurs.
How to Determine Whether a Windshield Can Be Repaired
The best advice to follow if there is ever any doubt about whether a car window can be repaired or should be replaced is to simply replace it. Some state laws may prohibit driving with any damage at all to a windshield, so be sure to check your state’s regulations before proceeding.
Aside from any laws dealing with windshield repair, some damage is so minor that a repair is acceptable. Plus, it is less expensive.
Here are some examples of windshield repairs that can safely be done:
- The damage to the glass does not reduce your field of vision in any way. However, if there is a crack or other damage within your line of vision, a windshield replacement service is necessary.
- The size of the damage is the next consideration. The windshield can be repaired if:
- The crack is less than approximately 4 inches or a dollar bill in length.
- The chip is an inch in diameter or less.
- There are not three + connecting hairline cracks.
If you choose to repair cracks, be aware that they grow over time. In addition, a network of cracks reduces the strength of the glass, so the repair must be a temporary fix only.
- A chip that hasn’t penetrated the middle layer of vinyl within the windshield or the interior glass layer can be repaired. The layer of vinyl prevents the glass from shattering into projectiles on impact, so it’s easy to see why the vinyl needs to be intact.
- A windshield can be repaired if the damage is NOT along the outer edge of the glass. Even one small crack on the outer edge of the glass can very quickly grow from the force of the wind. The structural integrity of the windshield is lessened and will not protect anyone in the car in the event of a crash.
If you require professional input about your windshield repair, our Max Auto Glass experts can help you make the right decision. Contact us and let us help!
Repair Methods in Dealing with Windshield Damage
If, after weighing your options, you have decided to pursue a windshield repair rather than a replacement, here are the primary methods used:
A patch is a clear adhesive bandage placed over a chip or ding. It is smoothed over the damaged area and given time to cure so that it hardens and protects the area. It does not strengthen the glass—it simply keeps it from cracking further. Auto glass professionals don’t use patches because the repair doesn’t reach down into the defect to prevent further cracking.
A clear resin is injected into the damaged area, and heat is then used to harden it. The resin expands and fills any chips or cracks, preventing the damage from spreading and becoming worse. It also strengthens the glass around the damage, restoring the integrity of the windshield. This is important for safety purposes. Most auto glass pros use resin for this reason.
If you have decided that the damaged area doesn’t meet the criteria for repair, a professional will remove the old windshield and install a new one. This is not a DIY job. Windshield glass is large, and special tools are needed to safely handle and install it properly. Call Max Auto Glass for professional help.
Anatomy of a Windshield Repair Service
There is more to repairing a windshield than just applying resin. Max Auto Glass uses a vacuum pressure repair process that takes 30 to 40 minutes. The steps involved are as follows:
- A tiny hole is drilled through the top layer of glass to release any trapped air, or the air is scraped out of the tiny glass particles.
- A glass resin injector tool is secured tightly around the damaged area.
- The area is sealed by this tool, which then cycles between pressure and vacuum to infuse a curable clear resin into the outer glass layer in the damaged area. The glass in the area is returned to its original structure and appearance.
- The excess resin is cleared away after the injector tool is removed.
- The resin is cured and hardened with a UV light, which changes it from a liquid to a solid.
- The repaired area is cleaned and polished, making it nearly invisible and restoring the windshield’s integrity.
Max Auto Glass Professionals Can Help
We are the glass repair and replacement professionals! You can trust us to repair your windshield to the highest industry standards using our specialist knowledge and experience. Our shops have the necessary tools and equipment to handle your job, no matter how large or small.